Notes from the Island
July 2007

What can I say? It's been a super Sycamore summer season. The swimming is great, the fishing is exceptional, and the Island is full of picnicking people having fun.

We had a wonderful time at the Summer Solstice Sleepover. Thank you, Whitney, for putting that together. The weather could not have been better for singing by the fire and sleeping outside. George took over the grilling duties and we feasted like kings. Many of the families left at dark, but we did have four families that stayed. We awoke the next morning to another perfectly calm day with a river that looked like glass. I set up the pancake griddle and the coffee maker outside and made everyone breakfast in my new outdoor kitchen. We sat talking all morning until lunchtime, and then we ate baked potatoes that we cooked in the campfire.

I found a snake in my kitchen when I came home late one night; but I hesitate to tell any more snake stories. My last snake tale had the effect of scaring some people from coming down to the Island. Having snakes in the house is just a symptom of the explosion of life that's going on here during this time of year. We have snakes and mice and beavers and trees and warblers and beetles and eagles and bass and frogs and turtles and spiders and dragonflies and voles and ground hogs and catfish and hawks and owls...and a deer on Ruppert's Island.

On a sad note, this past month marked the end of an era. One of our oldest and most committed members has decided to end his membership with the Club. John Matthews, club captain for twenty years, came down with his wife, son-in-law, and grandchild and very unceremoniously took his canoe off its rack and carried it up the hill. John had been a member since 1974 and had one of, if not the, oldest canoe on the Island. I think he said it was built in 1945. Unfortunately for John, the climb up the hill had become too hard to manage. I trust that he will become an honorary member and be allowed to use the Island if he feels able. Don't be a stranger, John.

-- Joe Hage, Sycamore Island Caretaker