Wednesday -- February 1, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 42

Yesterday at around 4:00 I noticed two eagles in the nest. I watched them for several minutes as they used their beaks to arrange sticks and prepare the nest for what I hope will be two new eggs.

Thursday -- February 2, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 42

Friday -- February 3, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 44

The first bluebells are starting to emerge. I never thought that I would announce such a joyous event with a heavy heart but bluebells in early February can't be good.

Sunday -- February 5, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 44

A member called to say they wanted to come down so I've decided to keep the ferry running for now. The river is on the rise though, 5.5 by tomorrow, and I may have to close early. This steady wind is also going to be a factor today.

I hope the relief caretaker managed alright yesterday. The weather was terrible so I'm guessing he didn't have any visitors. It's amazing, but for many of the relief caretakers, doing duty on Saturday is their first time to the island in months or even years. Considering this, I shouldn't be surprised at the many varied and creative ways that I find the ferry attached to the mainland. I guess they've never worked the ferry before or watched while someone else did.

Monday -- February 6, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.4     Water Temperature: 43

The ferry will be closed today because of the high water.

Tuesday -- February 7, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.4     Water Temperature: 41

No ferry service again today.

Wednesday -- February 8, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 40

The ferry will be closed for one more day as we wait for the river to get below five feet.

The eagle were at the nest again yesterday and now it looks like they have laid their eggs.

Thursday -- February 9, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.9     Water Temperature: 40

Yea! The ferry is running again and it looks like it's going to be a nice day!

There is a tree growing next to the tool shed that needs to come down. It's pushing on the roof off the shed so we're going to work on cutting it down today.

I read in the Glen Echo Heights newsletter that one of my neighbors saw a red wolf nearby...maybe it was a coyote, or maybe a hybrid coyote/fox. I also heard of a bear-sighting near Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Friday -- February 10, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.6     Water Temperature: 39

It looks like I may be able to use my skis this year after all, I hope so.

Saturday -- February 11, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.4     Water Temperature: 38

It's two o'clock and I just sent the relief caretaker home. It's so dead down here that there was no sense in him staying and risking the icy roads later.

Monday -- February 13, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 36

It was so beautiful coming home last night with the bright full moon and the snow all around.

Tuesday -- February 14, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 36

I paddled around Ruppert's Island late yesterday afternoon and was surprised by the number of geese I found there. There were at least a hundred of them all in smaller groups of a dozen or so, like it was some kind of family reunion. It made me wonder if these geese represented the many generations that have been hatched on Sycamore Island. I also saw a number of common mergansers and some springtime birds like the wood duck and a kingfisher.

I check on the eagles daily just to make sure they're still there. I can usually spot the distinctive white head of the birds sitting in the nest with my naked eye but now, with all the snow, they are much more camouflaged.

I finally got a chance to ski around the island yesterday, lots of fun.

Thursday -- February 16, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 40

The snow will all be gone by the end of today and the island will be brown, wet and muddy. It was nice will it lasted.

Friday -- February 17, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 42

There is a wind advisory in effect today but I hope it doesn't get so bad that I have to close the ferry.

Surprisingly the river didn't flood when all the snow melted. I guess the biggest snowfalls stayed in the eastern part of the watershed.

I saw a pair of bufflehead ducks close to the island by the captains float and I see grebes every morning red-necked and pied-billed. I guess it won't be long before they head north and disappear until next year.

Wednesday -- February 22, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 42

Happy George Washington's Birthday!! If it wasn't for old George I probably wouldn't be sitting here right now. He was the father of the country and the father of this river as well.

Beavers aren't all bad after all. There were some big branches that fell recently and I was planning to get out there and cut them up but the beavers took care of it for me. A long branch with a four diameter, gone. They helped with some other chores too. We had to cut down a tree near the shed (thanks John Stapko) and they've begun to carry that off as well.

Monday -- February 27, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 40

I was down at National Airport this morning and there were four bald eagles were sitting in a tree near the exit for the airport. It was also interesting to see a barge with a crane pulling giant logs out of the river below 14th st. bridge.

I was just reading Peter Jone's "notes from the island" and realized that all the things I've written in my log have been said before, the geese, the beaver the flowers. The names were different 18 years ago and I only recognized a couple. The character of this club is such a dynamic thing, maybe that's what's kept it going so long.

Tuesday -- February 28, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 40

John Matthews wants to repar the old canoe float. I know there was talk of a new canoe float but I haven't heard anything lately about that. If we're going to fix the one we have we're going to need six or eight people to pull it out of the river. If you're interested in helping with this chore please let me know. Canoeing season is just around the corner.