Notes from the Island
August 2009

There is a thick mist rising from the river as I write this and the rocks in the middle of the river look as though they are floating in a cloud. It is an eerie scene as I look up-river at the silhouettes of the twisted trees emerging from the fog, and a goose swimming in the foreground as if it was filled with helium. This kind of fog is very unusual for this time of year. It isnít very often that the river is twelve degrees warmer than the air in August.

Itís funny, just when I think Iíve written about every possible thing that can happen down here something new always comes along. Youíd think that, after seven years of living on the Island, I would know that by now. The other day I watched as two white-tailed deer bucks sparred at the foot of Ruppertís Island. There they were with their new, velvet-covered antlers trying to force each other into the river. Never seen that before. I guess there are always interesting things happening down here, itís just a matter of having the time to notice them.

Lately things have been busy. Now that the contractors are gone Iíve been working at moving back into my new place and making it homey. Iím really happy with my new digs and itís been fun moving back in and fixing up the place. I have it looking pretty good now so Iím ready to give free tours. Just let me know whenever you want to check it out.

My quarters are a little further along in the construction process than the clubhouse is though. Sadly, there are still many hours of painting to be done in the club areas, despite the fact that we had three mini workdays here this past July. We didnít get anywhere close to finishing the painting but Iím pleased with the progress weíve made. Thank you so much to the devoted club members that have come down and donated their muscle, much appreciated. We just have to keep plugging away and Iím sure things will eventually get back to normal around here.

We did get the new swim float out last Saturday. I say we but I had nothing to do with it. The driving force behind launching the swim float was Tryon, our Captain. It was amazing to see, several club members heeded Tryonís call for volunteers, and by the afternoon the float was in the water. No small task considering that all the materials had to be carried down from the parking lot and assembled on site.

July was a great month down here with many days of near perfect weather and excellent river conditions. The weekends have been busy, especially The Fourth, but the weekdays are usually pretty quiet, even Fridays. The fishing is slowly improving but it is nowhere near as good as it was last year. I guess we got spoiled last year with all that warm water and those low river conditions.

-- Joe Hage, Sycamore Island Caretaker