Tuesday -- October 2, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.5     Water Temperature: 70

I went swimming yesterday, as I usually do, but then I realized that it was October. It's not every year that you can swim into October. I love it!

I've been busy cleaning out the tool shed. That's that big outbuilding on stilts behind the club house. It has been the catch-all here on the Island for a long time so it's full of junk. It's also full of dirt, bird nests and mice. I've sorted through everything and I've made a large pile of things to be hauled away at the workfest. I've also hung up the garden tools and I've started to organize the items that I'm going to keep. Now I'm in search of some used windows to fill the four openings on the south side. I really want to keep the critters and dust out now that I've got it so nice in there. Until I find some windows I'm going to put up some of that plastic window insulator to keep everything out.

I've been keeping an eye out for baby black snakes. I learned that they hatch in mid September. They don't look like the adults at all, instead of being solid black they are patterned beautifully with grey.

Last week was full-moon week and I took full advantage of the night paddling opportunities.

Thursday -- October 4, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.5     Water Temperature: 71

There was a little pile of empty clam shells in that shallow area below the dock,under the ferry. Maybe it was a racoon that was able to find some clams buried near the shore but I don't think thats what it was. It appears to me that whatever ate those clams had to be a swimmer. I think it swam to the bottom, found a clam, then returned to its safe eating spot in the shallows under the ferry. Maybe it was an otter or maybe a mink. I have seen mink here before.

There is a big sleep-over on the Island tonight. Twenty fourth-graders with adults.

Wednesday -- October 10, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.4     Water Temperature: 75

The water temperature has actually been going up during this first week of October. This has made for a wonderfully extended swimming season which isn't going to waste among our many Club swimmers.

The fishing continues to be superb as well, and there seems to be a steady train of fishermen trying to take advantage before the season finally comes to an end. One member told me a story about hundreds of fish confined in a deep pool up above Rupperts. It's impossibly rare for the conditions of low water and clarity to combine and offer us these great river experiences. But then again, maybe this will be the norm of the future.

I saw something unusual in the river on Saturday night. We were sitting on the(John Matthews)Captain's float around 11:00 when something started to cause the mirror-still water to stir. My immediate response was to state the presence of a beaver. I knew, of course that no fish would be making these kinds of large ripples and splashes at this time of night especially. Then it seemed that something wasn't right. I know beaver, and they have a very distinctive wake that stays predictably straight as they swim past the docks. The creature we saw Saturday night appeared very agile and a bit curious. This late night episode made me think of my earlier discovery of clam shells under the dock. I like the idea of an otter spending the winter near the island.

I haven't seen the great egrets lately.

I'm leaving for Florida tomorrow. I'm going to visit the kids in Tampa, I should see some great egrets down there. In my absence I have a distinguished team of relief caretakers to cover for me. Please be kind to Missy(Thursday), Alan(Friday), and my brother, Peter on Sunday.

Thursday -- October 18, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.4     Water Temperature: 64

The river got cold but the air is still warm and we were swimming yesterday. Imagine that, swimming on October 17th!

Friday -- October 19, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.4     Water Temperature: 64

I went swimming again today. This time it was a forced swim, somebody had gone off canoeing and left the ferry on the island. If you don't want to experience the wrath of the caretaker, never leave the ferry unattended on the island.

Sunday -- October 21, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.4     Water Temperature: 64

The river jumped from 2.4 to 2.75 on Friday. It's nice to get at least a little water. The resent dam releases haven't seemed to make much difference in the river levels down here.

I saw a doe on Ruppers last night, I think that means that there isn't a buck on the island.

The trees on the Virginia bank have changed from summer green into the the most perfect shades of yellow and red. I've got to get a picture of this, wish I had a better camera.