Notes from the Island
September 1995

Autumn is here. After many weeks of drought we were finally blessed with several days of light rain. The earth must have absorbed the moisture because the river is still low and clear. Last night the skies cleared, the temperature dropped and this morning fog covered the water.

The rain has done wonders for the plants. The upper end of the island is covered with white snake root. The pods on the jewelweed are ready to pop. And if you look around you can still see cardinal flowers, ironweed, ageratum, smartweed and tickweed. There is even a lone lobelia near the swim float.

Water birds are plentiful. Last night I went canoeing and saw several great blue herons. Osprey were out fishing, soaring above Broadwater and diving into the river for prey. The wood ducks are back, congregating in the swampy areas around Ruppert Island.

There are few pawpaws this year, but the persimmon tree is heavy with fruit. Black walnuts litter the ground near the canoe shed. And the squirrels have been feasting on the hickory nuts at the upper end of the Island.

The beavers are starting to be active again. I've seen an occasional gnawed branch by the shore. I suppose it's time to wrap trees with chicken wire.

The leaves are just beginning to turn and we should have a nice fall ahead of us. Be sure to come down and enjoy the cool weather before winter sets in.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker