Week 10: Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest

July 22nd, 2014

Nolan Schillerstrom ’15, Rogers Fellow in Environmental Studies

This is most of the gang from Audubon during the "see you later lunch."

This is most of the gang from Audubon during the “see you later lunch.”

Norman Brunswig: The executive director and founder of Audubon at Francis Beidler Forest.

Norman Brunswig: The executive director and founder of Audubon at Francis Beidler Forest.

I never thought this week would actually get here.  I have settled in quite comfortably here in South Carolina.  Although, I do miss my family and friends from home a lot.  It will be a slow week that in the end will seem like it flew by.  The office has been slow for most of the week.  Mackenzie, the office manager, took Monday off to take care of her sick kid and the visitor center was so much quieter than normal!  She is usually singing and talking to herself at her desk, and we are usually cracking jokes back and forth.  Matt is gone this week on vacation so I technically don’t have a supervisor…  muahaha.  In reality, it is sad that Matt is gone on my last week because he was a fantastic supervisor and became a good friend along the way.  Mike took some vacation days at the beginning of the week also, so it was just me, Mark, and Barbara while I was in the office.

I finished making all 20 nest boxes and installed 6.  I can’t install anymore because of the low water and fallen branches, presumably from the ice storm.  It will be interesting to see how things end up with the nest boxes.  I really cannot wait to see if they are used by the birds next summer.  Hopefully I or someone else can set up a study on their breeding behaviors using the boxes I built and installed.

Getting ready to canoe out on the canoe trail and install some nesboxes.

Getting ready to canoe out on the canoe trail and install some nestboxes.

I'm glad I got to see my alligator buddy one last time as I was racking my canoe.  It's like he is bidding me farewell.

I’m glad I got to see my alligator buddy one last time as I was racking my canoe. It’s like he is bidding me farewell.

I took my last walk on the boardwalk this week.  It was a week of goodbyes, although, like I told everyone at Beidler, I never enjoy saying “goodbye,” so I only say “see you later.”  I am sure that I will be back again to this beautiful swamp to see all the people and birds there.  Everyone there played such important parts to make my experience an enjoyable and fruitful one.  Matt, Mike, Mark, Norm, Barbara, Mackenzie, Erin, Ricky, and David, thank you all for giving me a summer that plunged me into the world of field ornithology.  I feel strongly that I have gained a lot of momentum this summer.  I am confident that I will become a great birder and ornithologist and will always remember my first steps on Francis Beidler Forest’s boardwalk.

They threw me a little goodbye lunch and everyone took a break from their work to eat a catered meal and say “see you later.”  At this lunch I finally got to meet the kind woman whose house I was able to stay in this summer, Noel Ingram.  It was nice to get closure to this internship with everyone and share a good meal.

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