June 2015

Tuesday -- June 2, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 80

That was some pretty hard rain yesterday and, not surprisingly, the river is going up. It's predicted to shoot up real fast today and reach 4 feet on Thursday. Most of the water we're getting is coming from the Monacacy River, the biggest Potomac tributary in Maryland, so it will pass by quickly and our river will start to go down on Friday. I guess that they got a lot more rain in the upper county yesterday because Seneca Creek and Bennett Creek were also flooded today.

Friday -- June 5, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 68

Lots of rain and no sunshine has made the river temperature plummet to below 70 degrees.

It's baby season on the Island, baby geese, baby songbirds and now two new baby squirrels on the Island. I know that these are new squirrels because they definitely don't have the super-shy characteristics that my other secret squirrels have.

I'm not expecting a lot of business today. It's too cold for swimming and the river is too muddy for bass fishing. Lets hope that the weather improves for the busy weekend ahead.

Wednesday -- June 10, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.5     Water Temperature: 76

It was a fun surprise to see my picture in this Sunday's paper (Page E 22). Actually, it was a picture of my whole band promoting the documentary, Towpath Joe, very cool.

Wednesday -- June 24, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 82

It's nice and cool this morning with low humidity. What a nice change from the muggy summer weather that we had to endure yesterday. They say that this has been one of the wettest June's on record, and the muddy brown river seems to concur.

The muddy water hasn't stopped the swimmers from seeking out a way to beat the heat but the high water makes it like swimming on a treadmill. The fishermen can still catch catfish in this muddy river, but the bass fishing has been seriously affected by these daily rains. The heavy rains are causing some damaging erosion on the Island too but the cool thing about that is, as the dirt washes away I'm finding more and more native Indian artifacts. No full arrowheads or anything but lots of stone flakes, remnants of a lost culture and a lost craft.

The rope swing broke. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt when it snapped. Apparently Scott Bertaut was standing on it when it went, and he only suffered some rope burns on his hands. You can bet that Dave Winer will find the flaws and get that rope swing back in operation before you know it.

Our marvelous mulberry tree is such a joy in early summer as it bears it's tasty treats. The berries on this tree seem exceptionally sweet and this year we even made a mulberry pie. The other great thing about this tree is that it attracts wildlife and brings it in close where we can see it. It's especially nice when an oriole comes down from the treetops to have a snack. I'm pretty sure that not one berry was wasted. If the berries fall to the ground, the geese with their offspring are there to quickly pluck them up. The berries are so tempting that even my secret squirrels will risk being seen in order to steal a berry or two.

Speaking of squirrels, it's cool to think that there are a bunch of flying squirrels on the Island. I've only seen one once but in the evening I can hear them squeaking up in the canopy.

I scrubbed the boardwalk leading from the ferry. The boards were covered in slim and were getting very slippery when they got wet. I hit them with some bleach cleaner and they are a lot safer now. The cleaner worked so well that I decided to use it on the brick walkways as well.

I had to add a new bumper to the mainland ferry landing and I'll have to add some padding to the ferry to keep it from chewing up the wood over there. I also repaired the kayak rack and put new thwarts on a couple of canoes. And I cut grass, a lot of grass. Wet weather means that everything is growing like mad and I spend my time beating back the jungle.

I repaired one of the old canoe carts. Not the old John Matthews one but the other one with the fat tires. It has been a couple of years since we had a working cart and I was holding out, hoping that one of the members would tackle this project, but I found I needed a cart and could wait no more. Plus, without a cart some members just can't move their boats.

Thursday -- June 25, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 82

First, I need to tell you that dear our friend and fellow Club member, Marianne Ross has broken her back and is at home in a soft body cast. I don't have all the detail but her spirits seem to be up. Poor Marianne, she loves coming to the Island so much and now she is stuck at home. We wish you a speedy recovery Marianne!

Yesterday, I told you that the rope swing had broken but I forgot to mention that the blue hammock has also given up the ghost. It had a nice long run, my sister gave me that hammock for my 41st birthday, 12 years ago! I didn't realize just how much this hammock was appreciated until someone came down yesterday, just to rest in the hammock. Sorry Mark.

I want to thank Mary Kearney for fixing the screens in the screen porch. Isn't it nice to have someone as awesome as Mary helping out around the Island?

I finally put up the River Water Slide today, all it took was for one cute little girl to ask me if we were going to put up the slide this year. I'm such a softy, I put the slide up that minute, and then cleaned and waxed it. The wax was Dave Winer's idea, and the kids loved it!

They came by and cut the grass along the canal yesterday. That's a good thing I guess, but the sad and funny part was that they went crazy with the weed whacker and totally demolished the spice bush that we were cultivating there. We had planted it on the river bank by the steps to help prevent erosion, but it's gone now.

We got the power for the trail lights working. Once the GFI breaker was reinstalled the correct way, the lights went right on. Now we can safely operate the lights up the hill, knowing that they are on a safe GFI breaker.

Friday -- June 26, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 82

They must be expecting a heck of a lot of rain for tomorrow. They predict the river to shoot up to 7.5 feet on Monday! I suppose the Island will not be too busy tomorrow with that kind of rain. When will all this crazy rain stop?

Sunday -- June 28, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.5     Water Temperature: 72

Well the rain and the downpours were just as bad as they had predicted and the river is cranking up. The muddy brown water is creeping onto the Island and it looks like the ferry will be closed for the rest of the month. Judging by the predictions, we'll be lucky if we can open the ferry for the Fourth of July.

I put the ferry into flood mode and I pulled the docks in best that I could. It's incredible just how much debris gets collected at the ferry when it's broadside to the current.

One of the new geese is suffering a broken leg. The poor thing can't walk and when it tries to, it falls flat on it's face. She's slowly learning to hop but I hope she learns to fly soon or she could be in trouble. I thought of making a pet out of the young goose but that thought did not last long.

Monday -- June 29, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 6.5     Water Temperature: 72

If you were ever wondering if I pay attention to what the river is doing, you can be sure that I'm paying attention. I'm so in tune with the local hydrology that I even drove out to Frederick county yesterday to see the Monocacy reach it's crest of 15.5 feet. While out there we scouted Bennett Creek and Seneca creek to watch those creeks fall back into their respective banks. Before I moved out here to the river's edge, I was barely aware of even the most major floods, but now the Potomac river watershed is always in the back of my mind.