Notes from the Island
April 1992


March has been cold and windy. Intermittent rain has kept the river up between four and a half to five and a half feet for most of the month.

The flowers have been trying to bloom with some success. Spring beauties, vinca, crocuses, daffodils, ground ivy, chickweed and forsythia have been coming out slowly. Today I saw my first toothwort of the year. With three good sunny days the bluebells will all pop out.

Some of the migrating birds are passing through. The seagulls are leaving and the great blue herons are returning. About twenty whistling swans rested out on Broadwater for a few days before flying up towards the Arctic and I have noticed American coots and a horned grebe for the first time. Mallards, wood ducks, and Canada geese are hanging about looking for nesting sites. One afternoon we saw four bluebirds perched on the sycamore outside our window and this morning a flicker was visiting the upper end of the island.

The beavers continue to make their presence known. High water can drive them from their lodges and often I see a pair above Rupperts. The other evening I saw a beaver swimming in the canal above Lock 6 with branches in its mouth.

I don't know if they are catching anything, but people are starting to fish on the Maryland shore. However, the river is still cold and muddy and so far our members have not brought out their tackle boxes.

Don't miss the bluebells and the Spring wildflowers, but you might want to call before coming down to make sure the Club isn't closed due to flooding.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker