The Passing of Summer: Goodbyes and New Beginnings


(Photo above) Education Department: Summer 2012

As the summer season quickly comes to a close, everybody in the park can feel the shifting of gears. The summer staffers are ending their stints and the butterflies have begun their yearly migration to warmer pastures.

Painted Lady Butterfly, Keith Michael, Park Patron

Even the trees have begun their subtle changes; the air doesn’t smell quite as sultry as it did a few weeks ago. I never thought I would notice the passing of the seasons so much living in New York City. As it turns out, I notice them all the more. The buds greening in the spring, the fragrant flowers in the summer, and finally the sharp scent of fall as the trees slowly shut down and prepare for their winter slumber. Working in a park means that I am still surrounded by living things, and the scents of the season come with them.

Along with the trees showing the signs of change, the cicadas have quieted and our birds have not been singing their morning songs quite as heartily. Having no territories or young to protect, they have begun to prepare for their departure until next spring. Our summer SCA members have started their migration as well! This past weekend was their last as Hudson River Park environmental educators and now they are off to school or other positions. One of them just got another SCA position in Alaska! She is quite excited to go (not because she wants to leave here, of course).

Canada goose family getting ready to fly south (Keith Michael, Park Patron)

When September rolls in, the waterfowl will begin their journey through the Atlantic flyway and hopefully offer park patrons a peek into the diversity of the North American duck population, and the ocean itself will be witness to the seasonal migration of the whales and fish that inhabit its waters.

It’s hard to believe that I will be leaving in just three short months; however, I do have a new job to look forward to. I will be taking care of zebra fish in a research lab in Boston. I am glad to say that my job here has prepared me for this new full-time position. When I leave Hudson River Park I will bring the little piece of me that I have created during my stay here, and maybe leave a small piece of myself at the same time.

And with that ending, I leave you with this video of one of our own, Neal, quoting Walt Whitman. Best wishes in your future ventures, fellow environmentalists.