Monday-- January 5, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.5     Water Temperature: 38

There isn't much news to report. We had a warm weekend and there were some visitors here on Saturday but pretty slow yesterday.

On Saturday, my girlfriend, Elaine, and I went to Chincoteague to see the flocks of snow geese. We saw lots of geese and other birds and we were also lucky enough to see the rare Delmarva Fox Squirrels and the miniature Seka Deer. We also saw the ponies, of course.

Friday-- January 9, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 38

Sorry folks, the river is up and I have to report that the ferry will be closed again tomorrow. This may seem like bad timing but it's actually better that the high water is on the weekend and doesn't interfere with construction.

Monday-- January 12, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.5     Water Temperature: 37

Critters, critters, critters, a raccoon got into the club house last night. I didn't think that would be a big problem but I forgot about all the food that I emptied out of one of the members lockers. Someone had filled their locker with a weeks worth of provisions and nonperishable food and when construction started I piled it all up in the clubhouse. The raccoon must have had a field day eating cookies chips and sugar packs. The coon also went through all my dry goods that were up there and there was oatmeal, pasta and flour all over the floor. I cleaned up the extensive mess and moved all edibles down into my apartment. My worry now is that, like the squirrels, these racoons will stop at nothing to look for more treats in the clubhouse.

Speaking of squirrels, we have none. During the fall a few of the squirrels that I hadn't trapped were living happily on the Island and they were joined by at least one that I watched swim over here from the mainland but now there are none. I'm certain of this because they never visit my bird feeder which is overflowing with sunflower seeds. I guess they ran out of black walnuts to eat and decided to swim for the mainland.

There was a carolina wren flying around in my room when I woke up Sunday morning. I'm not sure how it got in but I'm sure it was no accident. I tried to ignore the curious little bugger and go back to sleep but then I heard the sound of bird droppings landing on my bed stand.

Friday-- January 16, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 32

This cold snap is having its effect on the river and we are forced to close the ferry due to ice. Another weekend without ferry service.

The cold front has also brought us an assortment of wintering ducks. Before I moved here I had to travel to area lakes to see these divers, now, I see hooded and common mergansers, pied-billed and red-necked grebes and buffleheads swimming right past my window. I was also surprised to see two squirrels early one morning on the Island. One was an easily identifiable black color. we'll have to see if they stick around.

We had the meeting on Wednesday. Most of you were not there, we couldn't even get the ten people we needed for a quorum. We had a good time and I think you should all try to make it a New Years Resolution to come to some meetings every year. It was nice of Stan and Karen to open their house to us and serve us cider and treats. We talked about the new construction and some other interesting matters but we forgot to recognize Tryon Wells for all his work with this major construction job. Without Tryon's devotion this project would not be happening. He's had to do a lot of leg work, from getting permits to picking out sinks and cabinets. This is on top of all the work he does with the web site and membership. I think we should remember to give Tryon a call and ask him if he ever needs any help.

Tuesday-- January 27, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 34

Hard times for caretakers.

It isn't like I'm really suffering out here but there has been so much unpredictability lately. Between the construction and the cold weather, things have gotten very interesting. The cold snap that we had last week caused all of the pipes to my bathroom to freeze leaving me with no running water, luckily I was on my way out the door to start my vacation. My hope was that Carlos would be able to fix my plumbing problems before I got back. Unfortunately, the river decided to freeze as well and Carlos and his crew have not been able to do any work here since I left. The river froze so much in fact that I think you could have safely walked over to the Island. I learned after the fact that Carlos did get to the Island on Thursday of last week. He and his men chopped through the ice to get the ferry over to the Island. That must have been an heroic effort, it looked like the ice was about four inches thick that day.

Happily I was able to get over to the Island when I got home from the airport but by Sunday morning the ferry was frozen into the river again. I spent Sunday rerouting my frozen pipes and I was able to get the shower working again. I also rigged up a new rope and used it to pull a canoe over the river ice.

Yesterday the river warmed up a little and a small channel of open water began to form near the Maryland shore. This was my cue to get out and free the ferry and get things back to normal. After a couple of hours of ice breaking the ferry was free and I called the contractor and his Sub-contractors and told them that we were ready to start working again.

Wednesday-- January 28, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 34

The ferry is ready to roll but with the snow yesterday and the ice today our construction project remains in limbo.

I saw a flying squirrel on Saturday. It wasn't here on the Island but it was so strange and these animals are so rarely spotted that I think it is worth mentioning. I was walking from Friendship Heights down Military Road and right after we crossed Reno Road something flew across the road and landed on the willow oak between the sidewalk and the road. I was so surprised to see that it wasn't a bird and I watched astonished as the furry guy disappeared up the trunk of that tree.

Thursday-- January 29, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 34

I was surprised to find a thin layer of ice in the channel this morning. The ice was like a plate glass window covering the river. The ice is thin but still too tough to pull the ferry through. I had to break all the "glass" just to get off the Island.

When I came home in the afternoon the channel was clear and there were hooded mergansers and buffle heads feeding in the sunlight.

Saturday-- January 31, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 34

This morning the river was really frozen. Instead of a thin glass-like layer of ice I found ice that was a quarter inch thick. I felt like I was breaking through a huge sheet of ceramic tile.

The work here is at a stand-still. Nothing has been done here since the 16th of January and it looks like it will be another week or more before we get our approvals in order to continue closing in the walls.

The eagles are very active now and I've seen some impressive areal displays.