Tuesday -- November 1, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.3     Water Temperature: 52

Public schools in Maryland are closed today. Maybe I'll get some visitors.

Wednesday -- November 2, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.2     Water Temperature: 52

Thank you Tryon for helping me fix the phone line and setting up my new DSL account.

Kaylen saw a great blue heron swimming. Never have I seen a heron floating on the water's surface but apparently they can swim.

Monday -- November 7, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.0     Water Temperature: 58

Thanks to Tryon we managed to get the lights on the trail working again, one of the wires had worn through and needed to be replaced. Tryon decided that we need to replace all the lights so we will continue to work on that.

Ken Fassler, a former caretaker, was here yesterday. It was the first time that he's been down since I started here three years ago. It was good to see him and hear some of the old stories.

I camped on Offutt island last Saturday night, me and my girlfriends twelve-year-old twins along with their friend and his dad. The weather was so perfect that it seemed crazy not to go camping somewhere. I was further inspired after reading about the hearty Sycamore-islanders who paddled up to Bear Island to camp back in the 1930's.(Islander, October 2005) Unlike back in the thirties however we had someone drop us and our boats at Old Anglers Inn and we floated down river from there. It was really a great time and it seemed so appropriate that it would be Ken Fassler to greet us at the canoe dock on Sunday morning upon our return since he actually lived on Offutt Island for nine years. He confirmed for us that we stayed at one of the best campsites in the Gorge and told us that that down-river tip of that island is known as Children's Island. He also told us about two island near there; Hermit Island where a real hermit lived until they kicked him off and Goat Island because someone used to keep a goat there until it was shot.

Tuesday -- November 8, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 57

I admit it. I can be a jerk sometimes but if I had a dog I wouldn't use someone else's ferry landing to take my dog swimming and I wouldn't let my dog splash water all over people who are waiting for the ferry. It is difficult sometimes when the path to my house is such a public place but there are times when I just have to speak out, even if I regret it later.

Today Tryon is coming down and we're going to start hanging new lights on the trail. Good weather for it.

Wednesday -- November 9, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 57

The leaves are finally starting to come down but the silver maples are still mostly green. I hope all the leaves fall before the workfest on Sunday but I'm afraid that won't happen.

Its rainy and wet today but I can't complain about the weather, it has been spectacular. The sun lights up the Virginia hillside like a fire of yellow and orange all beautifully reflected on the calm river.

Thursday -- November 10, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 57

You never know what you're going to see on the walk up the hill. yesterday it was a flock of robins and the day before that I saw a flock of cedar wax-wings.

Friday -- November 11, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 55

Don't forget! The workfest is this Sunday. I have a lot of fun projects to work on and it looks like the weather is going to be O.K. so get your rakes and come on down.

Tuesday -- November 15, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 53

Wednesday -- November 16, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 54

What a day we had here on Sunday. The weather was perfect and many islanders showed up for another successful workfest, my seventh.

Thursday -- November 17, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.1     Water Temperature: 53

The temperature has dropped and like the squirrel I saw this morning gathering dry leaves for it's nest, I'm busy winterizing things around here. Its supposed to drop below freezing tonight so I'l have to shut off the water to the club house. This means no ladies room and no water in the kitchen.

On last Sunday, everyone was commenting on how clear the river was. It was so clear I could easily see the bottom in ten feet of water.Many said it was the clearest they had ever seen it. Today however the river is black, with a visibility of only a couple of inches. All the leaves that have fallen into the river have turned it into what kaylen said looked like a very strong cup of tea. It reminds me of Black Water Falls in western Maryland.

Friday -- November 18, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.1     Water Temperature: 50

The colorful leaves and the balmy weather are gone but these crisp wintry mornings have a beauty that is all their own.

Monday -- November 21, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.1     Water Temperature: 46

What a wonderfully busy day we had down here yesterday. There were children playing football, a fire in the fire pit and a group of excellent musicians entertaining us from the deck. There was a cello, mandolins and guitars! Some of the smaller kids had fun working on the tree house which now has a new porch.

All the leaves have fallen now and it's hard to tell that the field was cleared of leaves just last Sunday.

There have been a couple of eagle sightings recently and on Saturday I took out a kayak and saw one myself. I was below the buoys on the Virginia side when the great bird sprung from the trees and swooped above me. It circled and landed again in the trees, a silhouette against the evening sky. I paddled upstream from there and I passed a migrating loon in its winter plumage sitting on the water. I've also seen the white-throated sparrow and the golden-crowned kinglet.

Tuesday -- November 22, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 46

Wednesday -- November 30, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 46

I was away over the long weekend and had a freind watch the island for me. The funny thing is, I really didn't need to have a replacement since no one came down on Friday or Sunday. One family did come down on Thanksgiving and there were some visitors on Saturday as well.

I cleared off the roofs of the canoe shed now that all the leaves have fallen. Without the leaves on the trees the island is like a bare-boned skeleton