Visiting my phenology site today was bittersweet. So much has changed since the beginning of the semester, and buds of the winged euonymus are finally blossoming like I’ve never seen before.
Nature and culture intertwine at this place in many different ways. Students often come out to these woods and frolic or do work, and it is right next to pretty much every residence hall on Trinity Campus. The “Trinity Woods,” as we call them, are a center to student life as well as biodiversity on campus.

I definitely consider myself a part of nature. Everything everyone does and contributes to and pays for affects nature, in terms of the food they eat, the recreation they partake in. I spend time at this place often even when not doing phenology assignments.

While the phenology assignment is over, this is not the last time I will have visited my spot. Next year I am living on Trinity Campus again and I will continue to embrace the intersection between nature and culture at this location.

extension 3 of post 9

extension 2 of post 9

Partridge berry

extension 1 of post 9

Phenology post #9

I visited my phenology site on Friday, April 26th at around 4 pm. The site has changed immensely since my last visit. While there were no wildflowers here in this site, Sugar Maples and Red Maples have begun to flower as well as many other species like the Winged Euonymus and American Beech, as well as White Avens. Partridge Berry bushes are also starting to grow their berries. I also saw some Song Sparrows, Spring Peepers and Woodpeckers. There were also a lot more squirrels than the other times I’ve visited, emphasizing the phenological changes that have occurred over the past few weeks.

Note: each image keeps getting duplicated, so I’m uploading images for this post in separate posts.

I spent my spring break in my home town of West Islip, New York. There are a lot of natural areas there, but not quite as many as Burlington. For the phenology project, I went to Gardiner Park, a dog park near me with a large wooded area and some trails. It originally belonged to the Gardiner family but eventually became a public park. The trails are very clearly man-made, and there is some wear in the area surrounding the lake which indicates erosion, likely due to people walking there and also wind erosion which has been taxing on Long Island’s natural areas.

I went on March 11 (Monday) at around 2:20 pm. One of the features of this park that stuck out to me was the invasion of cattails. This is similar to Vermont since there are a lot of cattails here as well. Another similarity is that the area was rich in Paper Birch trees.

There were also some Eastern Red Cedar and Multiflora Rose. These are unique species which aren’t present in Vermont. I also saw some ducks in the pond.

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Gardiner park. However, I wish that the people who visited respected the space a bit more. There is a lot of litter around the park, and a lot of dog poop that people haven’t cleaned up. It appears the connection to the land and care in Vermont is greater than on Long Island.

Phenology Post #7

Today, Friday March 8th at 1:30 PM, I visited my site. It was very bright out and the trees were making cracking noises. I could also hear their leaves blowing. My spot is rich in diverse tree species incuding Sugar Maples, White Pines, American Beech, therefore I’d identify it as a Northern Hardwood Forest, and a Woodland. It is hilly, with some steep slopes. The amount of Paper Birch trees increases with elevation. I visited this site in the summer too, and it was very green and lively with plant life and insects.
I saw many different animal tracks at my site including a weasel, cotton tail rabbit, and possibly a white-tail deer. There were also squirrels in the trees.

Weasel print

Phenology Post #6


My new spot for this semester is the opening into the woods on the right of Mercy hall on Trinity Campus. To get there, one would go to Mcauley, go across the parking lot, and make a right before you get to Richardson and McCann residence halls. Then, go down the path and make a right at the small opening.

Today, Monday, February 4, I visited at around noon. It was cloudy and about 40ºF. Once I arrived, I immediately noticed some animal tracks that appeared as though they could have belonged to a raccoon. The tracks measured 3 inches long with a 10 inch stride. A sign of wildlife I picked up on other than the possible raccoon tracks was the sound of a bird in the distance.

Some other tracks were ones that appeared to belong a cotton-tail rabbit. They were very distinct but also the Pacer track pattern was very prevalent.

This spot is very serene and the snow is deep– not many people wander in these woods.
I saw many trees and twigs on the ground. A few belonged to Sugar Maples, one to a Sassafras and one American Beech. I also found many Red Maples. There were also some pine needles on the ground and the leaf of an Oak Tree. At the bottom of the post is a link to the new site.

Above: Red Maple Bud Diagram as well as photo of Red Maple bud.

Above, L-R: Cotton-Tail Rabbit Tracks, Raccoon Tracks,  More Raccoon Tracks

Above: photos of my place

Above: Oak Leaf and Pine Needles

Phenology Post #5

Over the time I’ve observed my phenology site, I’ve noticed many different species and drawn conclusions from these species about my phenology site. A conclusion I’ve made about the land use history is explained below. I think that the land was likely used for farming– likely dairy farming, but only the flat areas of land as it’s hard to raise cattle and grow crops on slopey and hilly land.



There is a layer of thick clouds above me, and I feel a sense of cloudiness in my chest as this place is nothing like the nature I know and love. There is a downhill slope of mud and sludge, likely from the recent snowfall. There is a big pile at the low point of this space that consists of foul-scented plastic. Above me there is an overstory of Sugar maples and White Oaks. Behind me is a line of houses, I wonder, how could anyone live here? I tread up the hill from the sludgy area below me, from underneath the sugar maples. I smell gasoline, and there are people in these giant metal capsules attaching tubes to them. I wonder, what has happened to nature? What happened to the beauty that once was? I see a potted plant with a plant that looks like cabbage. There is a small clearing near the entrance of the location, with a sign titling it “Exxon,” with some more of these cabbage-looking plants. There is also a sign indicating the presence of the nearby Hudson River watershed, in the midst of so much pollution. How do current humans justify their interactions with nature that cause so much pollution to such a vital source of life? I wonder, what is the purpose of this space and this cluster of plants? Why are people so concentrated on this slab of concrete in these metal capsules? The space is obviously altered by humans, for humans. This is what we have come to. We have deteriorated our earth to a point that is almost un-recognizeable. This is nothing like the nature I know.



The wind is blowing hard. This is not like the space in Centennial woods, with a soft stream flowing, Instead, the only water source is a puddle of sludge at the bottom of this small hill lined with White Oak and Sugar Maples. This space is hilly, like Centennial woods, until you get up to the top and see the flat slab of concrete and the small potted plants lining the space. At Centennial Woods, there is no concrete. It is simply a steep slope with ferns, sugar maples, pine trees, that ends at a rocky creek. he leaves here have shriveled on their stems, whereas at Centennial Woods they fall gracefully to the fertile ground. The trees frost over in the dead of winter and the creatures in the woods hide away in their homes, the fish lay underneath the ice. Here, there is no wildlife save some squirrels. The stench of gasoline is enough to drive any wildlife away, and I am surprised at the number of humans who frequent this concrete slab of a place. The potted plants are almost a disguise to mask the ways that this space has transformed over time from natural to completely industrialized.

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