A Gift to Nature: Photos of Buffalo Bayou

Prices Slashed for the Holidays!

Dec. 16, 2016

Here’s a wonderful gift idea. Limited time half-price offer!

Buy a photo of beautiful, wild Buffalo Bayou and help us protect it. And also help us promote sensible, cost-efficient flood management policies on all our urban streams. Working with nature, rather than against it, is cheaper, more effective, and more beneficial for us and our environment.

Photographer Jim Olive is offering a deep discount on high-quality prints of a selection of his stunning photos of our Mother Bayou. That’s because Jim is donating $50 to Save Buffalo Bayou for each print that he sells.

Jim is an internationally known photographer who has worked all over the world. He is a devoted conservationist who believes in the mission of Save Buffalo Bayou. He also is a founder of the Christmas Bay Foundation.

Lo and Behold Buffalo Bayou

Watch this slide show of photographs offered for sale by Jim.

  • Great blue heron tracks in the mud on Buffalo Bayou. Photo by Jim Olive
  • Fall morning on Buffalo Bayou. Looking east from a high bank in Memorial Park. Photo November 2015 by Jim Olive
  • Winter morning on a bend in Buffalo Bayou, December 2014. Photo by Jim Olive
  • Spring on Buffalo Bayou. A sandy bank meander in Memorial Park. Photo April 2016 by Jim Olive
  • Summer on Buffalo Bayou. Looking downstream from a high bank in Memorial Park. Photo July 2016 by Jim Olive
  • Sunset on Buffalo Bayou. Photo by Jim Olive


Contact Jim Olive now.

Amazing Sale

And here is the low low low price list. Sale lasts only through Jan. 1, 2017. So act now! Make yourself and/or someone else happy and help Buffalo Bayou and our city too.

Three sizes are offered, and they are top-of-the-line prints using archival inks and paper, just as Jim prints them for his top collectors. Also offered are prints on Dibond aluminum. Larger sizes can be special ordered.

Sizes and prices are:

Archival Lustre Paper

12” x 18”  $150

16” x 24”  $200

20” x 30”  $250

Dibond Aluminum

12” x 18”  $200

16” x 24”  $300

20” x 30”  $400

Here’s how to contact Jim Olive. Take advantage of this generous offer and acquire a beautiful photographic print of Buffalo Bayou while helping to protect this amazing urban river and its tributaries. Support intelligent, cost-effective public policies that work with nature, not against it.

Jim Olive at work in the riparian woods of Buffalo Bayou in Memorial Park. Photo by Susan Chadwick, Aug. 1, 2015

Jim Olive at work in the riparian woods of Buffalo Bayou in Memorial Park. Photo by Susan Chadwick, Aug. 1, 2015

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.

Science vs Engineers

Flood Control District and Scientific Experts In Opposite Corners

“You need to find some better experts.” — Former Harris County Flood Control District Director Mike Talbott to reporters for the Texas Tribune

Dec. 9, 2016

Excellent reporting from the Texas Tribune and PropPublica on the battle over what causes flooding in the Houston area and what to do about it.  The Houston Press has also published an informative follow-up interview with the current director of the Flood Control District, Russ Poppe, after the recent retirement of Talbott.

Some excerpts:

Scientists say the fundamental problem is that Houstonians have assumed they can simply engineer their way out of flooding.

They can’t. And widening and deepening our bayous and streams is the wrong answer. We need to understand and work with nature. It’s cheaper, more effective, and better for us. Storm water needs to be absorbed, slowed down, and spread out before it reaches our streams.

Houston-area officials could work to preserve green space; strengthen regulation on development; plan for a changing climate; and work harder to remove the 140,000 homes that remain in the 100-year floodplain. …

As wetlands have been lost, the amount of impervious surface in Harris County increased by 25 percent from 1996 to 2011, [Sam] Brody [of Texas A&M Galveston] said. And there’s no way that engineering projects or flood control regulations have made up for that change, he said.

Between 2001 and 2005, his research found, the loss of flood-absorbing land along the Gulf of Mexico increased property damage from floods by about $6 million — much of that outside floodplains.

“There’s no doubt that the development … that we’re putting in these flood-prone areas is exacerbating flooding over time,” Brody said. “There’s a huge body of research out there beyond Houston, across the world” supporting that argument.

Research by [then Director Mike] Talbott’s own Harris County Flood Control District points to the effectiveness of prairie grass to absorb floodwater. ‘The restoration of one acre of prairie,’ a 2015 report by the district wrote, would offset the extra volume of runoff created by two acres of single-family homes or one acre of commercial property. (The district says that data is preliminary.)

But Talbott and his successor, Russ Poppe, don’t buy the research.

Read this informative report by Neena Satija for The Texas Tribune and Reveal, Kiah Collier for The Texas Tribune; and Al Shaw for ProPublica.

And then read the follow-up interview with Poppe, the current director of Flood Control, in The Houston Press.

Image courtesy of the Texas Tribune.

Image courtesy of The Texas Tribune.