MARCH 2004

Monday -- March 1, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.6     Water Temperature: 44

Today, without even trying, I've seen or heard 21 different species of birds, including an eagle!

I fixed the light at the ferry landing, somehow the fixture got snapped in two.

Tuesday -- March 2, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.7     Water Temperature: 45

I'm looking for some strong members to help me get the canoe float back in the you know any? I'm slowly clearing a path from the canoe shed to the canoe float. I was able to remove some of the bigger pieces of debris but that darn chain saw was giving me trouble. The nice weather recently has added a sense of urgency to getting thinks fixed up around here. We can't wait for the work fest to fix the canoe float if the canoeing is good now.

Wednesday -- March 3, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.7     Water Temperature: 46

Yesterday as I crossed the channel I saw the rare Redhead duck. Its a diving duck that summers in the northern midwest and spends its winters along coastal bays. Its a beautiful duck that has been heavily hunted and now has to compete with the introduced carp for its food of aquatic vegetation.

The canoe float will be launched back into the river on Friday morning if anybody would like to help.

Thursday -- March 4, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 50

The last two days have just been fantastic down here. The river has been clear and green and the sun and warm temps have made for some serene paddling. Now it's raining and cloudy and soon the river will rise and turn an uninviting brown color.

Monday -- March 7, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 6.1     Water Temperature: 50

What a crew we had here on Friday! Tryon, Jim Drew, Sherry Petty, John Matthews, John Stapko, Gerry Barton and myself managed to put the canoe float back together and get it in the river where it belongs. The one thing that we all agreed on was that the canoe float will soon need to be replaced. It also seems that not bringing in the floats for the winter can be risky, we were very lucky not to lose the canoe float.

Tuesday -- March 9, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 6.0     Water Temperature: 50

The first of the bluebells are breaking through the mud and the tiger lilies are already two inches high.

Wednesday -- March 10, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.5     Water Temperature: 49

I noticed that the wildflower walk is on the 11th of April, why is it on Easter Sunday?

Thursday -- March 11, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 45

The sea gulls are all gone now so I guess winter is over. The great blue herons seem to be working their way back inland, I saw two fly by yesterday.

Friday -- March 12, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 45

Some Eagle scouts have volunteered to help fix the trail so maybe it will be easier to walk down here this season.

Monday -- March 15, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.4     Water Temperature: 45

It was a quiet weekend without many visitors. I saw a female horned grebe and a male pied-billed grebe swimming next to each other last evening over by the captains float. I counted 25 cormorants resting at the first set of rocks there at the foot of Rupperts. There is just so much bird activity going on down here!

I also realized yesterday that two of the big white warning buoys are gone and two others have lost their signs. Victims of the ice I suppose. The fallen tree just down river from the captains float has also been broken and washed away. It's too bad, those curvy sculpted branches were so beautiful when reflected in the still water.

Monday -- March 16, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 42

The river almost sank below the four-foot mark but is now inching its way back up to five feet again. Thankfully,it looks like we may be able to avoid the big, spring snow-melt kind of flooding this year.

I'm excited, today I pick up the new digital camera for the club. Now I can take pictures of everything I've been writing about and post them on the web site or submit them to the Islander!

Tuesday -- March 17, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 41

Happy St. Patty's Day! The box elders are sprouting their greenery just in time for the occasion.

I found an early easter egg yesterday. I was raking the leaves and limbs off of the canoe shed roof when I found a very large goose egg. It must have been a dud from last year and was easily as big as two chicken eggs! Maybe I'll decorate it.

Tuesday -- March 17, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 41

Tuesday -- March 23, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 46

Happy Spring!!! I just got back from my trip to the White Mountains. One last weekend of snow and cold before I settle down for a nice pleasant spring on the Island. Mountaineering is fun but I'm looking forward to some warm weather canoeing and an island full of happy members and their guests.

I took a paddle around the island yesterday at sunset. It was beautiful to watch the cormorants congregating in the fading light. There were three groups, all with at least fifty birds! I listened as the wind carried the sound of their wings flapping against the water while the birds worked their way upstream, committed to a social order still beyond our understanding. These were double-crested cormorants, and if you happen to be paddling close to one of these birds you can actually see the two crests of feathers, one above each eye.

Thursday -- March 25, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.9     Water Temperature: 48

Our resident ground hog has emerged from hibernation. Gerry Barton and I saw it scurrying across the field yesterday. I just saw my first swallow of the year.

Friday -- March 26, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.7     Water Temperature: 50

The territorial goose wars continue but at least one pair has started it's nest and have laid three eggs. They've set up house right next to the tool shed.

Monday -- March 29, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 52

Hiking around the island is slightly more treacherous now. The geese are quite formidable when they are defending their nests. It was suggested that I do something about their aggression but the geese seem to think this is their island and I'm inclined to give them their space for now. I was, however,successful in discouraging them from hanging out on the docks all day. I haven't had to shovel goose dropping off the floats in two weeks!

Tuesday -- March 30, 2010
Water Level at Little Falls: 7.3     Water Temperature: 52

The ferry is closed. The river has gone up two feet in the last 24 hours! Midday yesterday it was at 5.3 feet at little falls dam and now today it is a noteworthy 7.3!

I'm still waiting for the frogs to begin their nightly chorus. During this time of year they can usually be heard sending out their mating calls as they gather in the shrinking vernal pools around the river. I did discover some evidence that the frogs were using the backed-up drainage ditches along Macarthur Blvd. as a breeding ground. I hope they are careful crossing that busy street.

Sunday -- March 28, 2010
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 52

Amazing! What a great turn out we had for yesterday's Island clean up. There were over twenty members here and we were able to get all the boats back into their respective racks. There was some belly-aching about the number of old and unused canoes that we were forced to have to attend to, but otherwise I think we all had fun working together. The question kept coming up,"What are we going to do with all these old aluminum canoes?"