Notes from the Island
October 1994


Autumn is here and the leaves are turning and falling onto the lawn and into the river. The temperature is dropping and on cool mornings a mist rises off the Potomac.

The club has three new club canoes - Old Town Discoveries purchased from an outfitter on the Eastern Shore. Last Friday David and Jane Winer, Johnna Robinson and I paddled the boats from Lock 10 down to the Island. It was a beautiful fall morning and we saw great blue herons, terns, mallards, wood ducks, osprey, swifts, and cormorants. After we arrived on Sycamore and put the canoes away, we looked up and saw a bald eagle circling overhead.

The foliage is dying back, but a few flowers are still blooming. As you walk through the volleyball court, there is a nice stand of wild sunflower still flourishing on your left and a batch of pale jewelweed on your right. On both sides there are small bunches of smartweed, a pink flower that grows kneehigh. The smartweed has invaded the lawn and gives the yard a reddish cast. And as you walk into the woods you'll notice white snakeroot all around you. If you return by the Virginia side trail you can spot some blue Virginia dayflower and garden phlox near the swimfloat.

This does not seem to be a good year for harvesting paw paws, black walnuts or hickory nuts on the Island. However, the wild persimmon trees on the Northeast Passage islands are heavy with orange fruit and we're hoping the squirrels don't eat them all before the first frost.

Come down and enjoy the Island before the cold weather sets in.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker