Notes from the Island
November 1994


The autumn leaves are changing: the tulip poplar, sassafras and buckeye trees to yellow; the sycamore, oak and bald cypress trees to brown. The spice bushes look dramatic with their yellow foliage and red berries, while the silver maples remain green.

The undergrowth is dying back. Smartweed and purple asters still bloom, but the flowers will soon be gone. Squirrels gather food for winter, woodpeckers hammer away at dead trees searching for insects, and turtles and snakes are getting sluggish. Last week I spotted a deer foraging in the kudzu patch across the canal down from the club. As the river gets cooler the big fish head for the bottom or wherever they disappear to in the winter. Seagulls are returning to Broadwater and the great blue herons stand in the sunny shallows at the lower tips of islands protected from the wind.

Sycamore Island has not been quite as busy. I brought the outer swim float into shore after Ann Kip took her last dip of the year. Hopeful anglers venture forth with rod and reel, but most of the fish caught are small. Al Brown reports that he found one persimmon ready for eating, and we haven't even had a frost yet. So please come down, enjoy the Indian summer and then sharpen up your skates.

Many thanks to Mark Strasburg for bringing corn for the geese. Leslye Schneier's Sycamore Island t-shirts are very popular and you can buy yours at the Workfest on the second Sunday in November. In addition to pulling in the floats, raking leaves and hacking at kudzu, we need to put chicken wire around trees, get rid of trash, clean the clubhouse and do some painting. Bring a dish for the pot luck lunch and we'll see you then.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker