June 2014

Friday -- June 6, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.89     Water Temperature: 70

This is the first day this year that the river is below four feet.

It is sort of pointless to pick up trash around the island unless you carry it up the hill. It's great if someone wants to pitch in, but for god's sake, finish the job and carry the litter up the hill.

Thursday -- June 12, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.6     Water Temperature: 70

The ferry is closed! Again. It looks like it will be closed all weekend.

Every time I plan to go out of town, the river floods. I just finished getting ready for the rising waters, just like I did before I left in May. I'm starting to get a little concerned about how this climate change is going to effect the Club. I hope this isn't the new norm, powerful rain storms every two weeks.

We had a major historic moment on the Island this week, we got our first Stand Up Paddle Boards. I'm not sure that SUP's are appropriate at a Canoe Club, but what are you going to do.

The Club meeting was here on the Island last night. It was a good turn out considering the weather. We welcomed yet another new member into the Club and we met a new waitlister. It's good to have some new blood but I'm a little worried about these new people who are now able to use the Club and bring guests, yet have only stepped foot on Island once before. It is fun to see the kids and babies on the Island. Mary found a Cherrio on the ferry, we thought that was a good sign.

Speaking of Mary, anyone who has been down here recently knows that Mary has been here quite a bit lately. She loves being on the Island and she has been a big help running the ferry while I'm off doing my painting side work. BTW, for those of you who didn't know, before I took on the caretaker job I was a painter by trade. Hage Custom Painting was a successful business for over 18 years, so if you ever need an expert painter you know where to find me.

Mary and I did a short presentation before the meeting last night. We talked about our Canal By Canoe trip down the Potomac and we showed a little slide show. We need to rehearse a little more but everyone seemed to like it.

I'll be celebrating Fathers Day on the Patuxent River. We'll be canoe camping near Jug Bay. Unlike the tidal Potomac, the Patuxent has a whole bunch of canoe camping sites, and they are really close by!

Tuesday -- June 17, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.4     Water Temperature: 75

The ferry is running again. Gerry got here yesterday just as the river dropped below five feet and put the ferry back into service. I got here soon after and we pushed the docks back out into the river and we shoveled the mud. I also returned all of the safety equipment back to its proper place. Then I cleaned the goose poop from the docks and cut the "grass".

No word yet from the roofer,(not surprising since we've been waiting for this guy since last fall),but the tree guys are supposed to come tomorrow around noontime.

Friday -- June 20, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.9     Water Temperature: 79

It's been an interesting week of nesting ants, tree work, and thieving raccoons. Sadly, the roofer continues to show up missing.

So I get back from my long weekend and I found that I had a serious ant problem. We all get a few sugar ants in the kitchen at this time of year but when I saw them trailing across my living room I got concerned. On Wednesday as I was waiting for the roofer to show up I followed the ant trail to a hole in my ceiling (Right where the roof was leaking.) I cautiously removed the trim on the inside of my ceiling and I discovered a nest of ants. The more of the wet ceiling I removed the more ants I found, and that was only the tip of the iceberg.

I went up on the roof and tore off the rubber that was covering the plywood and there I found an enormous breeding ground of two different sized ants. There were hundreds of the big black carpenter ants with the pinkish egg sacks and there were thousands of the tiny sugar ants with the egg sacks that look like small couscous. I spent the next two hours ripping out wet and rotten plywood and vacuuming up the ants as fast as I could. I ended up with a two foot by four foot hole in the roof, and another one to match it on the inside ceiling, I always wanted a sky light.

Gerry showed up and helped me cover up the hole with boards, plywood, metal sheeting and finally a tarp. We wanted to cover it really well in case the roofer didn't show up right away. That was on Wednesday, then the roofer didn't show up again on yesterday. He was here today, but just long enough to uncover the roof and then he left to get materials. I thought that he was coming right back but now I'm afraid I may have to re-cover the roof and put my lumber/tarp roof back together to keep the rain out over the weekend. I wasn't in favor of hiring this roofer and this is why.

The Island looks a lot different without the big tree at the corner of the deck. The down side is that we lost the nice shade on the deck. Someone needs to volunteer to go and buy a big sun umbrella for the deck. The tree climbers also installed the bolts for Dave Winer's fancy rope swing.

Watch your picnic baskets everyone, there is a bold and hungry raccoon on the Island. It was Tuesday evening when I had to shoo the coon from the porch steps, and on Wednesday the raccoon stole my box of cooked rice right off the picnic table while we were sitting on the dock!

Monday -- June 23, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 79

Happy Summer Solstice.

This is a great time for people to use the Club after work. Last night we didn't close until 9:07, the end of civil twilight. Strangely, it seems that dark is arriving earlier this year. I seem to remember staying open until almost 9:30 during this time of year.

The river is slowly clearing up and it's slowly going down but so far the fishing's has been terrible.

Monday -- June 30, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.44     Water Temperature: 80

The times they are a-changing. Yesterday I paddled around the Island on a stand-up paddle board! It was fun but I think I still like canoeing better.

It looks like the fishing is finally picking up and I may have to go out and try my luck this evening.

The Island was really crawling with people yesterday. It was awesome to see everyone enjoying the river on paddle boards, and in canoes, kayaks and sailing canoes. Meanwhile, on the Island, we had the zip line, the rope swing and the hammock all going at the same time, not to mention the swimmers and the water slide. What a day!

This time of year is the busiest for the caretaker but the long days have given me a chance to get a lot of chores done. In the last week or so I've cut the grass, adjusted the ferry rope, killed the poison ivy, cleared the trails on the Island, cleared the path down the hill, dredged the river channel to allow the ferry to get close to the dock, swept all the decks and walkways and steps, fixed the ramp to the canoe dock, put up the hammock, repaired three canoe thwarts, installed the water slide on the swimming dock, installed a smoke detector (Gerry installed the other one), picked up litter, helped the roofer, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned the screen porch, cleaned all of the life rings, repaired the damaged life saving station, repaired the captains dock, changed an old toilet seat, planted a new sycamore on the Island, cleaned gutters and repaired a trail light. Plus, operated the ferry.