Notes from the Island
The December weather has been very mild. The forsythia has
been blooming and I've even seen an occasional periwinkle flower.
For the first time I've noticed a beaver lodge on Sycamore
Island itself. If you look about 100 feet upriver of the ferry you'll
see a bunch of branches and sticks in the water by the shore. This
is where the beavers have been storing food for the winter at the
entrance of their abode. Look again and you can see some of the
stumps of trees they've chopped down (as well as trees I've put
chicken wire around) and paths where they've dragged the limbs across
the sand and down the bank to the river.
A few birds still remain: a handful of Canada geese, mallards
and wood ducks. In the last week I've seen one great blue heron and
one kingfisher and Holly has sighted grebes in the slough. The
seagulls have returned for the season and they either sit out on
rocks or slowly float down the river with the current. And of
course, we still have plenty of woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees and
Because of the mild weather the Island has had more traffic
than usual, although it never gets crowded this time of year. Many
thanks to Judy Lentz and the students from the Parkmont school, who
came down and picked up trash from the upper end of the Island.
Now that the temperature is dropping, it is time to wax those
skis, sharpen those skates, and if the ice and snow don't materialize,
then just come down, build a fire in the woodstove and enjoy winter
on the Island.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker