Natural Communities and Seasonal Changes

Using Wetland, Woodland, Wildland as a reference, I visited my phenological site to try to identify which natural community it should be classified as.

The Centennial Woods spot is most definitely a wetland natural community rather than an upland one. The site features a stream and large floodplain, as well as a forested slope. A lot of the surface area experiences seasonal saturation. There is a large population of hemlock, wood ferns, moss, as well as a few yellow birches, red maples, and white pines on the drier and hillier side. There is a lot of touch-me-nots and cinnamon ferns on the other side of the stream, as well as other various herbaceous plants. Buckthorns have a large presence.

Due to these characteristics, I believe that the area can be primarily categorized as a Red Maple-Black Ash swamp.

Since my last visit, the most notable phenological change would be the freezing of the stream. When I last explored the area, I had to hop over the water to reach the other back. This time, I simply walked across the frozen stream. It was interesting to hear the water flow underneath the few inches of ice. The excess precipitation also added another layer of fresh powdery snow.

Similarly to last time, I was quick to notice how sparse the canopy was compared to early fall. The site seemed quieter, more asleep if you will.

I am excited to see the area welcome back vibrant life as spring rolls in.