Time Flows on Buffalo Bayou

A Hot Foggy Winter’s Day

Dec. 13, 2016

For the last two years Jim Olive has been documenting the changes in the seasons on Buffalo Bayou from the same vantage point. Setting up his tripod on a high bank in Memorial Park, Jim has photographed the same bend in the bayou during low and high water, and in every season. Documenting the same spot helps show how the river adjusts and adapts over time to different conditions.

Actually Jim has had to move his tripod slightly upriver. Following the record rains and high flows in the spring of 2015 and this year, parts of the bank sloughed away, and Jim had to move his camera somewhat upstream. The photograph below was taken closer to the original viewpoint on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, around 7:30 a.m. Note how the slumped left bank is slowly rebuilding itself. It was unseasonably warm, about 75 degrees, with even a warm breeze seemingly wafting up from the water below. The flow was moderate, around 800 cubic feet per second as measured by the gauge at Piney Point, high enough for a couple of air boats, likely belonging to the Harris County Flood Control District, to come roaring up the river just as we left. We couldn’t see them; but we heard them as we were walking through the woods.

Jim had already been out to the park several times to try to catch just the right foggy conditions on the bayou, only to have the fog lift. This shot was taken looking downstream from the same high bank just upriver from a large tributary draining through the center of the boggy park. River Oaks Country Club property is on the right.

To see the entire series, go to A Bend in the River under Photos and Films.

Foggy, warm winter morning on Buffalo Bayou at moderate flow, about 800 cubic feet per second. Photo by Jim Olive on Dec. 13, 2016.

Foggy, warm winter morning on Buffalo Bayou at moderate flow, about 800 cubic feet per second. Photo by Jim Olive on Dec. 13, 2016.

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