Notes from the Island
July 2005

This past June was probably the busiest month I've had on the Island so far. It makes sense that June would be busy but I guess in past years the bad weather and river levels kept people away. This June, of course, was different. All of the large-party events were able to take place and no one had to be turned away because of high water. We had girl scouts getting badges; we had graduates celebrating the end of school, and we had the Summer Solstice Sleepover, (and this year we had it in June and the weather was perfect unlike last year when it was held in July and the humidity was dreadful). We even had two luaus here in case you were wondering about the Aloha sign above the ferry landing or the monkey in the clubhouse.

The longest day of the year was followed by a full moon and it was really quite awesome when it rose golden orange over the river matching the color of the day lilies that now speckle the Island. There are many other summer wild flowers coming out and some aquatic plants as well. There is one arrow arum just downstream from the Captain's Float and there is a grassy plant growing around all the rocks in the river that has the most beautiful and delicate orchid-like white flower outlined in purple. What a treat it is to swim out to the rocks in the middle of the river and find a bouquet of these tiny flowers. The baby geese are grown now; the little wood ducks are almost as big as their parents, and there seem to be many more grackles and blackbirds on the Island than in past years. One day we saw a deer jump off the Captain's Float. Unfortunately, the ground hogs are still here fattening themselves up for their long hibernation under the clubhouse.

Besides cutting the grass and pulling up the kudzu and cleaning up before and after parties, I've been doing some painting. I'm finally getting around to painting over the outdated blue trim in my living room. I'm painting the walls a warm cream color and the trim I'm painting to look like finished wood to match my furniture.

I won't be here July 8, 9, or 10, so my friend and climbing partner Duncan and his family will be

-- Joe Hage, Sycamore Island Caretaker