The unbelievable has happened – the end of August has arrived. Here at the University of Michigan Biological Station, things have quieted down. The summer students have returned to their homes or headed back to the Ann Arbor campus, the faculty have returned to their various positions around the state and the country, and one by one, the cabins are being cleaned out and closed down, ready to harbor the winter winds once more.
The repetition of the season is uncanny, and we find ourselves back at the beginning. Today we began tearing down the very system that ruled our lives this summer: The CO2 array. We are cleaning the pole barn and packing up all of the equipment we have used for the last four months. Along with this, the weather is returning to the early May temperatures and now the days of swimming in the lake are finished and the cold wind is blowing over us.
With all this change, I am thinking back to the beginning, when on May 1st we pulled up to the station, having no clue what laid ahead. All of the trials and tribulations, failures and wins, and the thousands of butterflies have made this summer one to remember. I am so thankful for the things I have learned, the people I have met, and my growth as a scientist. I cannot wait for the year ahead and to be able to apply what I have learned this summer to my future in ecology.