Notes from the Island
October 1990


One evening as I was ferrying to pick up Holly I heard a splash which I thought was a fish jumping. Holly, however, had seen something plummet out of the sky and yelled at me to save the bird. We were both wrong: within moments a squirrel surfaced and paddled towards the Island. Fred was waiting on the shore, but the squirrel scampered past him up a box elder.

I had thought that the squirrel had accidentally fallen out of a tree into the river, but several weeks later we spotted another one swimming across the slough to Sycamore. Since then I've noticed many squirrels on the Island and I can't seem to find a single paw paw. Now, if they would only eat the black walnuts off the lawn, it would be easier for me to mow.

Holly has been commuting to her job downtown by riding her bicycle down the towpath. Recently she has sighted beaver swimming in the canal only half a mile from Georgetown where Canal Road ends at the extension of M St. It's amazing that wild animals can exist so close to the city.

The foliage is dying back and the leaves are beginning to turn. The heron, osprey, and cormorants are still plentiful on Broadwater and the asters, smartweed, jimsonweed and white snakeroot are still blooming; but autumn is in the air and it's time to chop firewood for the winter months.

The carpenters have completed the addition. The electrician and the plumber still have work to do, but Holly and I have already started to paint the interior. I know many of you are curious to see what the new room looks like. Unfortunately, it's not always convenient for us to show it to people. Therefore, we've decided to open it up for general viewing on the day of the big Workfest in November. We hope to see you then.

The carpenters have also finished the new stairs. The steps, leading up to the gameroom, are built with treated lumber and have a new landing halfway down. Be sure to admire them on your next trip to the Island.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker