October 2016

Tuesday -- October 11, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.0     Water Temperature: 62

I can't believe how quickly it has changed from summer to fall. One minute we're frolicking in the warm water and the next we're thinking about turning on the heat in the house. I guess the swimming is over now, at least for most of us. There are those that relish the cold water and like to test their mettle until late in the season. Those are the folks that grew up in New England or Canada. Not me.

The fishing is also drawing to a close but someone did catch a catfish from the captains float on Sunday.

But the canoeing is still good! Especially now that the wind has died down, Sunday and Monday were tough, windy days on the ferry and it was actually too windy to take a boat out. It's not often that we get whitecaps on the river.

I bought 22 burgers and 16 hotdogs so be sure to make to the Island tomorrow at 6:00pm for food and Potomac Riverkeeper! I'll light the tiki torches and turn on the fairy lights.

Thursday -- October 13, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.39     Water Temperature: 61

The river is going up a little bit, not sure why.

We had a great time last night before the Club meeting. There were about 18 of us here for the pre-meeting BBQ. It was funny, with all of the space we have on the Island everyone chose to eat huddled together by the grill. After dinner we heard a very informative presentation by Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks. Coincidentally, it had been exactly one year to the day since I met Dean during his Cumberland to Point Lookout paddle trip.

Then the most miraculous thing happened, we had the meeting and it was over in less than an hour! I'm pretty sure that that has never happened before, John Noble was very impressed.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur of course and it was so cool that we had member's family and their guests breaking their fast out on the Captains float at sunset.

I have to give a shout out to Gerry Barton. Once again he took it upon himself to clean out the chimney for the wood stove. He is turning into a real chimney sweep. Gerry also brought down his magic cleaning cream, "Bartender's Friend" and removed the rust stain that was on the kitchen counter in the Clubhouse. Thanks Ger.

Tuesday -- October 18, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.0     Water Temperature: 68

Today I cut the grass, saw a garter snake, and then I went for a swim. Not an unusual day on the Island, except for the fact that it is October 18th! Swimming in the river in October is rare but this is for sure the latest that I've ever been in the water. It is such a fine time of year for swimming too. The water is super clear and the fall colors reflecting off of the mirror-like water are a real treat.

Tuesday -- October 25, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.8     Water Temperature: 58

No more swimming for me, the river is a cold 58 degrees now, brrr.

It's camping season! We had 15 cub scouts here on last Saturday night and there is another group planning to camp here on this coming Saturday. It's a bit chilly, but the Island is so pretty in its cloak of Fall colors.

I had a cat on the Island for most of the month, I was cat-sitting for my kid. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed having the little bugger around and some of the members were thrilled to see a cat on the Island again, just like the old days when Peter Jones had a black cat here, I think his name was Fred. The cat has gone back to his mommy, but he did earn his keep while he was here. He caught two mice. So proud of our little mouser.

I just learned of the sad news that Peggy Thomson passed away last Thursday. She was a long-time Club member and the wife of legendary Club member, John Thomson. I never met John, but I have found memories of Peggy. It was so much fun for my kids and I to visit her at her home near Chevy Chase Circle. She had a big house and she was so nice and let my young girls explore her wondrous attic that was filled with toys and items from all over the world. The other memory that sticks out in my mind is the time that Peggy came down to the Island with her daughter Hillary, and Hilly's goat! So peculiar, but like Hilly said, no rules against having a goat on the Island. We wish Hillary and her brother Dave all the best.

Monday -- October 31, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.7     Water Temperature: 58

Happy Halloween!!

The weather is still awesome and the Island is still lively! What a great weekend we had. The fish were still biting and some people even went swimming, and it's almost November!

The river is super clear too and I can see the bottom of the river in 15 feet. I had the rare pleasure of watching two catfish and a 12 inch bass swimming right under the captains float. It's like being at the National Aquarium down here.

Can a bird deliberately poop on you from above. And if so why would a bird deliberately poop on you. These were the questions that were going though my head yesterday after I was very nearly creamed by a great blue heron while I was pulling the ferry back to the Island. It was just before dark when I noticed a large bird flying down the channel above me. I was watching it closely as it flew over to see if it might be a night heron. The dark shape of the bird was silhouetted against the light sky and just as it got overhead I noticed a whole bunch of stuff flying out from between it's legs. Luckily my survival instincts kicked in and I dove for the opposite side of the ferry. It was a good thing too because after it was over the ferry looked like someone had spilled white paint all over it, right where I had been standing! Maybe that bird was mad at me for scaring it away from it's fishing spots all these years. I'm gonna have to start watching by back.