From the Middle (Moss Bayou Book 1)


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Author – Poet

But I really like to go into the woods and cut down trees.


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Favorite vacation : I enjoy cruises. I want to go to Yellowstone, go to the park where the big redwood forests are, and see the Grand Tetons. Do you ever get lost in the bayous and the swamps? The bayous are my highway. Tell me about alligator season. The east starts on the last Wednesday in August, and the west zone starts the first Wednesday in September. I hunt in both zones, usually five weeks. You hunt alligators, but you also say that you give back to Mother Nature. I do like to give back to Mother Nature.

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I like to cut down trees to clear the land for the animals, and get rid of the brush by the water so mama alligators will come up and make a nest. Bass, sac-a-lait, catfish and big alligators. Have you seen any alligators in the middle of the lake as from what I know, alligators tend to stay near shore?

If you have a dog on a dock, you will have alligators lurking there in 10 minutes.

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Note: I then referred to the YouTube video with the cats jabbing an alligator. How many tags for alligators do you have? I should have more tags this season. Have you been bitten by an alligator? I was almost bitten by one seven or eight years ago. With the gating of the dams and restriction of the flow in the Sixties, funneling water downstream as fast as possible was thought to be less important. The stripped and straightened stretch, about acres, was allowed to return to nature. The land was sold to the Harris County Flood Control District, which in the s removed trees on the north bank and created a acre-foot stormwater detention basin to hold overflow from the bayou during heavy rains.

The area became a county park in , named after the environmentalist, Terry Hershey , who in the mid-Sixties, together with other homeowners on the bayou, stopped the Corps from stripping, channelizing and concreting the entire length of the bayou from Beltway 8 to Shepherd Drive. But the flood control district, as well as the City of Houston, continued with plans to remove more trees and build detention basins along the artificial channel in Hershey Park , despite the fact that trees and vegetation are powerful natural stormwater detention devices, critical for slowing runoff—increasing the lag time —and reducing peak flow in a flooding stream.

Wise and many of his neighbors, including retired chemical engineer Michael Huffmaster, opposed the detention plans. Michael Huffmaster, president of the Briar Forest Super Neighborhood, behind his flooded house on a remnant meander of Buffalo Bayou in the Lakeside Forest subdivision. Alas, our state and local revenue system is built on sales and property taxes, and the need for property tax revenue in particular influences political decisions on everything related to development and flood management.

Parks, green space, detention basins, buyouts remove land from the revenue stream; big dam and drainage projects spread public money around and theoretically protect flood-prone land for development. Building detention on public park land, which already produces no property tax revenue, is cheaper than having to buy private land which if developed would be a source of tax revenue. Late on Sunday, Aug. Water was rising rapidly behind the year-old earthen dams, and would likely soon flow around the spillways at the ends of the dams, also for the first time.

Buffalo Bayou was already flowing at over 10, cubic feet per second Piney Point gauge , more than double the level for flooding property along the bayou. It was still raining and had been raining for three days. Hurricane Harvey had dropped some inches of rain on the west side of town, though on the east side of Harris County the rainfall was nearly double. The floodgates on the dams were opened slowly at first. Huffmaster thought he was prepared. He researched the rainfall and how high the bayou would rise if the Corps released as much as 8, cfs from the two dams into the already flooded bayou.

Outing Number One – City Park, Bayou St. John, and back along Esplanade

There the bayou would rise to about 71 feet. Street level was about 60 feet. In fact, the neighborhood was even lower than people realized. The neighborhood had subsided about one foot since the late s. Massive flooding. Nobody believed the warning. As in many neighborhoods up and down the bayou and around the city, the talk on the street in Briargrove Park is of what to do, who is staying, who is rebuilding, who hopes to be bought out and leave, how the neighborhood will survive as a neighborhood.

Foss and her husband have lived in Briargrove Park since They are repairing their architect-designed home, built in and flooded for the first time during Harvey. Foss and some of her neighbors have also taken the initiative to research the topography and history of their neighborhood and come up with a plan to save it. After the flooding in , residents had formed a Committee on Stormwater Drainage and Water Quality as part of their Homeowners Association.

Longtime residents believe that a corner of the neighborhood had once had a swale or ravine that drained into the bayou. The swale was filled and a house built on top. The house now floods, and the lack of drainage is causing other houses in the neighborhood to flood.


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  • Michelle Foss in the backyard of a house built on a filled ravine in the Briargrove Park neighborhood on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou east of Beltway 8. Foss and her neighborhood committee are raising money to buy this house and restore the ravine for drainage and protection of other houses. But Foss has spoken with local political representatives and hopes her group can get some public support and possibly serve as a model.

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    Theoretically, it should happen differently. The straightened stretch should send water shooting downstream and over the bank where it hits a meander. And in fact it does do that. The houses there flood badly. But Foss has a solution: another strategic buyout. She thinks the flood control district should buy and tear down the houses there. The bayou wants to cut straight across the point on which the houses are built. It should be allowed to do that naturally, said Foss.

    Flooding begins on the land, and managing flooding in place, stopping raindrops where they fall , is the modern approach to reducing urban flooding. Virtually everyone is calling for a Third Reservoir, other than a handful of environmentalists and academics. Is it a big hole in the ground, a traditional reservoir like Addicks and Barker? Or is the idea to have open space that can function as prairie and hold and retard runoff?

    In , he succumbed to pneumonia while training for a race and died Somers Crowds of over 15, packed the banks during regattas and oarsmen enjoyed celebrity status.

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    The press would hound visiting rowers from the second they set foot at the station or harbor and drill them about their regimens, records, and dreams. And the ladies! Oh, the ladies. It was a great time to be oarsmen Somers Rowing was so popular and oarsmen were so revered by women that rowing terminology entered the dating world.

    The brawny arm and sinewy frame, which the oarsmen develop to the utmost, are objects of the deepest admiration to them. The victor in the athletic struggle finds his sweetest reward in the bright glance and smiles of approval from their eyes and lips. They provided good music, great hospitality, wonderful scenery, and exhilarating competition. A few storms also caused devastating damage. John Clubs limited their activity to state championships and an annual anniversary regatta, and only close friends and relatives were invited to in the clubhouses.

    John Club let their huge grandstand, capable of seating 5,, slowly rot on the bank Somers John Rowing Club built its clubhouse in , including a bar, poolroom, and a grandstand that could hold 5, people in preparation for its yearly extravaganza. However, the club abandoned the grandstand following a financially disastrous regatta.

    Rot had deteriorated the structure by Somers John Rowing Club clubhouse had been demolished by the Bayou St. John beautification commission. By , boat clubs had mostly disappeared and even the high society youth lost interest. In , the railroad purchased the West End area by Spanish Fort, abandoned and disintegrating after the Civil War, and turned it into a park.


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    The railroad wanted to build an amusement park, but compromised with a green park and a Spanish Fork line extension of their West End line. In , a fountain appeared, and, by , two restaurants moved in. People are drawn to water, and people like to have fun on and in water. Water enthusiasts and their supportive spectators slowly gathered in the city again. Some rowing clubs remained in the city and held regattas, and people who lived on or near the bayous used pirogues small boats that resemble kayaks and canoes as a way of life.

    In the same day, one might have used his pirogue to catch crawfish to eat or sell, and in the evening, that pirogue was also battling in a race on Bayou Barataria. A paddling life was present, just in a different way. John and Pontchartrain Rowing Clubs. Fans expected a battle in which records would be broken, and so spectators lined the two mile course. The race was just about five miles, and the Commodore for the races decided the post positions with a card trick. Maturin Billot, a year old grandfather, won the race in a borrowed pirogue.

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    If a club or boat survived the Great Depression, and then the series of storms that hit the area, it was lucky to be around. Bayou dwellers still made and used pirogues as a way of life, and pirogue races and tipping contests were commonplace. On July 12, the popular Bastille Day activities kicked off, opening with French bowling, fireworks, pirogue races on Bayou St. John and Lake Pontchartrain, and a regatta.

    It was the first regatta since , when the Pontchartrain Rowing Club at West End, and all its equipment, burned to the ground. The race included four events: a novice and a junior wherry, senior doubles, and senior four-oared shells. This race was the first of three summer events planned by the Pontchartrain Rowing Club in In , Bayou Kayaks was born along the banks of Bayou St. John in hope of sparking a paddling revival in New Orleans. And it worked! Tourists and locals alike flocked to the Moss Street launch site to explore the city, and its wildlife, from a different perspective.

    Participants are taught basic paddling skills, if requested or needed, and allowed to venture through the 8-mile route at their own pace. After five years of providing an excellent and easily accessible kayak service, the business recognized customer input and added more tandem kayaks, junior kayaks, and Stand-Up Paddleboards SUPs.

    Due to the expanded services provided and goal of reigniting a passion for water sports, Bayou Kayaks changed its name to Bayou Paddlesports in or New Basin Canal and the Lure of Rowing. Rowing Reaches the South in Rowing Returns to New Orleans in John and Pelican Rowing Clubs Form in

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