Notes from the Island
June 1994

Most Spring flowers have faded, but the Solomon's Seal and the multiflora rose continue to bloom. The trees we planted survived a recent minor flood and a couple of the sycamores are still growing even though beavers have nibbled off the tips. Many thanks to Marty Burgess and her youngsters for wrapping trees with chicken wire.

The Canada geese have their goslings which are turning grayer ever day. I expect a major goose migration within the next month, so if your kids like to collect feathers June is the time to come down. The mallards and wood ducks also have little ducklings which skitter around the canal and hide out in the swampy areas. I saw my first scarlet tanagers this year, a male and a female. The Island has also had several orioles and cedar waxwings.

As the weather warms, the reptiles appear. Water snakes tend to hang out by the river bank although we have one large one that likes the woodpile out behind the house. Several people have seen our black snakes which seem to have little fear of human beings and when the snakes are not slithering through the lawn, they can be seen climbing trees looking for bird's nests. Of course, the canal is filled with turtles sunning themselves on logs.

Our former president Tryon Wells was back for a quick visit and he and Doc Taliaferro paddled the swim float out and anchored it. As I mentioned before Al Brown has repaired the ladders on both floats. And the inner tubes are all pumped up and available down by the swimming area.

Wayne Coy was gracious enough to buy a game of horseshoes for the Club. We set up the stakes down by the canoe shed and hung up the horseshoes on one of the supports for the racks. Please feel free to use them any time.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker