Notes from the Island
April 1990


Spring came early this year. The Virginia bluebells, Spring beauties, and violets cover the lawn. In the woods you can find toothwort, trout lilies, toadshade, golden ragwort, star chickweed, ground ivy, lesser celandine, star of bethlehem, fiddleheads, squirrel corn, and Dutchman's breeches.

The weather has been blowing hot and cold. When it was warm I saw painted turtles basking on logs in the northeast swamp and I found a garter snake down near the ferry. However, I haven't seen any reptiles since the cold weather set in.

On one of the warm days when the river was clear, I saw lots of fish swimming in the shallow water above Rupperts. However, few of our intrepid anglers have actually caught anything yet. I suppose the Potomac has to warm up a bit first. I also heard that this year there is a season for smallmouth bass, and you can't keep any until after June 15th.

The wood ducks are back and they're starting to nest in the trees. I haven't actually found a nest yet, but you can see them perched high up in the branches of the Sycamores.

The great blue heron have also returned. I saw a couple up around Minnie's Island last week. I also spotted an osprey up on Ruppert's.

The beaver are getting more active. They're chomping away at the trees and splashing about in the water in the evening.

We had a good third Saturday session last month. We filled the hole in the men's locker room and Gerry Barton did an excellent job laying down the brick floor. Bob Black and I planted grass seed in back of the clubhouse where we had dug up the plumbing. Al Brown raked up at the top of the walkway. Unfortunately, it started to pour by mid-morning and we had to finish early.

By the time you receive this, Charlie Trammell the Younger and I will have turned the water back on in the rest of the house. With a little luck, the pipes won't freeze.

Both the Workfest and the Potomac White Water Race are happening soon. Be sure to come down and see the bluebells before I'm compelled to mow the lawn.

Also, remember that it often floods this time of year and that the Club closes when the river level at Little Falls reaches five or six feet. You might want to call the Island before coming down or you can call the new river level recording at 260-0305.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker