Looking for Fall on that Bend in the Bayou

Big Jim Back in Town

Nov. 26, 2021

It was a frosty morning on Buffalo Bayou. A white mist danced mysteriously above the stream.

We were standing just after sunrise on that high bank of the bayou in Memorial Park, waiting patiently for just the right angle of sunlight through the trees.

Well, not so patiently. The assistant wandered off as usual to check out the woods, the creek, mushrooms, wildlife, etc.

Jim Olive was back in town for the opening of our benefit photography and art sale. Jim has some great photographs in the show, titled “Buffalo Bayou: River of Life.” Come on down! Curated by Geoff Winningham, the beautiful exhibit of art and photography, old and new, all related to Buffalo Bayou, continues through Sunday, Nov. 28.

Early morning mist rising on the bend. Photo by Jim Olive on Nov. 12, 2021, showing a bit of fall color.

But in the meantime, always generous with his time and in support of our natural world, Jim wanted to return to that Bend in the River to see if we could get a more fall-like fall photo. Not an easy task since we don’t really have a colorful fall in Houston.

We’ve been documenting the seasons from the same high bank on Buffalo Bayou in Memorial Park since the spring of 2014. You can view the entire series here.

Jim’s last shot was taken a few days before the autumnal equinox, so technically it wasn’t really fall yet anyway. Tropical Storm Nicholas had just passed through, tossing trees and leaves around.

Emergency Guidelines in the Park

At the time Jim was just recovering from major surgery and was not his usual fit and vigorous self. In fact, on the way back, Jim faltered, and we had to ask staff of the Memorial Park Conservancy if he couldn’t have a ride in one of their carts, since the park gates were closed due to the recent storm and it was a long trek back to the car in the heat. They refused.

So we asked the Conservancy for clarification on their guidelines for what to do in case of an emergency in the park. Here is the response from Corri Pfeiffenberger, director of Park Operations:

While many Memorial Park Conservancy staff receive training on managing emergency situations and some of our ATVs have first aid kits and defibrillators, any Park user experiencing an emergency in the park (medical or otherwise) should call 911 immediately. 

That creek flowing into Buffalo Bayou, looking downstream, on a misty morning. Photo by SC on Nov. 12, 2021.

Looking upstream from that high bank in Memorial Park with concrete and metal “erosion control” installed by the River Oaks Country Club in the distance. Photo by SC, Nov. 12, 2021

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