November 2016

Wednesday -- November 9, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.8     Water Temperature: 56

Club meeting tonight, 8:00! On the Island.

Monday -- November 14, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.8     Water Temperature: 56

What a great time we had at the workfest yesterday, and we got a lot of chores done too! Of course, the first thing we had to do was eat turkey bacon and donuts, some members even combined the two, a Sycamore tradition. Thanks to George and his assistant, Shelly, for doing all of the grilling! And thanks to everyone that came out to make it such a successful day.

It was a good turn-out yet not too big. Sometimes it is tough on the caretaker to find jobs for everyone when there are eighty people here, but this time there were only about fifty volunteers, perfect. Some of our usual helpers weren't here but there were new faces to fill their place. We missed Linda Phillips on the Kitchen clean-up but waitlister, Amber, took over admirably. Likewise, Geoff Holdrich stepped up to get the docks out and everyone pitched in to make it fun and easy. I had asked Steve Shultz to bring down his chainsaw and that was key to getting the firewood all stacked up for the winter. After Steve cut the logs, a crew of other new waitlisters, including Chris Maggio, proceeded to split them and stack them in the Clubhouse.

I purchased and delivered 100 bricks to the Island for the workfest and Greg Super, with his helper Chris Stern, did his usual super job of laying the bricks for a nice walkway behind the clubhouse. The leaky faucet in the kitchen was fixed as well, thanks to Karl Kosok. I also purchased and delivered 3 large bails, 170 square feet, of insulation but I couldn't get anyone to volunteer for that job. Experience tells me that it might be up to me to install the insulation. We did, however, check off a lot of things from our to-do list, and I am so proud of all of our volunteers.

Tuesday -- November 15, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.7     Water Temperature: 54

I forgot to mention that some of the new waitlister kids, Matthew and Sophia, built themselves a little fort while they were here for the workfest. They got a good start at the workfest but they were back yesterday to put some more finishing touches on their new Island structure, so awesome.

The tree experts were down here today to do some tree trimming. It was a good thing that I had them come down when I did. Apparently the big silver maple that was leaning over the house was on the verge of toppling over. The whole tree was shaking when Franklin climbed up to cut it. I was also glad that I had them remove the mulberry tree that was leaning on our ferry cables. It was only a matter of time before that heavy tree fell and caused some damage to the ferry and cables. That tree was so dense in fact, that when I pushed the logs into the river, they sank straight to the bottom.

Tuesday -- November 22, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.7     Water Temperature: 56

I drove up to the Home Depot in Gaithersburg yesterday to pick up the three new windows for the caretaker's quarters. The old windows have gone bad and have lost their insulating gas so that they have turned white and you can't see out of them. The old windows have been bad like that since I moved here 14 years ago, so it is going to be a big change and a big improvement to the Club. I plan to install the windows this week. The windows were $250, installation, no charge.

Wednesday -- November 30, 2016
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.8     Water Temperature: 45

Well, we are finally getting some rain so maybe soon I'll be able to pull the ferry over without scraping the river bottom. It's been a long drought, but actually a lower river is better than higher river.

The new windows are in and they look great! I did an excellent job installing them, with Mary's help of course. I'm so glad we got the warmer windows in before it got really cold.

For my birding friends out there, we've seen some wintering waterfowl begin to arrive. So far this month we've had pied-billed grebes, buffle heads and a whistling swan that spent the day hanging out just across the river from us. I had to look up the swan to be sure of what it was. The whistler swan was named by Merriwether Lewis because of the characteristic whistling of their wings. It is also known as the tundra swan. The other native swan is the trumpeter swan, which is rarely seen here and is more common in the northwest.