Notes from the Island
April 2005

I'm so glad the cold grey days of March are finally over. I hope now that the wind and rain will cease and we can start to enjoy Spring on the Island. I will never forget the cold I felt one March evening, holding an ice covered rope in the middle of the river with the wind like fangs ripping right through me. April is really the best time of year to visit the Island. Everything is turning green, the wildflowers are out and the animals are active. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you as you return to the Island to see the bluebells and to participate in the Workfest or Orientation.

The geese have finally settled into their nests and as usual all the nests are next to the trails. So, be careful and try not to upset the expecting parents too much. The wood ducks, the great-blue herons and the kingfishers have all returned and will again be an everyday part of life down here. The deer that were hanging around seem to have gone and the groundhog has emerged from its hibernation, looking much thinner than it did last October. Luckily, I don't see any baby groundhogs this year.

I've been doing some improvements to my quarters with the help of my new table saw. I built a closet in the kid's room and I'm making some built-in shelves in the living room. It seems I'm always running out of places to put things; so, maybe with these new shelves, I'll finally have a place to put everything. The best part of this project has been that I had all the materials I needed from lumber I salvaged from the Island and from the Sycamore Store.

Since the kids are away on Spring break, I took some time off to hike the Towpath. I caught a MARC train at Union Station and rode it fifty miles up river to Brunswick and hiked home from there. It was a great trip steeped in history with excellent views of the river and I didn't even have to drive anywhere. I highly recommend it. Don't forget you too can camp on Sycamore Island; itís your Island ó I just live here.

-- Joe Hage, Sycamore Island Caretaker