July 2017

Monday -- July 10, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 82

Well the Club certainly got their money's worth out of me yesterday. There was a steady flow of revelers on the ferry all day, right up until dark. We had swimmers, fishermen, a group of play readers, a group of ukulele players, Bannockburn pool board members, and their families, and lots of kids. It was great to see all of those kids out in canoes, scattered all over the river and having a good time.

I went up on the roof to clean the gutters and I found a black snake curled up in the gutter above my living room. Then I went to clean the gutters over the deck and I got stung by a wasp, right on the tip of my nose! Then I went to cut the grass and I got stung twice by the ground-nesting bees that I ran over with the mower. Holy Cow it must be summer.

Thursday -- July 13, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.2     Water Temperature: 84

We had the monthly meeting here on the Island last night. We did not have a quorum but 9 of us all sat around the picnic table and had the meeting anyway. John Noble ran the meeting in Richard's absence and when he asked me for a caretaker's report I was sort of at a loss for words. I wasn't sure how much detail about my duties the member's wanted to hear and I certainly didn't want to bring up a subject that might extended the meeting any more than necessary. What I didn't say then, that I want to say now is that, generally speaking, the Club buildings and facilities are in good working order and there is nothing urgent that we need to deal with. The things that are less than great, and that will need to be addressed, are the eight screen doors on the deck and the railings on the ferry.

Thanks to Larry for his nice words about the trails being clear and thanks to Meredith for being so concerned about me working too hard pulling the ferry all day.

I restocked the first-aid kit. After I was stung by the bees last week I went to reach for some benedryl and there was none to be had. I also noticed that we were low on band-aids and advil. I bought some more toilet paper too, it's important that we not run out of TP. And for the record, we have never run out of TP in my 14 years 11 months as caretaker.

The corner where we store the canoe and kayak paddles was total chaos yesterday, with paddles stuck everywhere and every which way. I decided to install a new rack for the kayak paddles. It's a horizontal rack under the window there and hopefully it will help to keep the paddles organized.

Thursday -- July 20, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 88

It may be hot but it's always cooler on the Island! The river is warming up too, but it's nice and low and perfect for swimming.

We're down to three working Club kayaks. One of the red ones that we tried to patch last fall is leaking again and I had to take it out of service. Maybe someone in the Club can figure out how to patch these plastic boats. We also have a Club canoe that has been broken for a few years. It has a hole that needs patching as well. On the up side, some of the older members are forfeiting their canoe racks and donating their old canoes to the Club. So, no shortage of boats by any means.

We've been attracting a lot of birds with the new humming bird feeders and the sunflower seeds. The other thing that we have that is attracting the birds is a stead source of water. It seems that the water coming from our heat pump/air conditioner has become a favorite of our resident birds. It is so cute to watch the humming birds take a little shower as the water flows from the gutter and splashes off of the bushes below. I have also witnessed the chicadees drinking water from the broken stalks of the jewel weed. It seems that after I cut the weeds, a bit of water collects in the chamber at the top and the birds can perch there and take a drink. Amazing.

Thursday -- July 25, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.1     Water Temperature: 84

There is a very large tree that has fallen across the trail up by the old trolley trestle. The trail is passable but just barely. You might have to crawl or you could probably limbo your way under the tree. It's the same giant oak that fell a couple of years ago. We have been able to walk under it all this time but now it is squarely in the way. I'm going to try to clear a path around it.

Important River News!

The Coast Guard wants to close a popular section of our Potomac River for security reasons. Get the details at the link below.

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