Sunday-- August 17, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.7     Water Temperature: 78

Autumn in August, that's what it feels like. I feel like I woke up in a different state, like maybe Vermont or Maine.

I'm not complaining though, I'll take this weather over a typical D.C. August any day. The one problem I do have is that the fish don't seem to be biting like they were. Last month the water temperature reached a high of 91 degrees, today it's only 78. I guess the fish don't like cold water either.

The river level is also very low, making it a struggle to get the ferry close to the landing dock. There just isn't enough water to get near the dock. My idea for today is to install a temporary flight of stairs at the end of the dock. This will extend the dock into deeper water and make it easier to climb up off the ferry. Luckily we still have the stairs that Jim Drew salvaged from the river. I'll use those pre-made steps and hope they fit. This is a job that I'll need some help with and I'm hoping I'll be able to recruit some members to help me.

Speaking of helpful members, one or two people can really make a difference. Trip Reid was here and we made leaps of progress in our new trail building project. After learning that our trail to the head of the island was destroyed by huge fallen trees, trip took it upon himself to make a new path. Trip manned the weed wacker and blazed a new trail. Later, I pushed the power mower to further clear the trail. Trip also brought down and planted several more joe-pie weeds (a native herbaceous plant with big puffy white flowers). Another enthusiastic club member, Patty Whitnah, helped out by raking up all the sticks, leaves and fallen sycamore bark from around the canoe racks. Thanks Patty and Trip! On the down side, I found many lights on when I returned last night and someone left a bag of trash by the ferry.

Our club canoes are stating to show their age. I got a complaint that one of the green Old Town canoes was taking on water. I was a little surprised, I didn't think it was possible to punch a hole through that hard plastic. Upon investigation I found the outer layer of plastic completely worn off. The foam center layer was mashed and there was a crack on the inside. I used some marine tech epoxy to patch the holes. We may want to consider investing in fiberglass guards to protect the noses of our aging club canoes.

I bought some new hangers for the lifevests, no excuse not to hang your life vests. And another thing, if the lifejacket is dripping wet, please hang it outside on the clothes line so it can dry out for the next paddler.

Friday-- August 22, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.6     Water Temperature: 81

My idea to extend the dock didn't work out very well. We managed to get the steps into place but then they sank into the soft mud of the river bottom. Paul Hagen and I then drove long stakes into the mud to stabilize it but the resulting structure looked crooked and unsafe. I ripped it all out yesterday. I also took the bench off of the ferry and today I realized just how much I need and use that bench, not so much for sitting on but for putting things on while I'm pulling the ferry. It's so much better than putting my groceries on the deck of the ferry. I guess I'll replace the bench today.

We have a serious structural problem with the porch at the main entrance of the club house. I was sweeping off the deck above my front door when I found some rotted wood at the base of the railing. I pushed on it with my foot and my foot went right through. Upon further investigation I found that one of the support posts is rotten and so is one of the cross supports. I wedged a fresh 2X4 under the porch to support it but we need a big jack to hold the porch while we fix it. I have already gotten the materials that we need.

Speaking of big jobs on the island, we still need to replace/repair the roof above the club kitchen. It's been leaking for over a year now.

The other project that needs immediate attention is the tree next to my living room/addition. The tree has grown too big and is pinching against the house. I'm afraid the tree needs to be cut down, despite the fact that it is holding one end of the ever popular zip line.

The late summer flowers are coming out and we have a nice wild flower garden growing by the captains float, including Trip Reid's joe-pie weed which is now starting to bloom. My favorite flower of the year is also in bloom now. There is a deep red cardinal flower growing near the swim float.

One more thing. There is nothing that aggrivates a caretaker more than making avoidable trips across the river. Those of you that have had to work the ferry on a busy day know what I mean. A party of four should not mean four individual trips across the river. I know it isn't always possible but PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE meet your guests in the parking lot or at the ferry landing before you ring the bell. Beleive it not I have better things to do that make wasteful trips across the river, really. Also, if you're getting ready to go and you hear the bell, ask the caretaker to wait and save a trip. Lets work together!

Monday-- August 25, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.6     Water Temperature: 83

I down-loaded some plans for a new bench for the ferry. I followed the plans to the letter but I'm not happy. The bench is too low!? It looks like it was made for a child to use. I'm throwing out the plans and I'm going to build a proper bench.

I took some pictures of the wildflowers today. Red cardinal flowers flanked on all sides by bright yellow woodland sunflowers, beautiful.

Wednesday-- August 27, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.6     Water Temperature: 83

I finished my bench-building project. I'm happy to report that we now have a kiddie-sized bench on the ferry as well as an adult-sized bench on the ferry.

Tryon was down today and the two of us fixed the rotten post on the front porch. I was impressed at how efficiently we got the job done.(not your typical sycamore headscratcher) The two of us seem to make a pretty good team and I think the club is lucky to have us, if I do say so myself.

There was a dead beaver by the canoe dock yesterday. It looked like a full-grown one, I guess it died of natural causes.

The fishing continues to be excellent and I've had two separate reports of walleyes being landed near the Island!