Notes from the Island
The Potomac continues to be very low and clear. This
morning while canoeing to the Virginia shore, I could see rocks
on the bottom all the way across the river. Much to my
surprise there was no trash, not even tires. I also didn't
see any fish. I wonder where they go in the wintertime.
We had a beautiful day for the Workfest. Many people
came down to rake and haul in the floats. Charlie Trammell
supervised bricklaying in the men's locker room, John Matthews
coordinated clearing out the junk under the workshop, Betty
Burchell stoked the bonfire, Bob Black tore down kudzu and
other vines, Brad Coolidge cut firewood, and the Supers
cleared the trail.
This year no one could stay for the potluck dinner, but
Holly and I would like to thank Sue Super for the great
chocolate chip cookies she left behind.
Fall has arrived, the flowers are gone and the leaves
have dropped off all the trees except for a few maples.
Canada geese, mallards and wood ducks keep flying through and
the great blue herons are still here, but the other herons
and cormorants have moved on. The woodpeckers stay all
year but their red patches are much more visible now that the
leaves have fallen. While most of the birds are leaving, the
seagulls are starting to return to their winter quarters out
The beaver continue to wreak havoc on the maples at the
lower end of Sycamore. They store the saplings in the water
at the entrance to their lodge on Box Elder Island so they
can eat the bark throughout the winter even when the river
Be sure to come down on some quiet, balmy day and go
out for a walk or a short canoe ride and then sit by the
wood stove. You'll have the Island to yourself and you won't
have to worry about large parties.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker