Notes from the Island
The Potomac continues to run high and muddy. The fishing
has been poor, but the canoeing is good because there are fewer
rocks to scrape on. Many members are swimming, but they have to
fight the current. Several weeks ago I brought the float in to shore
because of high water and the level has not dropped enough to safely
paddle it back out.
The late summer flowers are starting to bloom. The January
flood and the wet spring and summer have encouraged some of the
plants. The jewelweed is reaching record heights and fringed
loosestrife has spread all over the top of the Island. Garden phlox
has proliferated near the volleyball court.
There is also our regular boneset, tickweed and swamp
milkweed as well as Joe-Pye weed, which attracts the butterflies. It
may be early, but I haven't seen any sign of the cardinal flowers or
the swamp mallows.
Large numbers of Canada geese came through at the end of
June, but they are almost all gone now. Our domestic white goose is
the only one showing up for dinner at people's picnic tables. There
are plenty of great blue herons around, but I haven't seen many
cormorants, which is unusual. And, for some reason, I've been noticing
more red bellied woodpeckers.
I haven't seen many mammals recently, but one day I watched
a squirrel cross the slough on the electric line for the lights up the
hill. The squirrel started from the Maryland shore and walked
along the wire a few feet, fell, caught itself, got back up on the line,
walked a few feet, fell, etc. until it reached the mulberry tree on the
Work continues to be done. The outdoor shower is back in
working order. Now the only major project is the canoe shed.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker