A lunch break from work gave me an excuse to revisit the island recently.
The road runs the length of the island, along the bank of the river though much of the view of the river is obscured by trees and brush. A neatly mowed edge guarantees that summer visitors will see rabbits and groundhogs while the close proximity to trees and brush allows people to get up close and personal with the island birds.
Nature has been given free range on much of the island which is being allowed to return to a wild state in many places while at one end humans have helped nature along by planting dozens of trees. A few spots along the well-maintained gravel path allow drivers to pull off to read signs telling about some of the natural aspects of the refuge including invasive plant issues with which the naturalists must deal.
Along the road, raspberries abound during their season
When they are at their peak, about mid-July this year, the gravel road is lined with cars and people carrying five-gallon buckets, picking the over-sized bright red berries. They ripen later than the more common black raspberries or blackberries we often find locally.
A great place for birders, Middle Island offers plenty of food in the way of fruits, nuts and seeds while providing thick cover for the birds' protection. Staghorn sumac is one of the plants offering both benefits as evidenced by this healthy example I spotted alongside the road.
It was just a few minutes drive to a good spot to park, roll down my windows and eat some lunch while listening to the sound of sparrows and robins as a great blue heron flew overhead and Canada geese floated nearby.
But lunch cannot last forever. It is soon time to return to work. . .
Back across the questionable bridge. . .