Notes from the Island
July 1995


The other evening I paddled around Rupperts Island and noticed a beaver in the shallow water munching on water willows. As I sat and watched, two more beavers waddled out of the woods and into the river. I stood up to get a better view and spotted two raccoons who had also come to the riverbank to feed.

Two nights ago a beaver crawled up onto the lawn. It was so busy chomping away at the weeds that I was able to get within feet of it before it noticed my presence and slipped away into the water.

Last night Holly and I were grilling dinner down by the river when a black-crowned night heron swooped in and perched on a sycamore branch overhanging the water.

Maybe it's because we didn't have a big flood this year, but the lover tip of the Island has grown considerably and is covered with blooming water willows. Also, fringed loosestrife (which has small yellow flowers) has spread across the upper end of the Island. And, of course, the orange daylilies crop up in all kinds of expected and unexpected places.

Now that the fruit is ripe, the mulberry trees are a center of activity. Birds and squirrels make lots of noise in the branches, while the geese and the groundhog wait underneath for the berries to drop. I've also noticed plenty of members stopping for a quick snack, possibly for an energy boost before climbing the hill again.

The river is low, the water is still cool, and many members have come down swimming. Anglers seem to be catching small fish -- lots of action, but not much dinner. And everyone seems to enjoy the new canoes the Club purchased last fall.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker