CARETAKER'S LOG
April 2014


Thursday -- April 3, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.5     Water Temperature: 49


I had to disconnect and take down the outdoor bell for the phone. It was neat having the phone ring outside but after a lot of trial and error, I realized that it was the faulty bell that was causing my phone to short out.

We have been getting a lot of activity at the bird feeders, chickadees, titmice, and woodpeckers. I added a second feeder by my window and it has been a joy watching the birds up close, especially the bright yellow gold finches. The geese are nesting now. I counted four nests on the Island but two of them are without eggs and may have been plundered by raccoons.

Friday -- April 4, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.3     Water Temperature: 49


The river is trying to go down but with more rain on the way today it doesn't look like we'll be running the ferry this weekend. Bummer!

Tuesday -- April 8, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.7     Water Temperature: 49


Well, we didn't get as much rain as they predicted and the river dropped below five feet on Sunday morning. We had a few visitors and it was fun to see some old familiar faces. Of course, nobody came down yesterday in the rain but the rain hasn't effected the river level and the ferry is open on this sunny day. I wonder where the people are?

We saw a garter snake on Sunday, and today the carp are jumping and splashing in the river. The woods are really coming alive now.

Wednesday -- April 9, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.7     Water Temperature: 50


The bluebells are out! Along with the Dutchman's britches and the spring beauties.

Nice weather today and the meeting is on the Island tonight so I guess the ferry is going to get a workout.

Friday -- April 11, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.5     Water Temperature: 55


I can't say that I was shocked but I was a little surprised that the bell never rang yesterday. I thought that with the winter we just had, and it being one of the best Spring days we've had so far, I thought I would get some visitors. Just goes to show you never can tell.

I took advantage of the slow time and attached a come-along to the tree that is leaning over our ferry cable on the mainland. I was able to get some of the weight of the tree off of the cable and stabilize it but we'll have to deal with that tree sooner or later.

The river is now warm enough to take out the club canoes and the docks will be out on Sunday during the WORKFEST!

Tuesday -- April 15, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 63


I really hope that the small roof above my foyer gets replaced soon, the water was pouring into my apartment this morning. The upper roofs seem to be performing well though with no visible leaks.

We had a great time at the workfest on Sunday. We had the old regulars plus quite a few new members, and we even got to meet some of our most recent waitlisters. They had their names picked on Wednesday and they were here working by Sunday, not bad! I think we had over fifty volunteers that day.

Thursday -- April 24, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 59


Sad news, it looks like the eagle's nest has broken apart and half of it has dropped to some lower branches. We just noticed it on Sunday and I'm not sure how long it has been that way. I don't know the status of the chicks but lets hope they got out in time. We also had a goose nest fail. The geese abandoned the nest for some reason, maybe it's because there was a whiffle ball in the nest with the eggs? Very strange.

The bluebells are now fading. Boo-hoo

Friday -- April 25, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 59


This Club is full of amazing people. Penny Mitchell has generously donated a very nice spotting scope to the Island. It's an old-school Bausch and Lomb bird-watching 60X telescope. Now she is off to Palestine!

Monday -- April 28, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 60


The river was on a slow descent and I was hopeful that the water level would get below three feet for the first time this year, but now it's going up and there is more rain on the way. We didn't get any spring floods but the river has been at a steady high volume.

A pair of cardinals decided to build their nest low in a bush right next to the screen porch. I passed there yesterday and I startled to female from the nest and I could easily see the five spotted eggs in the nest. Speaking of nesting, some of the goslings have hatched and soon we'll have more little fuzz balls waddling around here.

I was expecting a mad rush to the Island yesterday. I thought that yesterday would be the day to really kick start the Sycamore season. Funny thing, only two parties all day.

The poison ivy is coming up so be on guard. I was out there yesterday getting some of it with the weed killer. The invasive, Japanese knotweed seems to be having a good year, and the pesky stuff is spouting up all over the place, ahgg!

I'm going to put a fresh coat of paint on the swim dock ladder before I install it to the dock. Which means a lot of rust removal and oxide priming as well. It looks like we'll be getting a new ladder for the other swim float.

Wednesday -- April 30, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 50     Water Temperature: 55


The river just went above five feet and the ferry is closed.

The rain is coming down pretty good and the river level predictions are a cause for concern but it's not certain that we'll get flooding down here. It looks like most of the rain is in the eastern part of the watershed so I'm not panicking just yet.

If there is a flood before I leave for my trip, I'll be sure to have all of the pre-flood preparations done. I will raise all the ropes and tether the ferry to the Island where it will bob in the river and be safely away from the docks and trees. If the river is flooding when I leave I will leave a canoe locked to the mainland. When the river recedes, the members will have to canoe over to the Island and retrieve the ferry. Then they will have to lower the ropes and clear the mud from the steps and walkways.

I just went out to raise the ferry rope and it was a good thing I went out when I did. In the short time I was out there the river went up three tens of a foot, from 5.3 to 5.6, and the dock went quickly under water. I like to get the ferry squared away before the dock goes under and today I was cutting it close. I had to take the ferry over to the mainland to undo the chains so I could raise the rope and it was a little scary. The river wasn't real high, but just the fact that its all brown with large logs and lots of trash flowing by, made the ride a little heart-thumping. Even though I've done this routine many times, it still puts me in full-alert mode. I guess thatís a good thing, my motto has always been, respect the river, so far so good.

Hopefully Iíll be able to start the painting of the Clubhouse in May, just waiting to hear back from the Club officers about the proposal I submitted.

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