Redstone Pines, March 8th

Using Wetland, Woodland, Wildland as a reference has assisted me in better understanding the natural components of Vermont. That being said, I would classify the natural community associated with my “place” as having natural origins, but not being naturally occurring; the evidence I discovered at my site that led me to this conclusion was the geometrically placed Redstone Pines (RSP) that encompass the Redstone Pines. This pattern alluded to human intervention in my eyes. Anyways, the RSP could fall under the community standard of Northern Hardwood Forests (NHF). Furthermore, these forests have a bounty of Birch, Beech, and Sugar Maple trees. Also, the snow on the ground prevented me from identifying floor plants that would have been evident if the snow wasn’t present. Some further evidence I observed was the footprints of squirrels and rabbits. (If we identified this correctly, they were kind of mashed into the snow!) These animals are strong indicators of the Northern Hardwood Forest. RSP would be considered a “small patch” of a matrix because it is under 1 acre. If humans didn’t inhabit and build on the surrounding area, I believe that this small forest would have grown outwards and flourished. In doing so, it would be a more concrete example of the NHF. But, humans have contained this forest by developing around the perimeter with buildings and a road.

I only wish I was able to see the woodpecker peck!
Pictured above is a tree I observed. It has clear evidence of a woodpecker’s presence.

Since my last visit to RSF, I have not noticed any major phenological changes. Although, I did notice that there was frozen mud in some spots; this was due to the recent warm wave that blessed Burlington. The rise in temperatures and the increase in precipitation caused the soil to become very saturated. In the ground’s muddy state, it froze. This is a phenomenon I identified at my phrenology site. The most exciting thing I observed was tiny holes in trees, which were created by woodpeckers. I was able to notice this due to my home in Chicago being a hotspot for woodpeckers! It was really interesting to observe these holes close up, and peek inside them. Interestingly enough, the holes created by the woodpeckers are utilized by other species. For example, a giant variety of birds use the hole for their own nests. Bluebirds, Barn Owls, Brown Creeper’s, and many other’s build their nest’s in these nooks.

Above is a photo of the hard, solid ground. The pine needles are present because they have fallen off of the trees, making the soil very acidic. It was impossible to dig into the ground, due to the ground being presently solid.