Notes from the Island
December 1993

On Saturday a hard rain fell throughout the watershed and I dragged my canoe and George Malusky's johnboat away from the shore. Yesterday the river had started to rise so I raised the ferry rope and the safety cable, and then brought the club canoes up to the canoe shed. The National Weather Service called in the afternoon to predict that the flood would crest at 11-12 feet on Tuesday morning, which would put it at the second rack of canoes. Today I will pull the first rack of canoes out and tie them to a long line attached to a sycamore tree, and then I'll hope for the best.

Once again the workfest was a success. The group seemed small, but we were able to bring in the floats, rake the leaves and carry the picnic tables to high ground. Gerry Barton helped to insulate the two lockers which will temporarily house our water pump until the new construction is finished. In an attempt to resurrect an old Workfest tradition, George and Marcia Loeb generously offered to grill some chicken, which several of us enjoyed while we sat around and talked about ideas for club parties, canoe regattas and other fun social activities.

The beavers have been active. I spotted a bold one up on the lawn by the bald cypress and I've noticed tooth marks on various maples. Charlie Dunham, the relief caretaker who covered for me while I was on vacation, reports that he saw a deer on the Island. I'm sorry I missed that one.

Holly and I saw a huge flock of cedar waxwings come through the other day. The chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers are still coming to our feeders. Other birds lunch on the wild rosehips out front or on the spice bush berries. Meanwhile, the geese are showing up for their daily corn feedings.

Sycamore Island has a special beauty during the winter. Very few members come down, but do remember that there is a wood stove upstairs, which can make the room quite comfortable as long as the outside temperature is above freezing.

-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker