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My Spot and Experiencing the Cold and Sandy's Aftermath

r.graham.barrett's picture

Besides briefly seeing it from a distance, I had not seen or visited my spot since before Hurricane Sandy hit the area. Luckily for me the bench had survived the storm although it was still soaked from the weather we had the last week as well as looking much more weathered. Besides this, there was also plenty of other signs of Sandy even a few days afterwards. Although the trees around the bench had been spared for the most part (save one that was slightly uprooted and leaning slightly on its neighbor) there was one tree that had been blown down that I had noticed on my route to the bench. Likewise looking around the ground was strewn with, sticks, and fallen braches so Sandy certainly had done some damage to the general area of this section of the arboretum. Besides blowing down the branches, Sandy also helped the transition towards winter by blowing off a good portion of the tree leaves, so the rainbow of colors I had noticed on the tree line earlier was now replaced with patches of bare leaves. Although this did allow me a better view of the nature trail I also could see Haverford road more clearly, so the scenery unfortunately was not solely a beautiful natural setting. For the most part the area was pretty empty, both of individuals using the nature trail and of the usual signs of nature, so at times I felt like I was my current observation period was rather dreary. It was cold, windy, and cloudy so that didn’t really help. The insect life had all vanished for the season and save for the occasion hawk circling above me searching for prey, there wasn’t much bird life around either. Although this emptiness was for the most part natural and expected of the season, man also had a presence in making the spot seem dreary, as the grass section of the field had been mowed and several wooden stakes with numbers written on them were placed in rows in the field (I have a bad feeling about what this could mean). But although all the conditions made my observation spot seem a bit dreary and desolate, I would not go as far as to say the view was ugly. Rather there was a certain charm and beauty to the emptiness and changes to the landscape (not counting the stakes) and it really felt that autumn was finally in full swing. Sandy’s destruction of parts of this area  it seemed had failed to take away the appeal I found of this area and the cold weather, as uncomfortable as it made me feel, probably made me more aware of seasonal transitions I was bound to see a lot more now they’re zeroing in on winter . The happy and unleashed puppy I had seen running around earlier on in the hour also helped make the hour an observation period of not