November 2015

Thursday -- November 12, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.2     Water Temperature: 54

The documentary film, Towpath Joe, has been chosen to screen at the Community Stories Festival, Films about Montgomery County. The festival is tonight through Sunday at the Takoma Park Community Center

Get the details at:

Wednesday -- November 18, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 51

What a great time we had at the workfest this last Sunday. It was good to see everyone and we got a lot of work done.

It seems that we're getting better at bringing in the docks and the new plastic dock made it easy to get all the docks out of the water before 1:00! We got most of the leaves up and it looks nice having the lawn all cleared off. It may not be completely necessary to rake all the leaves but it is fun to rake leaves together as a Club.

Drew and Steve Newman lead the dock crews, Ned chopped wood, Tryon built shelves, Rodolfo rebuilt the steps at the landing, Jody painted the small roofs above the screen doors, Cathy Carroll and her daughter, Becca, washed all the windows in the clubhouse, Lynda and Star shined up the club kitchen and of course, George cooked all the food. We also had some wonderful side dishes that the members brought, including Star's famous brownies.

There was also a large crew of members eradicating invasive plants. They pulled up the kudzu and dug up the Japanese knotweed. And Susan Dunham cleared all of the trails. It looks like we're ready for the winter.

I had another strange animal sighting. For the first time ever, I saw a cotton tail rabbit on the Island! It scurried away from my door as I stepped out the other night just after dark. I wonder how long it can survive out here.

Sunday -- November 29, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.3     Water Temperature: 48

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend. The weather on this Sunday is pretty crappy but yesterday and Friday were exceptional for this late in November.

Good weather means big crowds on the Island. Friday was especially busy and it was fun to see all the Waitlisters down here taking advantage of a weekday holiday and the balmy weather.

Monday -- November 30, 2015
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.3     Water Temperature: 48

It's been such a mild month, it makes it hard to complain about the arrival of this wintry weather.

We know that the cold is on the way because we had a migrating common loon passing through here yesterday. It's called a common loon but it is very rare to see one here at Sycamore Island. This fall migration time is the only time that we see this fabled bird. No, we did not here it do any of it's weird yodeling or it's maniacal calls or laughs. I think they only do that in the mating season. We also saw our first migrating buffle head ducks! Winter is coming!

We (Mary and I) paddled up to Rupperts yesterday. It looked so inviting now that all of the tall weeds have fallen back and I think it's a good idea to go up there and check on things regularly. Rupperts Island used to be known as Indian Island, and I always have a sense of mystery and anticipation when I go up there.

We parked the canoe at the bottom end and walked the length of the Island. All in all it looks pretty good, not a lot of trash or evidence of fishing camps. One issue of concern is the amount of the oriental bittersweet up there. Those vines have the potential of taking over all of the other vegetation.

One surprise we had while we were there was seeing the osage orange trees and their large green fruit scattered all over the ground. Osage orange isn't a rare tree but there aren't many of them around these parts. They remind me of my early childhood home back in Kentucky.