Notes from the Island
This morning I looked out my window and watched a raccoon
amble across the lawn, climb up an old maple tree and disappear into
a hole. A while later it reappeared with a baby raccoon in its mouth,
climbed down the tree and scampered across the yard to parts
Later, as I was ferrying Holly off to work, we surprised a
mallard and her five ducklings. And then on the Maryland shore we
saw a water snake swimming in the river.
The river is muddy and dropping after a small flood due to
rain in West Virginia. The Club was only closed for a few days. None
of the boats were affected.
Last weekend John Matthews, David Lyles, Blair Bower, John
Stapko, John Stapko, Jr., Holly Syrrakos and I brought down the canoe
shed. John Stapko brought his chain saw and cut the cross braces.
We set up a block and tackle and all of us pulled. At first it barely
budged, so we cut a few chains from their anchors and John Stapko
knocked cross braces out. The second time we pulled, the shed came
right down. We've started to remove the tin roof and there is much
that remains to be done.
There are many goslings this year and they seem to be
growing quickly. They start small and almost chartreuse. As they
grow they turn yellow, then gray, and finally the black and white that
we are so accustomed to. I've seen some orioles and hummingbirds.
And I hear lots of new birdsong that I don't recognize.
The Spring flowers have mostly passed. But there is still a
good crop of Solomon's Seal and wild blue phlox. The wild rose is
blooming and occasionally fleabane pops up in the lawn. It's a bad
year for nettles and poison ivy, so be careful.
June is often our busiest month on the Island. With a little
luck the weather will cooperate, the floods will subside, the water
level will drop and members can enjoy the Club again.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker