by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director

It’s hard to believe that autumn is here already. We spend so much time getting ready for summer and all we hope to accomplish in our research, conservation and education programs, and in seeing all of you. Before you know it, the season has already flown by.

As always, the first indicators are out in the marsh. My natural rhythms calendar always lets me know the seasons are changing even though it’s still sunny and in the mid-80’s. The first clue is the arrival of the shorebirds in the pannes. Many start their southbound migrations by mid-July and are again frantically feeding as they were last time we saw them in mid-May when they were headed north.

The osprey chicks have fledged and many are on their own now that their parents have already headed back to South America and the Caribbean. The marsh itself has also begun to change. The vibrant greens are spectacular and now have the added purples and reds of sea lavender and pickle weed. It seems too soon to me – kind of like the way I hate to see the stores flipping over their inventory to sweaters when it’s still summer.

We had a great summer. The Summer Celebration moved to the Icona and the new venue and auctioneer were great and the community support was amazing. The undergraduate interns did a wonderful job and presented their work at our annual intern symposium. Each year, I am so proud of their accomplishments. Their work continues to build our great tradition of student mentoring while also contributing to our research and education programs. This summer, our volunteers were truly remarkable and helped make sure we could continue to deliver high quality programs, manage visitor questions, provide extra support to staff in Summer Nature Programs, and help with our conservation programs. We couldn’t do it all without all of our volunteers.

Finally, I am so pleased to have been able to speak with so many of you this season. Whether you stopped in and asked to see me, sent me a note or email, saw me out on the trail and shared a story or asked a question, it’s wonderful to have time to get to know you. It’s always my pleasure to meet you, speak with you, and hear your ideas and questions. I especially enjoy getting an opportunity to personally thank you all for your support. We have made no small plans – and your support has enabled us to implement them. It makes all the difference. This is your Wetlands Institute. Thank you for making it all possible.