Friday -- November 23, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 50

Almost all of the leaves are off the trees after yesterdays wind storm. I can now, once again, see the street light on Macarthur blvd. from my living room window.

The wind gave me a scare yesterday as well, I thought I lost my canoe! I had left my canoe on the shore by the captains float on Wednesday night. (I just had to take my canoe out when I got home late Wednesday night, it was warm with no wind, the moon was shining bright and even though I was tired I felt like I owed it to everyone who wishes they had a river in their back yard to go for a quick paddle.) I never bother tying up my boat but yesterday during dinner, as the winds began to throw all the trash cans into the street I began to fear for my untethered boat. Since I didn't want to rush back to the Island to check on my canoe, I just tried to put it out of my mind. When I got home I rushed across the moonlit field to the captains float and my worst fear was realized, my canoe was gone! I frantically ran up and down the bank looking for my canoe while wondering how it slipped out between the captains float and the big pile of newly cut branches in the water. I looped around and started back upstream to the captains float and as I climbed over a giant fallen sycamore, I saw my canoe! It hadn't been dragged out into the river after all but instead had been tossed thirty feet down the bank and came to rest against a tree. I knew to fear for my canoe in the strong winds but I didn't expect my canoe to go sailing across dry land. Thankfully, I didn't lose my canoe and my record of no lost boats is still in tact.

Monday -- November 26, 2007
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.8     Water Temperature: 47

The Island feels very different now. Seemingly overnight, or maybe it was literally overnight, all the leaves have fallen and the shores of the river are now flanked by the bare white trunks of the sycamores. I spent most of yesterday afternoon raking those same leaves. I wanted to rake up as many as I could before the rain came and made them all disagreeable wet. I focused on the area around the canoe shed and the club canoes. The leaves from that huge sycamore were ankle deep even before I started to rake! I always like to get the leaves out of the canoe shed, that protected area seems to attract ground-nesting bees.

On Saturday we got a real good look at an immature red-tailed hawk. It was late in the afternoon, about 4:00, and since it was my day off I was carting a kayak over to the captains float to take a quick paddle before the sun went behind the trees. I looked up to see a large hawk gliding past the fire pit. I shouted HAWK to the group of six that had just arrived from the ferry. The big bird flew right past us all at about ten feet off the ground the landed softly on the lowest branch of the sycamore tree right above my head! I somehow knew by it's size and shape that it was a red-tailed but it didn't have a red tail and it was hunting here in this semi-dense woods rather than at the edge of a large field or highway. Lucky for me I'm taking a raptors class and I was able to determine the species by its pale breast, too pale to be a red shouldered hawk. The irony is that I had driven out past Frederick that morning to look for hawks at Washington Monument State Park (a spot to watch migrating hawks) and didn't see any hawks.

Please come and rake leaves any time you want, you might see a hawk.