Monday-- October 13, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.8     Water Temperature: 66

It's been another wonderful weekend on the Island. Sunny, and warm enough to swim in the river, on October 12th? The fishing hasn't dropped off yet either and yesterdays glassy river was perfect for canoeing.

Big News! The county has granted us our permit! We now have to plan and get ready for the construction. For starters, if you have a locker, you need be ready to clear it out when the time comes.

I've been working on painting the screen porch. It's a big job but it's very gratifying to see it finally getting done.

Tuesday-- October 14, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.7     Water Temperature: 67

I was just waiting for the ferry when something fell out of the tree and splashed into the river. My first thought was that a branch had broken and fallen into the river but then the "branch" started to swim toward the Island. It was a squirrel! The cute little bugger swam right past the ferry as member Garth Ross was pulling it towards me, incredible.

Wednesday-- October 22, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.68     Water Temperature: 57

I think the swimming season is now officially over, brrrr.

They have installed an electric eye on the steel bridge over the canal. My guess is that they are counting the number of people using the bridge. I'm not sure if this is a good sign or a bad sign for our bridge, but at least we know that they're thinking about it.

I've been busy cutting grass, I want to cut it all once more before all the leaves fall. This could be the last time I cut it until May, after the bluebells fade. While I was cutting yesterday I noticed that some of the trees have been nibbled on by deer. I guess it's not that unusual but I'm still surprised about how the deer come and go so easily, just like the squirrels.

Tuesday-- October 28, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.0     Water Temperature: 53

It feels like winter today with a strong wind blowing in from the northwest. There is a low pressure system moving into New York and it's forcing all their cold air down here. Maybe it will force some migrating birds down as well. Alas, we're losing all our leaves and all the jewel weed are collapsing.

It's too windy today, but I've seen the red-shouldered hawk here almost everyday recently. I love coming home to the screech of a hawk, but I'm afraid I gave an unfair advantage to the predator when I mowed all the grass. Now that the grass is cut and the sheltering leaves are gone, the poor voles don't have a chance.

The flocks of robins also took advantage of the freshly cut grass and one day there were dozens of them scouring the fields for prey. Speaking of birds, it was like a chicken coop inside the screen porch one morning. I walked out of my front door to find two morning doves trapped and frantically bashing themselves into the screens trying to get out. I opened the doors and was able to shoo one dazed bird out with a badminton racket. The other bird couldn't find the door but finally became too tied to fly and I was able to just reach down and pick it up. I'm always surprised at how light and delicate birds are and it was a joy to hold it's lighter-than-air fluffiness. I held it up and looked into its expressionless eye, I carried it outside and laid it on the ground. It quickly dashed for safety leaving me with a handful of downy feathers. I admit, I did wonder if it was dove season and for a second I wondered what it would be like to eat a morning dove or three.

Thanks to Marianne Ross and Joe Membrino for filling in for me on short notice on the 19th. I decided to take a vacation day and go on an exotic weekend trip. We went canoeing on the Potomac. It sounds funny but it really was an amazing trip. We simply drove for two hours to Little Orleans in the Green Ridge State Forest and once we got on the river we felt like we could have been anywhere. We saw no one, the water was crystal clear and the autumn scenery was magnificent as we floated lazily through one bend in the river after another. We paddled past nine bends in all, in just twenty-one miles. Our timing was great too and Town Hill Mountain was ablaze with color as it rose up from the valley, sometimes at our back but other times an impenetrable wall at our bow. This trip is great because it's close and the river is never too low to get past the many little rock ledges. We put in at Paw Paw, mile 157 on the towpath, and we took out at Little Orleans, about mile 141. Thats 16 miles on the towpath but 21 miles on the river since we didn't use the tunnel. It was strange because we started near the tunnel entrance but after eight miles on the river we were only a mile down stream from the downstream end of the tunnel. The camping was no problem either since there are campsites every five miles on the towpath. Many of you know this trip but for those who want to try it (its perfect for kids) I recomend it. I went to "Bill's Place", the only place in Little Orleans and paid Bonnie, Bills daughter, to shuttle us and our boats up to Paw Paw. It was really nice to have the van waiting for us and all we had to do was pack up and go.

Friday-- October 31, 2008
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.0     Water Temperature: 53

I finished painting the screen porch. I'm so glad that I did it. It really is a well constructed porch and it would be a shame to let it deteriorate. I also like the idea of fixing up the old parts of the clubhouse as we get ready to redo other parts.

Apparently there was some perceived negativity in my log last month. I just want to assure everyone that I'm still very happy here. I think what bothers me the most is when I have to be the enforcer of club rules. I'm not a stickler for rules but this is your club and in my opinion you all should know the code of conduct and stick to it.