Notes from the Island
September 1996

It is hard for us to believe, but Holly and I have lived on Sycamore Island for eight and a half years now. We have enjoyed working with the many wonderful members of the Club and we have appreciated your hard work and dedication. In particular, we are grateful for the tremendous personal support we have received.

However, we both feel it is time that we move on and do something else with our lives. Therefore, we will be leaving the Club on December 1st. I already know of at least two qualified candidates interested in the job, so I don't think there will be a problem filling the position.

Of course, now that we've decided to go, the rain has stopped, the sun is shining, the river level is low, and the water is cool. Except for a slight current, the swimming is perfect.

The fishing, on the other hand, has been pretty dismal.

The summer wildflowers are back in profusion. Box Elder Island off the lower tip of Sycamore has a beautiful stand of swamp mallows, ageratum and a fragrant white flower that reminds me of snakeroot.

Sycamore Island has plenty of white snakeroot, smartweed, and several varieties of wild sunflower with yellow daisy-like flowers. Near the swim float you can find blue Virginia dayflower, purple ironweed, and garden phlox. Also, the stinging nettle is in full bloom. Admire it from a distance.

In the past I've noticed that the Island is covered with pale jewelweed which has a yellow flower, but that spotted jewelweed, with an orange flower, is more prevalent on the canal. However, the January flood must have deposited a lot of new seeds, because the Island now has a good mixture of the two.

If you look carefully around the Island or on neighboring islands you can see red cardinal flowers, horse nettle, jimsonweed, morning glories, and button bushes. The black walnuts are starting to fall out of the trees and litter the lawn. And the pawpaws and persimmons are getting ripe.

Last night I was sitting on the swim float admiring the stars when a beaver swam by. It looks as if they may be getting more active. There are still lots of green herons and great blue herons around. I see an occasional kingfisher or cormorant fishing in the slough. And this morning I saw a goldfinch feeding on a wild sunflower.

September is usually a beautiful month on the Island, but it can get crowded on the weekends. Hope to see you soon.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker