May 2010

Monday -- May 3, 2010
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 72

The water has warmed up and swimming season has begun! It was quite a treat to plunge into the river again for the first time this year, especially since it was so blistering hot yesterday. We need to get the rescue boat in order and one day, when I have a lot of swimmers here, we'll have to put the swim float out in the river.

It will be a busy week for me, getting ready for the big party on Saturday. I'll be working every afternoon trying to spruce things up in case anyone wants to come down and pitch in.

The nesting warblers are here. I've seen the prothonotary and the northern perula working on their nests. Other birds, like the orioles and goldfinches are very busy nest-building as well.

Monday -- May 10, 2010
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 63


What an awesome party we had here on Saturday! Many thanks to all you members that showed up and helped us commemorate this special event. There were many familiar faces but also quite a few unfamiliar ones, nothing like a party to pull the members out of the wood work. One member came all the way from New Jersey to be here.

This party was such a success and it was thanks to the huge efforts a some dedicated members. We all need to thank Jane Winer and Caroline Gelb for planning and organizing everything. We also need to thank the entire Gelb family, Alan and Son, Michael, their neice and her husband Sandra and Raj and of course Niryan. They did all of the behind the scenes labor. And thanks Dave Winer for prepareing and cooking all that delicious meat.

Thursday -- May 14, 2010
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 63

Caroline, the reptile woman, has posted a cute story about her trip to the Island on her web site. Check it out

I just had a good look at our young eagle. As far as I can tell we have just the one successful chick. It was standing on the edge of its nest, completely black in color except for a couple of white patches on its breast. I think we should call her snow bird since it was hatched during that huge snowstorm we had.

Tuesday -- May 25, 2010
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.4     Water Temperature: 68

The ferry, MAMIE, is closed today, the river is above five feet. It looks like it will be back down below five by tomorrow and MAMIE will be running again. ( Maybe we should call her MAMIE II, the first Mamie was the original name of the first boat purchased by the club.)

Saturday -- May 29, 2010
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 74

I'm glad to not have any big events happening on the Island this weekend. Its been a fun, but very busy month down here. Last week we had the Downriver Race, the week before that we had the canoe class and before that we had the massive, over the top, anniversary party.

The Down River Race was a lot of fun and we had a respectible 45 racers. Many of the old-timers were here and we had a few first-time racers as well. Sadly, there were not many Islanders running the race. The trophies were extra special this year, Davey Hearn recycled some of his many trophies and the winners were treated to large and shiney, marble and gold trophie goblets

Frank Despit led an excellent canoe class and there was a good turn out for that. I learned some things and it was fun to have an excuse to get out on the river early on a Saturday.

I think May is my favorite month on the Island. April is a close second with her bluebells, but May just has so much going on. May is hands down the best time for veiwing birds and bird life. Everyday I can spot over twenty different species of birds, without even using binoculars. All types of birds flock to the Island for its superb nesting opportunities and abundant food sources. Our mulberry tree being a faviorite. Another interesting bird note. There is a piliated woodpecker that hammers on the same tree, at the same time, 6:00 pm, everyday! How do they know how to tell time?

Snakes are also in abundance here. I've seen water snakes almost everyday for the last two weeks and I always happen upon a black snake or a garter snake now and then. One day I found a shed snake skin in the rafters of the clubhouse.

I caught my first small-mouth bass this month, a nice 13-incher. I heard some bad news about fishing. It seems that the dreaded snakehead has been seen in large numbers down at Fletches Cove and below Chain Bridge. The aliens are knocking on the door!!

May also marks the beginning of the swimmimg season when the river offers us its cool, refreshing waters. Swimming in the river is so awesome, and as of yesterday, the swim float is out and ready for use.

I got all the cables attached and we got the swim float in the water. I've been tackling many other tasks too. I finally reattached the power line to the house and replaced the siding and trim that was damaged. I moved the phone line while I was at it. Before, the phoneline ran right over the landing of the clubhouse steps and it was often in the way as people walked up the steps, but now its way off to the side. I repaired some canoe thwarts and I installed two canoe rings on the dock so that people have something to tie their boats to. I took advantage of the holiday to start another major project, scaoe and paint the exterior siding of the clubhouse.