Tuesday -- January 10, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 42

I just got through with refinishing the wood floor in the clubhouse. I applied a coat of linseed oil to protect it from spills and wet shoes. It looks beautiful and I think it will make it easier to clean.

Wednesday -- January 11, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 42

There is a large party here all day today, a diverse group of environmentalists working to curb chemical pollution, modern day Rachel Carsons so to speak.

I just saw a red-necked grebe.

Thursday -- January 12, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 42

The river is creeping up again and should reach five feet by Sunday.

Friday -- January 13, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 43

Dave Winer brought down the new bell that he acquired on E-bay. It sounds great but we have to do some fiddling yet to get it to work properly.

Saturday -- January 14, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 43

There is a wind advisory in effect today so I've decided to close the ferry. Sorry, but possible gusts of 50 mph is too much to ask the relief caretaker to deal with.

Sunday -- January 15, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 41

The wind advisory is still in effect today and I won't be running the ferry. The power went out last night so there wasn't heat, lights or water. I was worried that the pipes might freeze tonight since temperatures are expected to drop into the 20's. Thankfully, the power returned and things are warming up, just in time to watch the football game. Things should be back to normal for tomorrow's holiday, Martin Luther King Day.

Tuesday -- January 17, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.6     Water Temperature: 41

Club members Joan and John Heidemann brought a small group of bird watchers here this morning, they had read about the peregrine falcon I'd seen and were hoping to see one for themselves. I didn't have high hopes that we'd see a falcon but it turned out to be one of the best birding days I've ever had down here. The action started almost as soon as we got off the ferry. I retrieved my spotting scope and led the team toward the southern shore so we could look out over the river toward Virginia. Right away I noticed the distinctive white spot among the tree branches on the opposite shore, a bald eagle perched near the nest! I excitedly pointed out the bird to the group, amazed at our excellent timing. I hurriedly set up the tripod and the eagle posed as everyone got a good look through the scope. We all went for our binoculars when the giant bird took off up stream. I followed it until it was almost out of sight where it landed on a treetop on Ruppert't Island, right next to another eagle! I grabbed the tripod and ran toward the head of the island, pointing to a male common merganser that was swimming by as I left my guests scrambling behind me. The eagles were perched so closely together that it was hard to tell there were two of them and I continued up island to get a better viewing angle. It was still difficult to make out the eagles through the trees but as I looked through my binoculars I noticed another bird in the foreground. This bird was perched on a high branch of a sycamore growing on the scape of land between Sycamore and Ruppert's. I couldn't believe it, it was a falcon! It wasn't a peregrine, too small, but watching this bird through the scope at 45X magnification was truly thrilling. It obligingly sat as we took turns admiring the details of its markings, a beautiful merlin with it's distinctive face mask, eye bars and grey-blue color. The bird sat there for very long and we all had our fill of watching it as it swiveled it's head back and forth. A pied-billed grebe and a female common merganser swam by as we talked about our good fortune and how contented we felt about our outing. The group then packed up and hiked back to their cars at lock seven. One member of the group happened to be the wife of the owner of Christopher's Hardware, better known as Glen Echo Hardware. I told her how much we appreciate having the hardware close by and assured her that I would always be a loyal customer.

Thursday -- January 19, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.1     Water Temperature: 40

The river is creeping up over five feet but the weather is so nice I think I'll try to keep the ferry running. I may have to shut things down tomorrow and Saturday.

I finally bought a chain saw and I've been working on chopping up the fallen sycamore. Another tree fell over the weekend, it had been dead for a while and the winds of last week knocked it over.

Friday -- January 20, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 40

I guess I have to close the ferry. The river is expected to rise up to 5.3 feet today

I'm so proud of myself. I was able to finish the difficult job of replacing the flashing and the trim around the "new" windows. I still have quite a bit of ladder work left to do, I need to caulk it up real tight and it needs to be painted.

Saturday -- January 21, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.8     Water Temperature: 41

It is really sad, we have this great weather on a weekend and the river decides to flood. The ferry will be closed today but we're still hopeful about tomorrow, the river seems to be dropping quickly.

I hiked up Pimmitt Run to Fort Marcy yesterday morning, one of the last sections of the Heritage Trail that I hadn't hiked before. I saw a sharp-shined hawk and there was a healthy-looking fox at the fort.

Monday -- January 23, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.1     Water Temperature: 41

The river has been going up and down like a yo-yo and it looks like it will be hovering between 5 and 6 feet all week. You better check before you make the hike down the hill.

Tuesday -- January 24, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 42

The sun is out and the river level is low enough to open the ferry. Maybe I'll get my sunny-day regulars today.

Wednesday -- January 25, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.3     Water Temperature: 41

Today the ferry will be closed. The river is a little high and there is a wind advisory as well.

One of the eagles was on Sycamore yesterday and it drifted right above me as I walked up the boardwalk.

I saw an eagle in the nest, 4:00.

Thursday -- January 26, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.3     Water Temperature: 41

No ferry service again today.

Sunday -- January 29, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.5     Water Temperature: 41

There is an eagle by the nest again today. They seem to be spending more time near the nest now, I think it's a good sign. Monday -- January 30, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 40

There's a thick fog this morning making it hard to see the mainland. I guess I won't be able to spot any eagles.

Tuesday -- January 31, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 40

The architect managed to make it here this morning dispite the wind and rain. I'm bracing for another gusty day.