September 2017

Tuesday -- September 5, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 79

Regatta, regatta, regatta! Things are quiet now but what a raucous time we had on the Island yesterday. Just like last year we had an amazing turn-out, I counted between 80 and 100 people on the Island that day. Everyone had a fabulous time and we have Mia and Steve Holland to thank for doing another excellent job of hosting the biggest day of the year on the Island. They brought the food, the drinks, the ice, the eggs for the egg toss, the ping pong balls for the canoe pick-up, the water balloons, the bullhorn, and anything else you might need for an A-plus type of regatta, incredible. And then they cleaned everything up before they left! Thank you Mia and Steve!

We started with the three-legged race, then we did the egg toss and then it was time for infamous race around the Island. There were so many racers that we ran out of boats and we had to have two separate heats of 15 boats each. What a sight it was, canoes everywhere and spectators on the mainland, on the ferry and on the Island, all cheering and waving. After the ping pong ball pick-up we started the grill and the kids started the water gun battle. All of the members pitched in to work the grill and to get the food out while I pulled the ferry back and forth all day. Luckily, there were some kids that wanted to help with the ferry, I don't think I could have done it without them. We all had such a good time that I didn't even mind scraping all of the mud off of the bathroom floors and doing all of the other cleaning up that I had to do this morning. Lets hope that Mia and Steve volunteer to run the regatta again next year!

Speaking of large crowds, I think we set some sort of record for the month of August. There were 11 sign-in sheets for the month and they were all filled in, which means that we had close to 400 people visiting the Island in one month!

Thursday -- September 21, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.8     Water Temperature: 75

It looks like we're headed for a beautiful weekend. Skies are clear, the air is warm and it looks like the swimming season isn't quite over yet. I thought that our swimming season had come to an abrupt end last month so it is such a pleasure to have some summer weather as we head into Fall.

Sunday -- September 24, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.7     Water Temperature: 78

It's been super busy down here this week. The river and weather conditions are perfect, plus the kids in Montgomery County didn't have school on Thursday and the DC schools were closed on Friday. I keep a list of school closings in Montgomery County so I was prepared for the onslaught on Thursday but I was really surprised to arrive back on the Island on Friday and see the place swarming with kids before noon. Mary and I are really enjoying having all of these really cute kids here and they are all so helpful and well behaved, mostly. The best part is when we're all on the ferry going back to the mainland and one of the kids says that it was the best day of their life or that Sycamore Island is their favorite place in the whole world.

I don't have any wild animal stories to share. It seems that our humming birds have left for warmer climes or maybe they aren't using our feeder since there are literally thousands of jewel weed flowers for them to feed on. On the Island we have the yellow jewel weed almost exclusively, with maybe one or two of the orange, spotted jewel weed. Along the towpath it is the exact opposite with a profusion of the spotted jewel weed growing in the canal prism for as far as the eye can see and hardly any yellow ones. The spotted ones are very pretty but they do not grow as tall and they seem to prefer that wet soggy ground. The other name for the jewl weed is touch-me-not, and yesterday I had my first seed pod explode in my hand when I touched it. Flowers going to seed, it must be Autumn.

I'm hoping that this new warm spell will reinvigorate the fishing. I haven't had very much luck this summer but someone caught a 15-incher last week, so there is still hope for me to improve my season's catch.