Notes from the Island
Summer is here and the daylilies and roses are blooming. The
birds and squirrels are fighting over the mulberries while the geese
wait for the fruit to drop in the river below. The goslings are
growing and their color is turning from yellow to gray to faint black
and white. In the shallows large carp are flopping around. The water
willows have tiny purple and white orchid-like flowers and you can
see hundreds of the blooms floating down the river. John Thomson
will be glad to hear that we have a good crop of paw paws this year,
but if we want any we will have to harvest them before the squirrels do.
A small but dedicated group came to our work session on
June 20. Ann Kip weeded daylily beds while Eric Simpson, Rene Maycock
and John Krasny cleared out undergrowth on the Virginia side of the
Island opening up the view.
The flooding this spring had eroded the volleyball court but
had deposited sand near the swim float, so Bob Palermo, Alison Levine
and I transported many wheelbarrow loads of sand over to the playing
area which is now more level than it was before.
John Matthews and Brad Coolidge have been working diligently
on our new ferry. John brought down the wood for the railings and
the pontoons should be here tomorrow.
David Holdridge and I are working on a new pulley system to
lift the ferry safety cable in case of high water. In the last flood
the old system failed to prevent a tree from catching on the cable
and now we are going to try to raise the wire higher.
The other night I went down to the swim float for a dip, but
there were at least three beavers playing around in the river. I
watched them for fifteen minutes and waited until they left before I
dove into the water.
Occasionally I tie up my canoe to some tree roots on the
Maryland shore when I leave the Island. This spring I noticed that
the beavers were chewing through the roots. Not long ago I had
trouble getting on shore and I was swearing at the person who had
dumped a number of branches and limbs in my way, when I realized that
the beavers had done it. They were making a lodge in the middle of
my exit path.
Now that summer is here, come down and enjoy the swimming.
I understand that Al Brown and John Stapko are both working on
replacing the ladders to the floats. Hope to see you soon.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker