Thursday -- December 1, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 7.4     Water Temperature: 48

The river is expected to crest at around eight feet this afternoon. The ferry will be closed for at least today and tomorrow, we'll have to wait and see how fast it goes back down.

I have a bit of bad news, our new bell is broken. It happened early this morning when a tree, floating by on the flood waters, grabbed hold of the bell rope and pulled it with such force that the cast iron bell-holder broke off where it was bolted to the 6x6 post. I had raised the bell rope last night and I was planning on taking it down today but I missed my chance. Sorry about that Dave.

Friday -- December 2, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 7.8     Water Temperature: 48

The river crested at 8.2 feet, just exactly where they said it would. We'll continue to use the canoe to get back and forth today and, even though the river seems to be going down fast, I highly doubt that the ferry will be running tomorrow.

Monday -- December 5, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.6     Water Temperature: 42

The river has receded I managed to get all the thick, slimy mud off of the board walk and steps. I replaced the bell rope and put up one of the old bells. I don't know if the big bell is fixable or not.

I hope to finish replacing the siding on the clubhouse today and put the trim around the windows before it starts snowing.

Tuesday -- December 6, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 41

It sounds like Dave Winer is going to get us a fancy new bell since the last one he so diligently brought down was broken in the last flood.

The snow is nice but unfortunately there isn't enough of it to ski on the towpath, I'll just have to settle for a paddle.

Wednesday -- December 7, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 40

Thursday -- December 8, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.9     Water Temperature: 38

It's getting cold down here and there is a thin layer of ice on the canal.

This cold weather is the catalyst I need to get the carpet panels for my living room. Right now the floor is just bare plywood with nail heads that feel like tiny ice cubes if you step on them in bare feet. It's going to take a lot of work to move the furniture and everything but what a cozy room I'll have once I'm done.

Friday -- December 9, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 37

There is a glistening rain outside as the bright sun melts last night's snowfall from the trees. I had no trouble clearing the bridge and the boardwalk of the slushy mess, making huge splashes as I pushed the heavy snow into the canal below.

I saw a deer drown yesterday. I was biking home from the community center when I noticed something in the river between the island and the towpath. It wasn't a giant beaver but a deer. This deer, a young buck with a set of tiny single-point antlers, didn't seem healthy, it was writhing around in the water and sometimes slipping under the surface. It was very close to the mainland shore as I pulled the ferry across and I thought for sure it would get itself out of the freezing water but it just kept struggling and drifted back to the middle of the river. I wanted to get a picture of a deer swimming so I ran to get the camers. By the time I returned, the poor animal was floating motionless with its nose under water. I pulled the ferry out to the animal and watched helplessly as the young deer dissappeared.

Friday -- December 16, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 33

It's been a whole week since my last entry, That means there really hasn't been anything worth writing home about. We had a lot of rain but the river is expected to stay below four feet. I did see a bufflehead duck and a group of five female common mergansers.

Tuesday -- December 20, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 35

It sure does brighten my day when I see a bald eagle. Especially when it circles just above me as I'm pulling the ferry as it did yesterday. I saw one on Sunday as well, soaring above Chain Bridge.

It was quite the party here on Sunday. The clubhouse was literally filled with revelers playing pool, ping pong and a beautiful assortment of musical instruments. The weather was so great that a few people even went canoeing.

Wednesday -- December 21, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 33

Happy first day of winter!

We put up our Christmas tree last night, we put it in the window so all the people walking on the towpath at night can see it.

I see white-throated sparrows all the time now and I watched a brown creeper as it spiraled around the trunks of the sycamores by my window.

Speaking of birds, the Wild Bird Center is having a going out of business sale so I bought lots of bird seed for my winter birds.

Thursday -- December 22, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 33

Tuesday -- December 27, 2005
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.9     Water Temperature: 50

Exciting news, I saw a peregrine falcon! I was paddling around ruppert's island when I noticed the large falcon perched on a tree above a group of mergansers and buffleheads. I stopped paddling and tried to drift past the diving ducks without startling them. The falcon then took off from it's perch and swooped right towards me, giving me an excellent veiw of its distinctive feildmarks. I'd heard reports of peregrines possibly nesting along the river but this is the first time I've seen one here.

I had a fun time hikinmg the Heritage Trail, its a trail that runs from Roosevelt Island up th the Beltway along the Virginia Shore. I picked it up here across from Sycamore Island and had a beautiful and rugged hike past many tributaries and rock outcropings.