Field Notes from a Hemlock

Before I started this assignment I felt like I needed to be in the right frame of mind. I needed to clear my head other everything that was bothering me about the past week or the week to come. I new that for this assignment I needed to be very focused so that I would be able to write rich descriptions of what I was witnessing. So here is my first set of field notes on the marvelous Eastern Hemlock.

Squirrels running everywhere! The scatter from place to place like they have no destination at all. They chase each other like a game but run so quickly it is like they are doing it out of fear. One of them stops to smell the ground. This one squirrel occasionally looks up and then goes back to looking at the ground smelling. HE FOUND A NUT! The others are still running, now moving up trees making quiet scratching noises with their tiny nails. They jump from branch to branch knocking down some of the leaves.

The leaves fall down smoothing and some of them get pulls back up from the wind. As the hit the ground there seems to be no noise. A larger gust of wind comes and makes all the leaves on the ground move about creating a rustling sound.


Suddenly students appear. They seem to be in deep conversation. 3 of them are wearing dresses while the one boy is wearing jeans and a yellow shirt. They seem to be having a relatively heated discussion about something, but I cannot hear everything they are saying. Other students come riding by on the bikes zooming in and out of the crowds. More and more students approach and what silence that once filled the area is now filled the college chatter about the up coming party tonight or a poor grade they received on a midterm. They leaves that feel and were once quiet now are being crunched by all of the humans walking by.

The temperature gets warmer as the sun continues to shine in my general location. With the rays beating down on me, I noticed that I was not the only one who was feeling a bit warm. Students are stopping in their tracks to take off their coats and sweaters. Some students who wearing sweaters are rolling up with sleeves and turning red as their bodies heat from the sun.

Everybody seems to be in a rush, even the squirrels are. They run around and now have more obstacles with more people outside. They scurry from one place to another dodging people left and right trying to stay out of their way, but also keeping a good distance away from the squirrel hunting him.


The crowd began to simmer down and shrink in the minutes that passed. The cars did not. There seemed to be even more cars appear every minute honking. Trucks come barreling in not caring. A car makes a right hand turn on red and almost gets hit by a large Giant food truck.

My half hour is about up and I notice that now I am not the only person in the quad. There are about 12 others, 4 girls and 8 boys who have joined me. Some are sitting in the red chairs dispersed through the grass while others are sitting on the grass and 1 person is leaning by the flagpole. All seem to be doing reading of some sort.

During these minutes time moved slowly, but as the chaos began with the more and more people, time speed up to agree with the rate at which people were moving.

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