JUNE 2004

Tuesday -- June 8, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.5     Water Temperature: 68

I'm back. I finally got my computer working again after it was damaged in one of our recent electrical storms.

I had a really great group of sixth-graders here last week. I led them on a nature hike around the island and we were very lucky to see a wide variety of wildlife. I was amazed at how much the kids already knew about natural history and it was fun for me to lead such an enthusiastic and interested group. Later that day we found a bee's nest under the club canoes. Luckily I was the only one stung as I urged the children to "RUN"! I've since exterminated the nasty buggers from their nest. Poor bees.

I found the nest of the prothonotary warblers that I've been seeing and hearing. This beautiful songbird has built a nest inside a metal tube on an old basketball rim, and it's only three feet off the ground!

Wednesday -- June 9, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 71

I just saw David and George on the towpath. There were fly fishing for carp (using not real cicadas but) cicada flies. When I mentioned that I saw the carp eating the mulberries George told me that they have imitation mulberry flies as well. Good luck guys!

I saw a goose eat a cicada. I thought they were strict vegetarians but I guess they don't mind a little protein snack once in a while. There's one goose who has perfected it's own grazing technique. It will swim in place and eat the cicadas and mulberries that float by.

Thursday -- June 10, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 73

I met the new owners of the Sycamore store yesterday, they seem like they are going to be good neighbors. You might see the girls and I working in the yard over there, they've agreed to let us cut they're grass.

Friday -- June 11, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 73

The day lilies are everywhere!

It's funny to watch the awkward geese running for the river when I come out. They're molting they're flight feathers now and can't fly.

Monday -- June 14, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 71

You should all be pleased to hear that the Sycamore trail has been much improved. Matt Berres from the Potomac Conservancy, along with Eagle Scout troop 1800 and myself braved the early rain and worked hard all day fixing the trail. With materials donated by the NPS and Sycamore Island we put in new timbers and moved many wheel barrels of new dirt. I'm very happy with the new trail it should make my life a little easier. One problem, we'll have to relearn our steps now so we can walk it in the dark again.

Tuesday -- June 15, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.6     Water Temperature: 75

Today is the last day of school! This is actually not a good thing if you're a parent but it should be fun to have a little more activity here.

Wednesday -- June 16, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 75

High water today so the ferry will probably be closed most of the day.

We had a large troop of girl scouts down here yesterday. I think they, and their parents, had a great time and they earned their canoeing badges.

Thursday -- June 17, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.5     Water Temperature: 75

The island is a great place to get a break from the heat. There is usually a breeze coming off the water and the trees offer constant shade making it seem at least ten degrees cooler here than it is up at the Sycamore store.

Friday -- June 18, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.4     Water Temperature: 77

The other day, I looked out the window and noticed a Carolina Wren digging a tiny hole in a flower pot below the stairs to the clubhouse. We stared at it in wonder, trying to figure out why this bird was acting so strangely. Dripping with river water, we tramped back to the place we like to call home. The four of us (we had a visitor that day) glanced out the window. The Wren was still at work. After looking at the creature for some time we concluded that it must be making a nest. If you would like to learn more about this fascinating subject please, contact the caretaker of the island.

Monday -- June 21, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.9     Water Temperature: 75

Happy summer everyone! It seems appropriate that the river would drop below four feet for the first day of summer, let's hope it stays low. I hope the river clears up soon too. The river wasn't real high last week yet it continued to be very cloudy. The river was so muddy brown and matched the color of the towpath so well that it looked as if a dirt road going past the island.

Tuesday -- June 22, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 75

We managed to get the swim float back out into the river. The water is low, warm and clearing up so the swimming conditions are at their peak right now.

I'm not a kayaker yet but a friend has lent me his Wave Sport play boat so can start practicing my rolls and stuff.

Wednesday -- June 23, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 76

I have a large party today from 9:00 to 2:00 and another large party starting at 1:00. I don't mind a busy day I just wish I knew before yesterday evening that I was having two large parties in one day. For some reason neither party was announced in the islander.

I don't write about all the birds and animals that I see like I did when I first started working here. I'm afraid of becoming boring by mentioning the same duck or hawk everyday. Seeing two hawks soaring over ruperts or watching a heron catch a fish have become everyday occurances for me, beautiful and moving, but commonplace.

Friday -- June 25, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 78

A John Goodman was down here the other day. He's an inventor and he has designed a backrest for canoe seats. He brought a couple of the backrests with him and I must say they're the best I've ever seen, they're light weight and fully adjustible. We installed two of the seats onto my canoe so please come down and check them out.

We've been watching the young yellow-bellied woodpeckers. They fly from tree to tree hoping to get a handout from their parents. Maybe by the time their heads turn red they'll be able to feed themselves.

Sunday -- June 27, 2004
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 77

3.4?! It's a different world when the water is low like this, it's been so long. (I love this river) It looks like it's going to be a glorious day to work on Sycamore Island.