Notes from the Island
November 1993

Today was a beautiful day. The sun was out and a warm moist breeze was blowing upriver. I was almost tempted to swim off the dock. However, the weather forecast is for cold rain this weekend and it feels as if we must be entering November.

The black walnut trees and the box elders are already bare. The sycamore and tulip poplar leaves are turning brown and yellow, but the silver maples are still green. The spice bushes with their red berries and yellow foliage are particularly nice.

Dusk is a good time to see mammals on the Island. Often I see opossums this time of year, because they make such a racket walking through the dry leaves at night. And although I've never sighted a deer on the Island, I have seen tracks in three different places this month. Of course, the beavers splash the water anytime you come near.

The late autumn flowers, like the purple asters, smartweed and white snakeroot, are still blooming. And a large clump of ageratum is flourishing in the sun down at the lower end of the Island. Near the swim float a cleome, which must have washed down in the spring flood, continues to flower as it has done all summer.

The squirrels have picked the pawpaw trees clean, but there are still some wild persimmons. We're waiting until after the first frost to eat them.

We had a small but dedicated group at the last work session. Bill Bays and Fran Short cut the vines away from the trees upstream of the clubhouse, and Stan Fowler and Betty Burchell replenished the wood box next to the stove upstairs.

The big WorkFest is in November. Be sure to bring your rakes and a dish for the potluck supper.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker