1000+ yr old Big Tree at Goose Island State Park near #RockportTx survived #Harvey2017. Some younger trees down pic.twitter.com/qqQAopQ2N2
— Texas State Parks (@TPWDparks) August 27, 2017
One glimmer of good news in this mess that is Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey—the Goose Island Oak survived! I have not been able to find any information on the Zachary Taylor oak but based on the footage I’ve seen around Rockport, I’m betting that tree is on the ground. I know Houston has kind of taken over the news with the flooding but Rockport and the immediate vicnity was hit very hard. It’s rather upsetting for me because, like many other Texans, it has a lot of vacation memories for my family. I had been looking forward to taking some time driving down all of the back roads through the town when we were going to go this upcoming weekend, to enjoy the oak mottes, maybe pop into the Fulton mansion, go to the Rockport beach, do some shopping downtown. Now, it will be a few years before the town is back on its feet.
I’m still wondering how #2 Mazatlan on Key Allegro looks. That’s where we went for vacation for several years when I was a kid and I can even conjure up the smell and feeling of that stilt house. I always wanted to own that house with its view into Aransas Bay. I tried to find a photo of it in my albums but I think the photos of the front of the house are in my parent’s albums; Google Streetview will have to suffice. My brother and I would spend hours down on the canal below it throwing a cast net, and we’d spend time across the street at the very shelly beach, or the many hours we spent at the Key Allegro community pool down the street. My favorite part of the house was the split level living area with a little alcove seating area off to one side. It’s where I would cozy up and read. I also loved staring out onto the bay, watching the shrimp boats when the sun rose over the bay. This was of course before I knew what a disaster shrimping is.
In our part of Houston, while we have had a lot of rain, we did not reach the levels of Late May 2016. It did come up quite high Saturday night/Sunday morning but dropped and never went back up that high, nor did we have three feet+ of water over the garden, maybe a foot instead. Down on the pond, two pine trees fell into the water but they have been progressively leaning more over the last few years and we knew they would fall someday. And just this morning a sweetgum on the corner of the property down by the pond fell. It was not in good shape anyway and isn’t as big of a problem as the two pine trees. I haven’t been out to the garden to survey the damage so far but I am hoping the pumpkin bed is salvageable but the squash bed looks like it will need to be ripped out. I saw some okra flopped over. I’m hoping the fall tomatoes will pull through. It’s still steadily raining so I haven’t had a chance to do a thorough walk through of the yard.
We did get out and go to a gas station yesterday afternoon as the roads were clear a bit in one direction. On our way out of our neighborhood the road is being eaten away at a culvert so it is only passable on one side. A gas station was open so we went and got a soda for Chris since he had a headache and he went back out later to get brown sugar for a pork shoulder he is smoking today. The main road into Tomball over 249 was/is still flooded where Spring Creek intersects but from what we know we can get into Magnolia the other direction and into our office via that direction, too. Most of that is moot anyway because if you drive anywhere you are bound to run into flooding somewhere so no one can really get too far yet. School districts are closed for the week and Forest’s daycare is closed through tomorrow, pending the ability of workers being able to get into the school the rest of the week.
The one wildlife/nature thing we’re concerned about is the Waugh Street Bat Bridge over Buffalo Bayou. Buffalo Bayou was well out of its banks and anticipating more water due to releases from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs near Katy. We had just went to see the bats emerge back in July—I never got around to posting about that here—but it appears the colony might have been affected pretty heavily. Some bats were taking refuge on a nearby building but I have seen videos and photos of people rescuing bats from the water and people saying they heard them chirping under the bridge. I am sure there will be a big loss from the ones who did not make it out. It is definitely upsetting to think of.
While it was bad here it could have been so much worse had we been closer to the coast or if we’d had any recent rain and saturation in the ground. I am so thankful that we’ve had very minimal damage and problems.
I’m ready for some sun.