Notes from the Island
November 1995


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 island.

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