Thursday-- November 5, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.3     Water Temperature: 54

Usually, after we get off of daylight-savings time, the use of the Island goes down to almost nothing, but not this week. We have had many visitors and since Monday was a holiday for the school kids a bunch of them were here celebrating a birthday that afternoon. They told me, after I arrived, that they had seen the elusive, Mystery Monster Buck on the island. They were amazed at its huge size and were pleased to have witnessed it as it swam across the river to Virginia. They could not believe that the deer could swim with its giant rack of antlers weighing it down.

The seagulls are back, the ever-changing cycle continues. Soon we'll have the mergansers here to entertain us during the cold months. Monday-- November 9, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.1     Water Temperature: 51

Warm day today and all my regulars were here.

I have been taking a few Sundays off lately, in an attempt to use up some of my unused vacation time. Thankfully I have found a great and reliable substitute to cover my shift.

This past weekend we (Elaine and I) took the bikes up to Brunswick Md. and biked to Shepherdstown from there. The weather was perfect for the twenty mile ride along the towpath, and the town of Sheperdstown is a wonderful place to visit. There also happened to be a Conservation Film Festival going on while we were there.

Thursday-- November 12, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.13     Water Temperature: 51

I forgot to mention that while I was up in Shepherdstown I saw another one of the electic eye, counter things on the towpath. Maybe they are doing a survey of visitors to see where to invest their limited funds for the park.

More rain than we expected but it has stayed mainly to our south and east which means the Potomac should not be affected by flooding. This is good news because, as you know, the workfest is this Sunday. The weather looks good for Sunday too so I'm anticipating a good turnout and a productive day.

Wednesday-- November 17, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.5     Water Temperature: 50

Wow! What an awesome workfest we had. That had to be the best and most productive workfest in my 7+ years of leading workfests. It ranks right up there with the year that Dave Winer and crew stained the decks and porches. I counted an astonishing 76 names on the sign-in sheet, that means that we had over eighty volunteers here working! Good job everybody and the Club thanks you for all your hard work. I would like to single out Drew Walsh for being so generous as to let the club fill his truck with trash and for hauling all that trash to the dump. Thanks Drew!

This pleasant weather has kept a steady stream of afternoon visitors coming to the island but then by five it's all over.

You're all invited to the CCA December party. The gathering will take place at nearby Clara Barton Community Center on December 4th at 6:00 and will feature a new documentary film about the history of whitewater paddling. The movie has had great reviews and features some local heroes too. I also plan to have some local musicians there to entertain us. It will be a great time and we would love it if you came out and became members of this important canoeing organization, The Canoe Cruisers Assoc. John Thomson would be proud.

Monday-- November 30, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 46

The workfest is over but the great volunteer work continues. We put the mens room sink back on its pedistal and the stacks of firewood are slowly getting split. Jody Benjimin finished painting the clubhouse and Star Mitchell brought down and hung some cool, old river photos. Ned Goddard donated an old kitchen cabinet that will soon be hung in the club kitchen.

This morning I walked down the boardwalk to the ferry and realized I was at the scene of a crime. The perpetrator left a trail of wet footsteps and there were leaves and trigs scatterded about. I followed the trail from the rivers edge to the spot of the violation, another spice bush stolen by a beaver. I'm not surprised, this is always the time of year when the beaver get busy on the Island. They seem to want to gather as many saplings as possible and then pile them up at the mouth of their lodge under the towpath. I assumed that they just wanted a supply of food close to home for the winter but there may be another reason why they pile all those sticks around their front door. The sticks may actually help keep the river from freezing thereby preventing the beavers from becoming trapped under the ice.

I was also lucky enough to see an eagle perched high above Island this morning. The eagles don't nest until January so I was surprised to see this one here on the Island and another by the nest yesterday.

The first of our winter residents are now being seen on the river. So far I've seen pied-billed grebes, common mergansers, and the brilliant, black and white buffle heads (diving ducks).