Notes from the Island
There is a cold wind blowing down the Potomac and it is
finally feeling like fall. Leaves are dropping on the lawn and the
foliage is dying back. The only flowers left are asters, smartweed
and white snakeroot. I took my last swim ten days ago.
On Saturday we had a heavy rain. The river rose
dramatically and by Sunday afternoon I had to stop using the ferry
and close the club. Mallards, wood ducks and Canada geese
congregated in the swampy areas formed by the high water. The
Potomac crested at close to seven feet and then dropped quickly,
leaving a residue of mud around the shore. We opened again on
Tuesday morning. And today I discovered deer tracks in the soft
earth near the climbing tree at the lower end of the island.
I'm sorry to report that the gray goose died. I assume it
was from natural causes. The last remaining white goose has been
upset, occasionally honking for its companion. It's not much
consolation, but you might want to bring it some old bread the next
time you come.
Many of you read the article in the Washington Post. And,
yes, we have been flooded with calls from people who want to be put
on our ten year waiting list, even if the map identified the wrong
The National Park Service and the Potomac Appalachian Trail
Club have been repairing the path coming down to the Island and
should be finished by next weekend, just in time for the Workfest. In
addition to hauling in the floats and raking, we'll have plenty of
tasks for all to do. So come down, bring your boots, gloves and a
side dish, and be sure to enjoy the Loebs' grilled chicken.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker