Notes from the Island
May 2004

Aldo Leopold wrote, "I know of no solitude so secure as one guarded by a spring flood….and I conclude (with inner glee but exterior detachment) that the question of traffic, in or out, is for this day at least, debatable only among carp." Survival and new beginnings is the theme of the drama being played out here on the Island. The plants and animals here provide us with so much beauty and excitement, and great stories of wildlife encounters. We've had a swimming squirrel, a black snake trying to eat a goose egg, and a brave club member grabbing the snake to save the egg. We were visited by a strange white bird, (carrier pigeon) which stayed for a four-day layover. We have giant turtles doing balancing acts on logs. We have roosting cormorants and nesting eagles. We have warblers, hummingbirds, gold finches and baby geese. We have distraught parents whose eggs were washed away in a flood as they stood by helplessly. There are wood ducks and house finches and Carolina wrens all nesting on the island. We have busy beavers, raccoons, voles and muskrats; and the ground hog has new digs all through the island. The bluebells and the other wild flowers have finished their display and the trees are exploding with green, bringing us shade and the beauty of the shadows playing in the sunlight. Every spring the story is the same and somehow I never grow tired of it.

The girls and I went to Florida for spring break. We had a blast! We paddled through the Okeefenokee Swamp and took a trip down the crystal clear, spring-fed waters of the Ichitucknee River. I'll have to write more about that later.

The spring Workfest was a huge success. It was the fourth Workfest that I've led and I think it was the most fun and the most productive. Thank you to everyone who came out to help make it a success and thanks to the Maluskys for bringing and cooking all the food. I have an ongoing project of painting and bug proofing the screen porch if anyone who couldn't make the Workfest is interested in pitching in.

-- Peace, Joe Hage, Sycamore Island Caretaker