June 2016

Sunday -- June 5, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.1     Water Temperature: 73


Sorry folks but we had to close the ferry today. Maybe it's not that big a consequence since they are predicting severe weather later today anyway.

Monday -- June 6, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.8     Water Temperature: 73

Ferry is open.

Tuesday -- June 7, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.3     Water Temperature: 73

Ferry is closed.

The gauge at Little Falls is malfunctioning but my visual reading here at the Island is 5.3, (I have the two perfectly calibrated) too high for the ferry to fly, sorry folks.

Tuesday -- June 8, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.8     Water Temperature: 73

The ferry is open.

The water is brown and the wind is blowing like mad, but we're open for business.

I saw the strangest thing yesterday. It was a baby goose swimming with it's two parents. Seeing a baby goose is not that unusual, if it's the middle of April that is, but to see one in mid June is something of a fluke. I just don't get it.

Some exciting news, the prothonotary warblers have decided to use Gerry's bird house for their nesting cavity. It's so great to get to see these beautiful birds coming and going so close by.

Sunday -- June 19, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 80

Happy Father's Day!

The Island has been super busy lately. One comment was "I've never seen this many people on the Island when it wasn't a workfest!" I guess its a bit of a perfect storm, with schools getting out, the weather being perfect, and with all of the pent up demand caused by the extremely wet and dreary, April and May. It's great to see all of the new and old members coming together and pitching in to make the Island such a festive place. We're bracing for another big crowd today.(Father's Day being historically a very busy day.)

The wildlife is in overdrive as well and I can't look out my window without seeing some kind of feathered creature or another. The geese are constantly casing out the mulberry tree on the Island, and the fish and turtles are always waiting beneath the mulberry tree that hangs over the river. We just spotted the great egret for the first time this year and the osprey can be seen perched on the high dead branches around the Island, at least until a king bird comes along and tries to shoo them away.

And of course the snakes seem to be everywhere. I watched patiently the other day as a black snake made its way off the Island. I came upon it as I was heading up the boardwalk and the snake was making it's way down the boardwalk. It casually passed me by and settled itself in the mud at the edge of the river with it's mouth in the water. It sat there for several minutes and I thought that it might be taking a drink.(Do snakes drink?) Then it slowly started to move into the river, it's front half swimming and its back half crawling. The two different actions seem to require the snake to move in to entirely different ways at the same time. Once it was out in the current it seemed to know instinctively how to face upstream so as not to be washed downriver. I watched it as it easily made its way across the river to the ferry landing steps and onto the mainland. I can't say why the snake decided to leave the Island, but maybe it's a sign that there just aren't any good mice to eat over here. Snakes are infinitely fascinating.

Tuesday -- June 21, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 80

The busy, post-school year, Island is still in full swing. 25 round-trip ferry rides, on a Tuesday!! I guess the magic of Sycamore Island is finally catching on, or trending, as they say.

Our resident gray squirrels have lost their bashfulness and can now be seen stealing mulberries and birdseed, in the middle of the day!

Tuesday -- June 22, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 80

The weather is perfect but the river is so brown and muddy I don't think I'll be doing any swimming today. Plus, with the river level at four feet there will be quite the current to contend with. Be careful out there kids.

Tuesday -- June 24, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.7     Water Temperature: 80

The river is milky brown with lots of slimy bubbles floating by. Not too inviting to swim in.

The river is also going up and down a lot. Right now it's at 3.7 which is well above the 86 year median of 3.3 feet for this month of the year. It's predicted to hover around four feet for the weekend ahead.

Pepco sent two guys out here last week to inspect our utility poles. They said that everything looked A-OK. The cool thing was that they were able to date the one wooden pole that we still have down here. That pole was made in 1942! That means that its been down here on the Island for at least 70 years, and it's still not rotted! In 2003 Pepco was here to replace our other wooden pole, a fiberglass one. That wooden pole was made from a cypress tree, and it was probably made in the late 1920's or early 1930's!

I added some signage to the Island, nothing too obtrusive. Actually, the sign I put up by my front door is quite attractive and aesthetically pleasing. It's a metal sign, painted red, with gold lettering. It reads, " Caretaker's Quarters". My other purchase was a bumper sticker type thing that reads, I stuck it to our placard that hangs by the mainland ferry landing. It looks much better than the homemade sign that I put up there years ago.

Tuesday -- June 29, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 82

These daily thunderstorms are keeping the river pretty brown but I did here one swimmer say that the water temperature was perfect. Sadly this turbidity isn't helping the bass fishing, and I have no fish stories to tell so far this year.

I'm slowly getting caught up on the mowing. It's funny, some of the maple saplings that I was cutting were already six inches tall! It just goes to show that if we didn't keep the "grass" cut, the trees would take over and the Island would turn into a dense forest.

Jimmy, from Ace fire, was here and now our fire extinguishers have been certified for another year.

I went out to look for arrowheads after a hard rain recently and I found a dime over by the outdoor shower. This wasn't just any dime either. It was a mercury dime, made of 90% silver and minted in Philadelphia in 1904! It's in pretty good shape for a dime that's 112 years old, they say it might be worth a whopping $5! Its possible that old John Ruppert himself dropped it here! Maybe he had a hole in his pocket.