June 2017

Thursday -- June 1, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.2     Water Temperature: 68

The ferry is still closed today but they say that by tomorrow the river will be below five feet.

Friday -- June 2, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.9     Water Temperature: 68

The ferry is open. Yea!

The poison hemlock is growing well this year and we had several large plants that were flowering here on the Island. I knew they were a neurotoxin and that all parts of the plant could kill you if you ate them, but I never bothered to eradicate them until now. I saw something on facebook that made me worry that a child could accidentally become poisoned simply by picking the flowers and getting the residue on their hands and into the mouth. I carefully removed the four-foot plants that were growing near the captain's float, just in case. After all these year of weed whacking, it's a miracle I didn't get poisoned.

Sunday -- June 4, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.2     Water Temperature: 72

Reminder about the Club's rule. There is no trash pick-up on the Island. You must take all of your trash with you! There is no longer a courtesy trash can in the kitchen. Please use trash bags provided and take all of your trash with you. Don't leave your trash for someone else to carry up the hill!

Also, we had a problem with some high school sophomores staying out in canoes until after dark yesterday. We love having your kids down here but please, be sure that they are aware of all of the rules. Thanks.

Wednesday -- June 7, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 72

The river is going down and warming up, and it is slowly clearing up too, so maybe some bass fishing this weekend!

Speaking of bass, I caught a nine-inch bass on Sunday with my bare hands. I was pulling the ferry toward the Island when I saw a fish near the surface of the water. It wasn't dead but it seemed to be in distress. I pulled the ferry up close and reached down to grab it. That's when I noticed what was wrong with the fish. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that there was another, smaller fish wedged, head first, in the bass's mouth. The smaller fish was too big for the bass to swallow and it's barbed fins prevented the bigger fish from spitting it out. So basically, the bass was suffocating from having his would-be meal stuck in it's gills. I did my best to try and pull the small sunfish out of the basses mouth and eventually I separated the two. The little sunny was obviously dead but the bass seemed to have a little life left in it. I thought about eating it but it was a little small so we put it back in the river and hoped that it would revive itself.

The fish sort of floated toward the muddy shore of the Island with one tiny side fin flapping. I went to tell Mary about the drama and she came back with me to see how the fish was doing. That's when we saw something else that we couldn't believe. In the short time that I was gone, a northern water snake had come along and was now trying to swallow the bass! I did not think that the snake had a chance at swallowing a fish that was at least four times as wide as it was, but for thirty minutes that snake sat on the shore and slowly stretched it's body and consumed that entire fish! Unbelievable!

Saturday -- June 10, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 72

The lawn mower has broken again. I'm not too thrilled with this machine. Last year I replaced the cable and belt and it looks like the same problem is back this year. Back to the drawing board. I hope the grass doesn't grow too much while I'm fixing it.

I had to reinstall the sink in the men's bathroom. It was very poorly installed during the renovation and it was slowly leaking out of the drain. I had to take the whole thing apart and recaulk the seal in the bowl. Seems OK now.

The mulberries are ripe and that means that every morning the young geese are here with their parents, earnestly gobbling them up. The turtles in the channel are enjoying the berries too and it's rare if a mulberry manages to float as far as the ferry before a turtle grabs it from below. It's funny though, I only see the turtles in the morning when its sunny in the channel. Once the shade hits, they head to the other side of the Island.

I ran across two deer by the canoe dock the other day. I could tell that one was a male because he already had some small antlers growing out of his head. There also seems to be a fox on the Island. I'm guessing that it's a grey fox. We've seen it's tracks in the mud and I think the fox is responsible for the mysterious holes dug along the trail at the bottom of the Island. My guess is that the fox is digging up the voles for dinner.

Tuesday -- June 13, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.4     Water Temperature: 80

The Island is hopping! All day Saturday and Sunday and even yesterday, there has been a steady stream of bell-ringers. Can't say that I blame them, the weather is hot and the river is cool. It just makes it hard to get anything done around here. I did, however, manage to launch the swim float.

BTW, some of the comments that I have heard from new members and waitlisters make me think that we need to emphasize more that this is a volunteer club. I'm the caretaker, but I can't take care of everything by myself.

I saw a chipmunk on the Island on Sunday. I'm pretty certain that I've never seen a chipmunk on Sycamore Island before. Makes you wonder how it got here. Maybe a hawk dropped it by accident.

The humming birds are regular visitors to the feeders now, so cool. We also see the prothonotary warblers regularly. It's great to have them here nesting on the Island but it may be coming to an end. I saw that the young prothonotaries have already left the nest.

Wednesday -- June 14, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.3     Water Temperature: 84

Three cheers for Club member Jody B. for painting all of the exterior doors of the Clubhouse!! Jody started her project during the Spring workfest and has been coming down off and on since then, painstakingly preparing and painting a total of 12 doors! I think her hard work is going to pay off and we will all be able to enjoy the beautifully painted doors for a long time! Thank you Jody thank you! I think that we should nominate Jody as the Volunteer-of-the Year!