MAY 2000

Monday -- May 1, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.11     Water Temperature: 60

Next to the bulletin board upstairs there is a wooden contraption that looks as though it might be a magazine rack. Members should note that this is now the official place for the red binder that holds emergency numbers, substitute caretaker instructions, a membership roster, locker assignments, Club rules and by-laws, and various other official Club information. In the same place is the Island's log book, in which Sunday caretakers are encouraged to write comments about their day, or make any official log entry regarding incidents on their shift of duty that the Club should know about.

Tuesday -- May 2, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.04     Water Temperature: 63

On Saturday, David and Jane Winer used the upstairs Island log book to record their bird sightings on the Island, and what an interesting tradition this might be to begin, as there are very many birders in the Club Membership, and the Caretaker is always getting questions about what has been seen as birders come onto the Island and then receiving reports as they leave... when in fact the Caretaker is generally clueless and deficient in this area. There are cabins along the Potomac Appalachian trail that are famous not just because of the natural beauty in which they are situated but for the cabin log books, in which trekkers and visitors record all sorts of interesting stories and humorous observations. After downing back packs and settling in the next thing is always to find the cabin log book to see what interesting things are going on... and of course in an official sense it is a place to record problems and things broken. At Sycamore island there is always on-duty staff to report things to, but birders and fisher persons have their own mysterious societies, and thus the upstairs log book could be a place to pass messages of interest to each other. So any if of you Members become afflicted with whimsy while visiting the Island... know there is a way you can record and share.

After all of this it would be nice to lure Members down with the promise of an interesting log book to peruse, but when looking to read the Winer's report yesterday, it was discovered that on Sunday a child had drawn pictures and torn many pages out of the existing log book, and thus a new and un-entertainingly blank log book will have to be purchased.

Thursday -- May 4, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.83     Water Temperature: 63

The fleabane is blooming in scattered areas around the yard, and at the foot of the Island there are three large, fragrant, pink phlox that stand out among all the other plants that have managed to establish themselves in that low area. Unfortunately, the kudzu is up in force, and some of the nettle is so far along it is starting to set seed. The lower areas along the side of the Island seem to be much more verdant this year. The first year we were here following the floods of '96 these areas were barren, and one could walk the fringes of the Island and see very little vegetation. This year those areas will not be impassable, but certainly difficult.

Yesterday's hot temperatures saw a steady stream of teenagers all day long at the rope swing area. Considering that the water temperature was a frigid 63 degrees and that this is only the beginning of May, it would appear that the Club is in for another year of large crowds swimming across from the Island and all the attendant problems such as we had last year.

Friday -- May 5, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.77     Water Temperature: 67

It was already 70 degrees down here in the river bottom by 0900 hrs, despite being surrounded by cool water. The humidity is heavy and the tree pollen has laid a scum upon the river. Spring is hiding. The trout lilies have disappeared entirely, and the bluebells are starting to lay down, and one wonders how plants that can so dominate the landscape one season can then remain hidden and unseen for three quarters of the year. And yet I returned from the morning walk to look up the word "fecund": producing offspring and/or vegetation in prolific abundance. The garlic mustard is up four or five feet and about to throw its seeds. The meadow rue is up four feet and beginning to bloom. Everywhere plants, bushes, and small trees that have had three summers to recover from the '96 floods that wiped the Island clean are starting to cover even the lower reaches of the island with a dense underbrush. Oh yes... that word "fecund"... the mosquitoes know that word: no one will be wanting to stay on the Island this week once dusk begins!

Saturday -- May 6, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.68     Water Temperature: 69

Yesterday the Elfstroms came down to swim and, unless someone snuck out on some recent Sunday we were off, this is the first recorded swim from the swimming dock this year. And so late!! Last year it was mid-April.

The sycamore blight or whatever is afflicting the sycamore trees is particularly virulent this year. The new leaves are shrivelling and falling at an alarming rate. Gerry Barton had researched this a year or two ago and correctly predicted it would not adversely affect the tree's leave canopy in the long run... but it looks pretty grim out there now.

Members with canoes in the shed should be careful when taking their canoe down the first time this year that they are not displacing some avian family. There is much more bird activity in the canoe shed this year... Barney and new kitty Miss T do not take the same interest in the shed that Madelyn did... with nests in the eaves and certainly in the inverted canoes. If you would check before yanking the canoe out for the first time, we will try to move any nest before it is destroyed.

Sunday-- May 7 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Last night we were awakened by a large group of people on the towpath heading for the up-river rope swing. "Awakened" is an indication of how loud they were, and from the sounds it seemed to be drunken teenagers. Last year we were asked by Park Police to especially report instances of egregious alcohol use. Park Police dispatch was called, but we did not observe a response.

Log entry by substitute caretaker Mark Brenneman:
Temp 90 degree! Water - near 70 degrees. River - 3.6 feet. Put swim float out today, assisted by Doc and David Brenneman. In addition to the anchor, we attached a rope from the float from the float to a tree. This leaves the rope floating downstream, so we will have to remove it or weight it, probably the former.

Monday -- May 1, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.5     Water Temperature: 75

Many of you will now know that yesterday's 90 degree heat broke a record... as did places as far apart as Lubbock, TX (99) and Concord, NH (92). Notice that the water temperature has risen 15 degrees in a week. Those of you waiting for the right swimming conditions should tarry no longer. "Lush" is already starting to give way to "hot and dry," and it seems so unfair.

Today we were visited by technicians from Approved Fire Protection, Inc. (703-528-1103). This is the company that inspects and services our fire extinguishers, last done in 1997. We are due for a visit from the Fire Marshall, something that should happen every other year.

In the afternoon teenagers swam over to the Island from the rope swing area of the towpath. It was explained that their presence on the Island posed a liability threat to the Club and they were asked to leave.

Tuesday -- May 9, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.51     Water Temperature: 76

This morning spoke to Lt. Stefansson of the Park Police about the discussions of last year to put a "no swimming" sign at the area of the tree of the rope swing. She responded that the request had already long since been forwarded through "proper channels" and suggested that a note or letter from the Club might help expedite it. We discussed the early hot season and the fact that last Sunday over a hundred teenagers had used the rope swing illegally. Again this afternoon two teenage boys swam from the rope swing area of the towpath to the swimming area of the Island. They approached the safety canoe and seemed to be contemplating taking it, but when they saw me coming they ran off guiltily.

There is a dead beaver near the rope swing area near the towpath... a very large beaver but not large enough to be Ruppert himself. The cause of death is a mystery, as there are no wounds or other signs of violence.

Wednesday -- May 10, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.52     Water Temperature: 78

Do not forget that tonight is not only monthly meeting night, but that a presentation will be made by Larry Leasener, Chief of Special Projects, Fisheries Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He will provide a slide show and speak regarding the fish ladder downstream of the Island and the fish restoration of shad, herring, sturgeon, and other species in the Potomac River as part of a larger restoration effort for the Chesapeake Bay. The grill will be ready at 7 PM to receive whatever you may wish to bring and cook for an early dinner with other Members on the Island.

Again attention is directed to the sharp rise in river water temperatrures, which has gone up 23 degrees in only eleven days.

Thursday -- May 11, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.52     Water Temperature: 75

Both charcoal grills were ready to cook shortly after 7 PM despite the dramatic squall line that swept through an hour before. The weather cleared beautifully and as many hardy and interesting folks showed up with things to cook, the evening before the meeting became one of good food... good frolic... and good fellowship. Henceforth the grills will be ready before all warm monthly meetings in the hope of re-creating the spirit of last night. My thanks and appreciation to those of you who did not come to the meeting last night... the Caretaker's Wife provided brownies and the Judson/Esch family provided smores (yes, that's right, smores!! )... so your not attending meant more for "staff."

Maria Stenzel had arranged for Larry Leasener of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to give a presentation about the fish ladder following the meeting, and brought down a slide projector for the event. Many of the Club's dedicated fisherpersons were here to have dinner with him, as well as numerous guests, who remained at the picnic tables while a short meeting was conducted upstairs before the presentation. Approximately 25 people attended.

Friday -- May 12, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.77     Water Temperature: 67

Yesterday Jim Drew was sitting in a canoe fiddling with some of his fishing gear... his rod propped up vertically and his lure dangling about a foot out of the water... when a large small mouth bass jumped out of the water and took the lure. Took the lure and might have carried off with the rod had not some quick reactions grabbed hold. So to those of you who wonder if they are biting down here... one might say they are downright desperate to get caught.

Gerry Barton has volunteered an explanation of what is happening to our sycamores:

"The most serious disease of sycamore trees is anthracnose. Anthracnose often is confused with frost damage. The first symptoms appear on young leaves as they unfold. Older leaves turn brown, and dead areas occur along the leaf veins. Brown areas eventually enlarge to include the whole leaf. The ends of twigs may be killed back 8 to 10 inches. Cankers may develop on the tree trunk and main branches. Sycamore anthracnose fungus attacks sycamore trees early in the spring, causing a rapid wilt of newly emerging leaves. This rapid wilting is frequently misidentified as frost damage. Larger, more mature leaves develop a brown growth along the main veins. Infected leaves often curl and eventually fall, littering the ground. The fungus involved is Apiognomonia errabunda & veneta (synonym = Gnomonia errabunda & veneta); anamorph = Discula umbrinella & platani.

"Weather determines the severity of anthracnose. Frequent rains and cool temperatures promote the disease. If the average temperature during the two-week period following emergence of the first leaves is below 55 degrees F, the shoot-blight phase of the disease will be serious. Disease intensity decreases as the average temperature increases from 55 to 60 degrees. Little or no anthracnose will occur if average temperatures during this susceptible stage are above 60 degrees."

Let's hope the recent turn to warm weather will cause the sycamores to recover and leaf out fully as they did last year!

This morning the Caretaker's Wife went up the trail and was attacked by two unleashed dogs, who did not actually bite her but ran up, bared teeth, and snarled as though they would. The owner did not call them off... would not even speak to her as he passed but only glared rudely at her. This was witnessed.

At 1645 hrs Member Tove Elfstrom reported that a dozen or so teenagers had swum over from the area of the rope swing near the towpath and were playing "King of the Float" on the Sycamore Island swimming float in a way that seemed rough and dangerous because of the way they were pushing and kicking each other off, and asked the Caretaker to speak to them. The teenagers were informed politely that the Club liability insurance did not cover their dangerous play and were asked to leave the float. As their response was generally nasty, the Caretaker then suggested playfully that the only alternative was another game called "see if you can swim back to the rope swing before the Park Police get there." They then left, in generally good humor, although it should be reported that one of the Members present thought the Caretaker was entirely too polite. It should also here be reported that between 1530 hrs and 1630 hrs staff had counted approximately 68 teenagers headed toward the rope swing. As the rope swing was in almost continuous use between early morning and late evening, the daily count was well over a hundred.

Today one of the steps at the towpath landing was replaced. Counting down into the water this was step number 8. Step number 7 has recently been replaced, and steps 6 and 9 still have to be replaced, although the latter must wait until the river level drops below it.

Saturday -- May 13, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.42     Water Temperature: 75

Yesterday afternoon Members near the swimming area were treated to the sight of a black snake crawling up the large tree there and entering a small hole about 15 feet up. A starling attacked the snake as best it could, but the snake ignored it and the starling gave up after a while. Moments later a second and even larger black snake (8 feet long... surely our own "Blackie") also crawled up the tree and into the hole. Perhaps, some commented, we were witnessing the prelude to a romantic Friday evening dinner of egg a la starling. And indeed it must have been a romantic dinner, because about a hour later both snakes emerged and began mating... there was no question their behaviour could have been anything else! They engaged in a continuous intertwining dance... often while hanging down along the trunk of the tree... usually while only Blackie kept his tail tightly curled around a branch... much like an inverted caduceus... and in fact it is now clear this medical symbol could represent nothing else than the mating of "the serpent." After a while it seemed as though their bodies were glistening with a moistness, and it was easy to suppose that one purpose of the constant writhing was to make sure this moisture was rubbed over every bodily surface so that some of it would get to the one place it was supposed to go. Often their bodies looked like a braided rope, but the movement was constant... their heads often only inches apart... and it was easy to imagine an affection from the gentle way they moved with and against each other. They kept at it for almost two hours and were still going at dark. It was a grand show, and many families and children were thrilled and educated. This morning Blackie's body could be seen in the hole of the tree and also the head of the female just looking out.

You will notice that pathways have been mowed between most main places on the Island but that the most part of the lawn has not. We are waiting for certain of the wildflowers in the yard to set seeds for next year... notice I did not say lawn because until this happens we have no lawn but a wildflower garden. Seeds or not, the Island will be cut next week to prepare for the 45th Annual Potomac Downriver Race next Sunday.

You will also notice that the Club has acquired two new chimney starters for the charcoal grills. These are metal cylinders designed so that you put two pieces of crumpled newspaper in the bottom, set it on the grill, pour in the charcoal, light the newspaper, and the coals are ready in 15 minutes. There are Members who do not like to use lighter fluid or charcoal saturated with chemicals to start the fire and then pollute their food, but who would like to use untreated charcoal.

At 1645 hrs it was again necessary to ask a large group of teenagers who had swum over from the area of the illegal rope swing to leave the Club's swimming float because of the liability exposure. Surprisingly, this group was understanding and polite and there were no curses or threats. A returning canoeist remarked that there were "hundreds" of teenagers at the illegal rope swing, but when I went to the head of the Island at 1650 hrs to do a count I could see only 43.

Around 1700 hrs Tove Elfstrom reported that someone had cut the line to the swimming dock and that it was floating askew. The steel cable did indeed appear to have been freshly cut, although how, why, and by whom remains quite a mystery. Especially how. An emergency line was attached by Captain Mattthews and the Caretaker even as a squall line with lightning swept through.

Sunday-- May 14 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
From substitute caretaker Karen Possner:
Mother's day. Arrived a bit before 9 AM to give myself time to figure out ferry lock and "dog lead type dohickey"... no problem with either, thanks to e-mail instructions from John Krasny and further reinforcement from Doc via phone. Sunny with a pleasant breeze, which picked up a bit during the first ferry run resulting in an almost horizontal approach at towpath side... not a pretty sight. Hoping for further practice opportunities during watch. Lots of bird activity, distant traffic and airplane noise... otherwise quiet. Husband expected noonish. Very few visitors - all in all, a peaceful, restful way to spend a Sunday. Would be happy to do it again.

Addendum from substitute caretaker husband Stan Wiggins:
Treat geese with respect. Their tolerance for imperfectly baked treats is, in my experience, fragile.

During the afternoon shift of Roger Herst, several teenagers who were swimming illegally at the rope swing swam over to the Island. On one occasion they commandered the ferry a made for the Maryland shore before Roger hailed them and asked them to return to the Island so that people on the Island would not be stranded. Another group on the Island was encountered by the off-duty Caretaker and they also seemed to be contemplating sneaking onto and taking the ferry to get back to the towpath. When interviewed, they said they were from Georgetown University, where everybody was talking about this neat rope swing that was "the" place to go and party. They seemed very interested in finding out if anyone stayed on the Island at night, and if so how many.

Monday -- May 15, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.19     Water Temperature: 73

We received a call about 0030 hrs this morning that woke us up. It was a teenage voice asking for "Doc" but when the Caretaker's Wife asked the caller to identify themselves, they identified themself as Roger Herst, who was the second shift Sunday substitute caretaker. The teenage voice was obviously not Roger, and when pressed for more info the caller hung up. At 0730 hrs we were called by Membership Supervisor Peter Winkler, who informed us that he and Barbara had been awakened after midnight by a caller insisting to know the telephone number of "Doc and the Island." Barbara told them they would have to call back in the morning. Peter gave me the number of the caller taken from caller ID: (202) 687-0100. When this number was called it turned out to be main switchboard number at the Georgetown University. Best guess is that the callers were the Georgetown University students who trespassed Sunday afternoon trying to find out if in fact there were people staying on the Island at night to provide security. Roger Herst has confirmed he made no calls.

Saturday the Caretaker's Wife walked out of the quarters and almost stepped on a large ribbon snake. There was definitely an adrenaline spike. As if to make matters worse, the snake then crawled under the front step and looked out as though to dare her to try to get back in. The Caretaker was called and the snake ducked under the house. What followed was a conversation about whether or not all of the holes in the floor of the Caretaker's quarters resulting from the '96 floods had been found and patched, and how it was just yesterday that two enormous black snakes put on such a show, especially a show about how well they could climb up things, and of course the Caretaker said yes and was as soothing and reassuring as he could be (although who knows what is going on under the kitchen counters and he wishes he could be more certain). So let there be no doubt about the enthusiasm the Caretaker and his Wife have for plans for an addition to the quarters to get the living space off of the ground and out of the flood zone... but it has less to do with the next flood and more to do with the next snake.

Tuesday -- May 16, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.24     Water Temperature: 71

The jungle has been beat back... the wildflower garden is gone... we have a lawn again. It is freshly cut so the Island will look its best this weekend for the 42nd Annual Potomac Downriver Race.

The swimming float has been moved downstream so that it can not be seen from the rope swing. Hopefully this will lessen the number of instances of teenagers swimming over, and thus the number of instances of vandalism, such as on 13 May. This log entry and the associated entry of 13 May have been added to the on-line log only after a week has passed because it is apparent from the harassing phone calls we have been receiving from teenagers at night that they are monitoring the Caretaker's Log.

Wednesday -- May 17, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.26     Water Temperature: 71

As one walks toward the bottom of the Island one can smell the honeysuckle just as you begin the path beyond the canoe shed. There are several smells about, depending upon where one walks. The large phlox is wonderfully fragrant, and the holly near the tool shed is in flower. The shrub roses are covered with small whitish flowers, but one must get close... the scent is so delicate. The daylilies are sending up their fist flower stalks, no flowers yet, but it seems so early.

Thursday -- May 18, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.20     Water Temperature: 73

The song birds seem particularly loud today, but surely this is a day to sing for. We have noticed that the great flocks of cormorants have moved on... about two weeks ago it now seems... and there is left only a flock of around thirty. I remember once earlier this year during high water a bunch jumped on a small drifting log... reminded me of some poem about cockle shells... and the cormorants came sailing by very close to where we were sitting at the head of the Island on their log boat like a vision from Alice in Wonderland. It was as close to a cormorant out of the water as we have ever been, and while they are beautiful birds there is something about the aspect of cormorants that makes it seem as though they are leering... almost buzzard like... especially from a distance when gangs of them hang out in the trees at the foot of Ruppert's Island in that section designated by the Caretaker's Wife as the Hotel Cormorant.

Friday -- May 19, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.15     Water Temperature: 74

Already we have daylily buds on the Island... sure seems things are happening early this year. This morning we saw 6 new goslings... could not have been more than a day or two old... and just goes to show how stretched out the gosling season can be. Of the six families originally reported, we have only seen one of two goslings on the Island during the last two weeks. We think the others are hanging out on the towpath but do not know for sure. In fact, there have not been the usual gang of geese for two weeks, which is very unusual, and we are perplexed as to the reason. Perhaps the river grasses and other biota they would feed upon are more fully recovered from the '96 floods.

Saturday -- May 20, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.17     Water Temperature:

There have been deer tracks on the Island for the last several days. Day before yesterday while I was mowing the up Island paths and had stopped the mower and moved ahead to clear fallen tree debris, I startled a large deer that leaped out of the foliage only a few feet away. Let me tell you... scared the dickens out of me... that large body moving so suddenly so near. Just another lesson about how we are surrounded by a world we do not see and are not aware of because we are of our world but not in it like the rest of Nature's children... essentially sharing the same planet but living in different worlds. How often we stride noisily through Nature absorbed only in our thoughts or with our voices, oblivious to the larger world around us... paying attention only to ourselves instead of the beauty of God's world around us. How often does Nature sing to us through Her songbirds... we, Her most favored children... and how seldom we listen.

Sunday-- May 21 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Today was the 45th Annual Potomac Downriver Race. Although only 57 people were signed in on the ferry log, it seemed a well attended and happy event. Star Mitchell did a good job of co-ordinating the activities of CCA and SIC to make the event a success. Tryon Wells had Jeff Komorow and John Matthews down to keep an eye on the masses and act as Club Fathers. John Stapko and Star wore Sycamore Island T-shirts, and there was some conversation about the Club attempting to get more T-shirts made as well as decals and patches.

Monday -- May 22, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.+     Water Temperature:

Down here it was a black day... filled with dark humors and un-Christian vocabulary... but if you had seen it on your TV it would have been giggles from beginning to end. It started when the smoke alarms went off in the early morning. Please note the plural... because at the prompting of the fire Marshall's recommendation two years ago and by the wisdom of the Club Fathers a new, loud, hardwired, redundant, loud, efficient, loud system of 6 smoke detectors was installed professionally. Did I mention loud... as in designed to raise the Caretaker and his Wife from perdition if necessary? And not just one... because they are designed so that when one goes off... they all go off... I can assure you there is nowhere to hide.

Well, you all know the drill from you own homes... race around with nose to air... did I mention how loud... and when a wild eyed investigation shows no smoke... cut the power. So up to the circuit breaker box to flip the switch in the hope that only the one unit triggered would continue to sound... loudly. No luck! Such clever design. Even on batteries they all sound... loudly... when one sounds. Now we are dragging ladders around (did you ever appreciate how high some of our ceilings are... I assure you we did not... and do not now) trying to identify the failed unit hoping this is not the routine one must follow every time one of the suckers has a low battery, and the first failure we come up against was human failure. By human failure I mean the failure to have paid proper attention when the little beasties were installed. Did I mention professionally installed and hardwired? And loud? So you can imagine the scene where we are trying to figure how to detach one of the suckers from the wall or at least get the cover off to get at the battery... this is the same scene you have seen in the sci-fi movies where the sirens and klaxons are mind deafening and the starship is going to self destruct in thirty seconds unless you can find the right wire. Believe me it was lucky the first unit was not damaged when I tore it out of the wall and disconnected it... but I didn't care. At least then we could figure out how to do it... although not how to get to the battery. By the second unit I was surely legally insane and wishing for a loaded shotgun to quieten the other four. Did I mention the high ceilings? When unit number three came out the others stopped... but not number three. No amount of brute force could crack the cover to get at the battery... and we would have thrown it in the river if it had been closer... but instead we ran to the warm room and stuffed it under the cushion and ran downstairs... where it could still be heard but barely. Much later, when nerves and hearing had recovered somewhat, the Caretaker's Wife was brave enough to go back upstairs and when she pulled number three from under the cushion it fell on the floor and the battery fell out (She swears this is really what happened.) And what caused the crisis? When unit three came out of the ceiling so did a lot of water from last night's rain... so what you see as a silly story is really a report that the upstairs kitchen roof leaks.

Tuesday -- May 23, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.38     Water Temperature: 67

There is that little islet between Sycamore and Ruppert's Island that has a dead tree leaning at an angle over the river. previously, this tree was a favorite "haunt" of the cormorants, but now that the hundreds of them have migrated onwards after the fish runs and left us with just one flock of thirty, they are no longer imposing in their numbers and the tree is now a preferred perch for a young osprey. When you come down to the Captain's float, check out this tree to see if a show is in the offing... for there are few shows as good as watching an osprey pluck a fish.

The Gelbs will have a party of 20 cub scouts here between 1400 hrs and dusk.

This morning at 0115 hrs we were awakened by a large crowd of loud and drunken teenage voices heading towards the rope swing. In warm weather it is usual to have up to four such parties a week, but this one was unusual because this was the time it was beginning, it was a Monday night (college students?), and the temperature was in the low '60s.

Wednesday -- May 24, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.49     Water Temperature: 66

It was a somewhat dis-spirited George Malusky and friend Kent that returned from fishing yesterday. Seems the water was too cold (68), the barometric pressure changing, the water murky, an occasional drizzle falling... terrible conditions that make fish sluggish and anorexic. Just about the only bite was a large small mouth that took his fly as it was training in the water while he was fiddling with his gear. Sounds suspiciously like the Jim Drew story of 12 May? Anyway... all should note that one result of these rains is that the river level is forecast to rise and the water temperature is still falling.

Joe Cecil will have a party of 15 cub scouts here starting at 1630 hrs.

Thursday -- May 25, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.61     Water Temperature: 70

Last night we saw the first lightning bug... are things early this year or not?? Last night's passing squall line blew the metal chair off the swimming dock, so we are looking for swimmers today... although even by mid-day the temp is barely above 60 and dark and damp... despite forecast assurances it will be sunny and 85 degrees later.

Friday -- May 26, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.00     Water Temperature: 70

The up-Island trails are now ready for the season. Devotees may wish to hunt for the one new trail this year, but this will be the last one, cleared mainly to allow the Caretaker to keep to high ground while monitoring floods waters up to 7 feet at the upper end. The down-Island trails are still natural, and anyone seeing them both this holiday weekend will notice the difference.

Wednesday -- May 31, 2000 -- The Club is OPEN
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.11     Water Temperature: 65

Your Caretaker has returned from a camping vacation and is extremely glad to be back... and not just because the camping in question turned out to be in a tent in a gale on the outer banks. The caretaker's Wife has been managing things very competently. This break in the log could not be announced before hand because of the teenagers who like to swim over at night and are known to sometimes read the log.

Big goings on at the Island today... a large Shepherd party of small children and a large luncheon of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. But do not let that deter you, this day is too beautiful down here to miss.