Notes from the Island
January 1991

December was a quiet month. The third Saturday work session was rained out and very few members have visited the Island. Although it doesn't seem as if we have had much rain, the river level has risen to about 5 and a half feet and stayed there for several days.

Winter started off mildly, but temperatures dropped a few days ago. A thin film of ice has formed on the canal and now a light snow is falling.

I continue to see beaver and the destruction they are wreaking. They have chopped down several trees by the swimming float as well as having thinned out the maple grove at the lower end of the Island.

There is a large beaver lodge on the Virginia side of Ruppert's. Several well worn animal tracks lead up the river bank into the woods and tell-tale stumps are common.

I haven't seen the opossum again, but I did see more deer tracks in the mud at the lower end of Sycamore.

Now that the trees are bare, it is easier to see the woodpeckers with the colorful red patches on their heads. Some heron, mallards and Canada geese are still around. Jack Colwell spotted some grebes diving in the slough the other day.

Sycamore Island can be starkly beautiful in the winter. Come down and see it - you won't have to worry about large parties.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker