Thursday -- November 2, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.9     Water Temperature: 50

The jewel weed or touch-me-nots are starting to whither now. Some of them were quite big, measuring over seven feet tall!

I finished painting the shed roof, it is now a very attractive "Tile Red".

What a great bunch of kids we had here yesterday. 35 seventh, eighth and ninth-graders from Deal brought their energy and enthusiasm down for a day of soccer, football, volleyball, basketball, badminton, canoeing and fishing. The weather was perfect too.

Tuesday -- November 7, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.5     Water Temperature: 48

My computer is back up and running, my monitor went bad and I had to replace it.

Our red-shouldered hawk spent Sunday morning here and we had some excellent views of it perched here and there around the island.

There were so many robins and waxwings in the trees yesterday that the bridge was covered with their seed filled droppings.

The phone wire fell into the river and I had to climb the utility pole and reattach it with rope.

For two years now we've been waiting for Verizon to properly attach the wires to the new utility pole.

Wednesday -- November 8, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 48

The river is rising quickly but it isn't expected to get much above four feet. The heavy rain is also washing all the recently-fallen leaves into the river and they float by in big, bog-like clumps. The runoff from the rain also brings all the trash, (paper cups, baseballs and water bottles) that was left on the nearby ball fields and street gutters. Yesterday the river water was stained by the tannin from the leaves and resembled weak tea but now it's cloudy and full of sediments again.

The beaver managed to get one of our hickory trees. It was a good-sized tree with a ten inch diameter but it lacked the proven protection of chicken wire and was helpless against the teeth of the beaver.

I saw a great egret this morning. It's white form was a beacon in the otherwise grey and misty landscape. Next to it, near the shore, was a white duck. A farm duck gone wild I guess.

Sunday -- November 12, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.5     Water Temperature: 48


Tuesday -- November 14, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.1     Water Temperature: 48

Thursday -- November 16, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.6     Water Temperature: 48

The trees are completely bare, their leafless branches now mute to the wind.

Getting used to the high river levels, the river has been hovering around five feet all week with more rain on the way. The extra volume makes a big difference when it come to pulling the ferry.

Winter wrens, grebes and mergansers characterize the bird sightings at this time of year. The white duck is still hanging out with the mallards and there are still a couple of wood ducks around. Occasionally I'll see bald eagle fly by.

The Island squirrel population seems healthy and growing. I haven't seen any swimming squirrels in over a year.

Friday -- November 17, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.6     Water Temperature: 53


The ferry is closed today and it looks like it will be closed all weekend, which is too bad since we were supposed to have the workfest on Sunday.

Tuesday -- November 21, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 50

The river is back in its banks and once again we're able to use the ferry. The girls were very happy this morning not to have to climb into a canoe.

The high water left a layer of soupy mud and brought an abundance of tree limbs and other debris. The swim float was a tangled mess of ropes and fallen trees and I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning it up, removing the ladder and hauling it close to shore.

Friday -- November 24, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 50

The river is above five feet so I called the relief caretakers and told them no to come down tomorrow.

Monday -- November 27, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.7     Water Temperature: 50

I'm saddened to report that the beaver got one of our willow trees. The young tree had chicken wire around it but the wire was old and inadequate. I'm mad at myself for not taking better care. I've accepted that the beaver are bound to get at least one tree a year but I sure didn't want it to be one of the valuable trees that were brought down and planted here.

The white "pond duck" is still hanging around with the mallards up near Ruppert's. I wonder if it can fly at all. I paddled out next to the group of mallards with their white-feathered guest and the mallards, in their usual fashion, sprang from the water and flew away which left the pond duck swimming for safety. I got closer in an attempt to make it fly but it could only muster a little chicken-flight and never got two feet above the water.

The woods are quiet now and I miss the all-day chatter of the summer song birds. The woods a quiet except for the carolina wrens that make quite a raucous at first light. The other birds we hear are the kingfisher and the geese of course.

Tuesday -- November 28, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.4     Water Temperature: 50

I paddled up to what's called Chatauqua Island yesterday. Its the island at the mouth of Minnehaha Run, between Cabin John Island and Rupperts Island. It's not really an island until the river rises above six feet but it is still a secluded and rarely visited area. I went there to salvage usable lumber from the piles of debris that collect there. I found a ten foot piece of 2x10 treated lumber(almost new), a treated 6x6, eight feet long, (also in good shape)and an assortment of 2x4's that aren't in as good a shape. I loaded most of the boards into the canoe but the 6x6 will have to be floated down to the island. It's probably $40 worth of lumber and I didn't have to drive to Home Depot to get it and I didn't have to carry it down the hill. It's always wise to have long boards around to make repairs or to use as walkways above the mud.

Wednesday -- November 29, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 50

The warm weather allowed me to finish painting the shed roof. I had run out of paint and I thought I was going to have to wait until spring to paint the last section of the roof.

A racoon woke me up the other night, it was trying to get into the trash can sitting outside my window. I tried to shew it away but it wasn't easily dissuaded and I had to get out of bed and tramp outside to put some bricks on top of the trash can.

Friday -- November 30, 2006
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 53

One of the steps on the metal bridge broke. The weld finally gave out on one side and I had to prop it up with two blocks of wood. I worry that this bridge is not getting the maintenance that it needs and I'm afraid it might have to be torn down soon. Instead of letting this historic bridge(it 100 years old this year) fall to pieces, we should be preserving it and celebrating its centennial anniversary.