Notes from the Island
January has been a quiet month and very few members have come to visit. Because the temperature has hovered around freezing, the slough has iced up, melted and iced up again. Unfortunately, even the water in the canal has not frozen solid enough to skate on.
When the slough is partially frozen, we close the club and Holly and I cross the thin ice by sitting in an aluminum canoe and pulling on the rope. We always wear our life jackets and carry an extra paddle, and so far we have had no mishaps.
The beavers continue to feast on our trees. It's a good thing they don't like sycamore bark or we would have to change the name of the Club. And as bad as the damage is on our Island, it's worse on Rupperts.
Hundreds of seagulls are congregating out on Broadwater, floating, soaring and making a racket. A few mallards, wood ducks and Canada geese are trying to survive our mild winter. Meanwhile, the downy, red-bellied and pileated woodpeckers swoop out of the trees to peck at our suet feeder.
The weather has been so mild that the forsythia keeps trying to bloom and the myrtle produces tiny blue flowers. The green tips of the daffodils, amaryllis and Star of Bethlehem are already poking up out of the earth. I almost expect to see spring beauties and crocuses any day now.
I am torn between wanting ice and snow to skate and ski on, and wishing for more warm weather so Spring will arrive early. In either case, the Island will be beautiful, so come and enjoy.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker