Archive for December, 2018

December Update

My last visit to my site for the semester came in early December on a very snowy day. My site looked like something straight out of a Christmas card due to all of the evergreens with snow lightly dusted on them. All the deciduous trees on my site have lost all their leaves, but the Eastern White Pines and Eastern Hemlocks are as green as ever. The Eastern Hay Scented Ferns are still green, adding a little bit more color to the understory. I was lucky enough to come across some tracks in the snow on my site, including deer and squirrel. There are many clues on the trail leading to my site about the land use history of Centennial Woods. If you look carefully, you will find loose strands of barbed wire that would indicate that cattle farming (stone walls would indicate sheep pastures) may have taken place in the late 1800s to early 1900s. A friend of mine actually ripped his pants leg on some barbed wire on the way to my site! There are also areas where the land was obviously cleared in the past 150 years, as there are very few old growth trees, and many Paper Birch, which thrive after disturbance. On my site there is a valley on a slight downward angle that I at first thought was possibly an old road, but it seems more logical that it used to be a stream. The largest trees on my site by far are the White Pines, which would also indicate disturbance in the past as White Pines grow much faster than most hardwood trees and tend to come in after disturbance, like Paper Birch.

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