Last visit to Centennial Thicket of the year!

Tuesday, December 4th , 2018, 8:20-8:50 am

Weather: Snow Shower.

Snow Cover: 1 inch

Birds seen at this spot: American Robin, Black-Capped Chickadee, American Crow, Northern Cardinal

Birds seen nearby: Mallard, Carolina Wren

I went to my site one last time this year this morning. A fresh coat of snow blanketed the ground. However, it concealed the hidden danger of massive sheets of ice produced from the recent rainfall. I almost slipped a few times, but continued on. My spot looked quite different compared to a few weeks ago. A few dangling leaves were all that was left on all of the trees, including the persistent Red Oak. As for birds, I only saw a few species around, including several Black-Capped Chickadees and a few Northern Cardinals. A pair of Carolina Wrens were also braving the conditions in some underbrush nearby.

A Carolina Wren in Centennial Woods in late September.

Lately, I’ve been checking out what the human history of the Centennial Thicket was through the Burlington Geographic site. Turns out, it was originally a plot of land used as a farm by J. Whitson in the 1830s, and as the estates of Herald Stevens and C. Baxter in the 1890s. Even when Centennial Woods was starting to be grown in the early 1900s, it was originally much smaller, and my spot was still an open field.

Centennial Thicket in 1937. It is just right of the patch of scattered bushes/small trees left of center.

I can see this age in the vegetation too, as most trees around this site are fairly short when compared to others deeper in the woods, excluding the rapidly-growing White Pines. If you go back even further, you’ll find out from the surficial geology that the Centennial Thicket was on (or just off) the shore of the Champlain Sea, an ancient water body that existed 10,000 years ago.

The blue represents marine sediments from the Champlain Sea.

I can’t wait to explore more and learn more about my place next year!

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