July 2014

Wednesday -- July 2, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.43     Water Temperature: 80

My computer has been acting up lately so if you don't see any posts from me this month you'll know that the thing died completely.

There were a few people here yesterday trying to beat the heat. Louise Meyer brought her sewing kit and repaired the hole in the hammock, Thanks Louise. I had to climb the tall ladder and replace the pulley that connects the ferry to the safety cable. Today I have plans to rig the telephone line and raise it up higher from the river. The last flood we had made me realize just how vulnerable that cable, is and that we should try to raise it if we can.

If you see me walking around the Island with my head down it just means that I'm still looking for the ring I lost on Sunday. It is silver and about the size of a dime, and very special. If you see it let me know.

There will be a film crew down here today to do some more filming of the new documentary Towpath Joe. It's a little hot but it should be fun, and the film makers are really cool people. They are actually filming me as I type this.

Friday -- July 4, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.45     Water Temperature: 80

Happy Independence Day! It's pretty windy today but we're so lucky to have such a beautiful day for a holiday, especially after the torrential storm we had last night. We didn't lose power last night but we did lose power for four hours this afternoon while they fixed the lines. We really need to get a generator down here.

I just heard that the Park Service cut down another sycamore tree for the crime of having a rope swing tied to it. This tree was down stream from here, near the top of the feeder canal. I never went down there but I heard that it was a great place to swim, and nice and deep for the rope-swingers.

I had to replace the light switch on my living room wall. It was shorting out and when I opened it up there was evidence that it was getting wet. Non coincidentally, that switch is on the same wall that is still missing the exterior siding after it was taken off for the roofing job. I'm still waiting to hear if the roofer is coming back to do the gutters and flashing. I'm also waiting to hear what the plan is to replace the wood siding and trim on the outside and to fix the ceiling on the inside. I'd be happy to do the carpentry and painting if that's what the Club wants.

Tuesday -- July 8, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.45     Water Temperature: 82

It looks like the river is going up a little bit, can't explain it. Maybe there was some rain upstream that I didn't know about.

The storm on last Thursday caused some tree damage. First was the thirty foot box elder that is now bent over and drooping into the field. It's amazing that it bent over so much yet didn't' break. I was hoping that it might erect itself but I may have to cut it down. We lost the top of a silver maple at the bottom of the Island but the worst was our huge linden tree on the upper part of the Island. This was a tree of over 80 feet and was the biggest linden tree I have ever seen. Sadly the entire top half of the tree has been broken off. I guess we should feel lucky that the whole tree didn't come down.

I didn't have much luck raising the phone wire over the river. The tension and weight were more than I had anticipated. I'll have to get another come-along to get it where I want it. I did mange to put a new pulley on the back-up chain for the ferry. It's a tough job involving standing on a ladder high above the river with both hands on the pulley, but I got it done.

Things are getting real busy down here now and the weekend was crazy. The fishing is picking up and the weather and water are perfect for swimming. Speaking of swimming, the fun police have taken down the slide that was on the swim dock, boo-hoo. It's too bad there isn't a swim float to swim to.

Friday -- July 11, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.45     Water Temperature: 82

We had two more torrential downpours again this week. Thankfully the rain was mostly local and the river isn't flooding. After the storm on Tuesday we were treated to a double rainbow over the river. Awesome.

We had a guest speaker at the meeting on Wednesday night. Joe Bell from the USGS came down and gave a very interesting talk about the river gauges and the new and improved equipment that will help them monitor all kind of things in the river.He also left two cool maps. They are both of the immediate area around the Island but one is from 1949 and the other is from 2008. I thought that the maps would be left in the clubhouse but I think Drew Walsh took them off Island. I hope he brings them back soon, I never got a chance to look at them.

I was hoping to get some news about the roof work at the meeting but still no word as to when the roof is coming back to finish. We had to put the buckets around the pool table to catch the rain last night. I was also hoping to get a progress report on the swim float.

The canoe dock came apart. The section that is attached to the ramp, disconnected from the other sections. I fastened some 2X6 boards to hold the whole thing together until we come up with a better solution.

Somebody took down the chains and come-alongs that I had rigged on the mainland to hold the ferry-rope pole. Maybe it was the Park Service that didn't like the chains around the tree. Curious.

I had to go out last night and scare the raccoon from my trash can. That hungry coon managed to get her paws into the can but when she tried to pull out the trash bag, all she got was the bag and none of it's contents. Poor coon.

Monday -- July 14, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.3     Water Temperature: 86

Things always seem to slow down a bit in mid July, compared to June that is. I think a lot of people leave town at this time of year. It was like a ghost town here yesterday during the soccer match. Who knew that D.C. had so many World Cup fans?

The controversial water slide was voted on at the last meeting and it was decided to put the slide back up on the dock. I didn't get around to putting it back up over the weekend so I guess I'll do that this week.

I tried out the new lawn mower that Drew brought down. It's not a brand new mower but it's really heavy duty.(And I mean heavy, this thing weighs three times as much as the other mower.) It cuts well and it looks like it will last us for a while.

The evil kudzu has reared it's ugly head near the head of the Island. Of all the invasive vines that we have to contend with, the kudzu is the most feared. I spent a while yanking and pulling at the stuff but I'm sure it will be back. We just have to stay on top of it so it doesn't take over the Island.

The old canoe cart that was built over 15 years ago by Captain John Matthews has finally given up the ghost. It was a marvelous invention and it served us well over the years. We're working on getting a replacement but it's a little sad to lose that old connection to the past.

I took the ladder down from the tree house. I've decide that the treehouse is not safe the way it is right now. I'll keep the ladder down until someone volunteers to fix it up.

I planted another Sycamore at the bottom of the Island. That makes two trees that I transplanted from Mary's yard. I hope they survive.

Wednesday -- July 16, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 80

Holy cow that was a lot of rain yesterday. Not to mention the downpour we had on Monday. The river shot up to over four feet on the Little Falls gauge and you could see the brown run-off coming past the Island. There was a perfect delineation between the clear river and the storm water entering the river. Of course the flooded creeks delivered the usual assortment of trash and debris. Normally it would float right past but yesterday the wind was blowing up river so once the trash reach the ferry the wind kept it from going any further, not pretty.

The river is now not fit for swimming and the fishing is shot for at least a week. The fishing was just getting good too, I caught my first three small bass on Monday night.

Friday -- July 18, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.3     Water Temperature: 80

I was told on Tuesday that the roofer was coming back today to finish the work, but then I got this email from Drew just now at 11:00 a.m. "The roofer is now scheduled to return to continue the roof and gutter repair work Tuesday / Wednesday of next week (weather and schedule permitting)."

Are you kidding me? How long is this going to go on?

Tuesday -- July 22, 2014
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.1     Water Temperature: 80

I can't say that I'm surprised, but Chris Adams, the roofer isn't here yet. I can't believe that the Club hasn't fired this guy, especially after he called me an a**hole and blamed me for the rain on the floor in my house.