59 thoughts on “Aquatecture

    1. Safe, and much drier than yesterday. The water’s receded enough that the brick walkway shown in the photo above is dry now, and people are walking their dogs on it. The chaos has moved east, to Port Arthur, Beaumont, and the surrounding small towns, but Harvey’s on the move, and we’re all saying, “Good riddance.”

  1. Dear Linda, I have been thinking of you and should have sent you a note. I hope that you will not need to leave your home but at this point you likely could not get out. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. I have been praying for the people and the animals. I saw on the news where the dang hurricane is believed to be doing an about face and is coming again. Lord have mercy.

    Please be safe and take care.

    1. It did make a little swing back offshore yesterday, Yvonne, and then came back into the Golden Triangle area. By yesterday afternoon, it had moved far enough away that we began getting northerly winds, and knew the worst of the rain was over.

      Being on the third floor, I never was in danger of flooding, but you’re right that I couldn’t go anywhere. I suspect I still won’t be able to get into the marina where I’m presently working — at least not today — but by tomorrow I anticipate I’ll be back at work. This isn’t exactly the sort of week-long vacation I had hoped for!

      1. I’m glad that you are ok and I figured that you were safe but if there was flooding I feared that you would lose your vehicle to water damage.

        Hopefully as you say, you’ll be able to work on the boats in the marina. You are so fortunate to have decided to live in that particular place.

        1. So many of the improvements made after Ike were helpful. Bridges were raised, new retention ponds built, and so on. And I live in an area that takes preparation seriously. Over the past couple of months, there was a lot of tree-trimming and ditch-clearing being done by the various municipalities. It all helped. As for my parking lot, I peeked out from time to time and never saw water collecting. Whenever the rain eased, it would drain away.

    1. It’s one of those now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t photos. This morning, there’s not a drop of water where the reflections shimmered yesterday: only a bit of damp mud. I’m glad to have captured the photo, and glad to have lost the opportunity for another one.

    1. I read that in the middle of the night, after waking up and discovering the waters were receding. I was so pleased I wasn’t ready to go back to sleep, so it turned into the perfect second-bedtime story. What a great read; thanks for sending it along.

    2. Thank you, Wol. It has been quite some time since I’d read the adventures of Pooh and friends. I enjoyed that! Very apropros for all the flooding weather.

      I need to dig out my copy of the book and do a re-read.

  2. Making the best of a bad situation. Great observant eye, Linda.

    The flooding is just unbelievable and while the immediate result of the storm is so tremendously overwhelming, it is the after effects that are the most worrisome…so much loss. I am sure your varnishing business will be a challenge although there may be significant need. The one heartening outcome is the sense of community as people appear to be coming together to rescue what needs be and I am sure that will carry over to the recovery.

    1. Of course, my own situation isn’t bad at all: only inconvenient. There still are high-water rescues taking place, and many, many homes in levee districts and on river banks that yet may flood.

      Being stuck at home for five days, and being stuck mostly inside because of torrential rain, isn’t my idea of a good time. Despite all good intentions to get some things done, it’s hard not to fixate on what’s happening in the larger community, and what might happen. But I did get out now and then, and tried to find some worthy subjects for photos. This one made me happy.

      I don’t expect my business to be affected at all. While the communities experiencing landfall were fairly well torn apart, we’ve had little wind. I suppose there might have been some 40 or 50 mph gusts, but that’s still summer thunderstorm territory. When I check later today, I expect to find everything in order. With no wind to contend with, the boats are like the ducks: they rise and fall with the tide, and take it all in stride.

      1. I thought that the winds were around 100 m.p.h. and was concerned that the boats might break loose and cause damage to each other and require some fresh varnish once repairs were done.

        1. You’re right that there were high winds — up to 130 mph when the storm came ashore. Boats down the coast will be damaged the way the ones up here were after Hurricane Ike. It was sort of like this and this in marina after marina. I’ve got a whole gallery of unbelievable photos. It was a little dicey for a while, because both repairs and insurance settlements had to come first. I was lucky enough to have a couple of customers whose boats weren’t particularly damaged, so I could keep on working until things sorted themselves out.

    1. It’s not every day I get to enjoy reflections in nice, clear water. That’s one thing about a few feet of rain water — it hasn’t turned muddy yet!

    1. I thought it was a pretty good variation on the now old-and-trite “When life hands you lemons…” bit. Besides, I liked the reflection, and thought it might make a nice abstraction. I’m not sure this really qualifies as an abstraction, but it’s still an image I like.

    1. I’m more than a little curious about something else I observed last night, Shannon. I was taking some photos of our token sunset when I suddenly saw a cloud of winged “somethings” explode into the sky from a single point. I thought at first they were birds, but as they streamed out in a long line, I thought, “Nope. Those are bats.” The photos aren’t definitive, but they’re suggestive. Given where they came from, and where they flew, I may be able to pinpoint them today. I’ll certainly look for them again tonight. It was very much like what I’ve seen on radar from the San Antonio location.

      I’m not posting photos or location online, for obvious reasons. Not everyone loves the thoughts of bats in their neighborhood. I’ll send them on to Diana Foss instead, and see if there’s been any other reports of them being around here.

      1. Funny you should mention bats… My mother-in-law came in last night and informed us she’d seen bats flying about. She was a bit taken aback when both Sherry and I said “Good” in unison. To her, bats are bringers of rabies. To us they are here to battle the mosquitoes all this water is sure to raise.

        It’s strange to wake up and no longer be living on a water back lot… Stay dry.

  3. It’s a cool shot, with the repeating pattern – – maybe your next photo will be different, like the software design rule, “don’t repeat yourself” or DRY.
    I hope everyone’s in a safe place now and that things will be on the mend soon.

    1. There still are rescues taking place, and many neighborhoods still are at risk of additional flooding from the rivers and reservoirs, but the bayous are receding or holding steady, and the worst of it has moved eastward. Now, the Texas/Louisiana border is going through what we did, with equal amounts of rain. It’s nearly unbelievable.

      But we’re drying out, the sun is out, and it’s time to get out and see what’s what. A little survey of my customers’ boats is in order, and then I want to see which — if any — of the nature centers is open. My bluejays are back for the first time since Friday, picking up their peanuts, so I think we’re heading toward normalcy.

    1. Thank you, Melissa. One of the things that I found interesting about the image is that the reflection was so much brighter than anything around it. That makes sense, now that I think about it, but given the gray day, the low light, and the generally dark water, it really was the brightest spot around. Besides: the ripples were interesting.

  4. Beautiful image. The stories of resilience I’ve been hearing are both heartbreaking and joy rendering in that the spirit is so positive amidst all the damage. One of my bloggers in Kingwood has been more or less wiped out — they got away. Worried about another friend in League City. Water can be such a vicious opponent.

    Very glad you are safe, high up and with Dixie Rose. Hope this doesn’t mess up the varnishing business too much. In the end, might be a lot more work than you can do but don’t know how long it will take for owners to make that a priority or if the boats are damaged…

    1. One of the most touching announcements I’ve heard through all this was on Houston radio this morning. One of the shelters (I’m not sure which) was asking that people wanting to volunteer either contact a different shelter or simply wait, since they had more volunteers than they could handle. That goes in the good-problems-to-have column.

      There need to be some changes made, particularly when it comes to allowing people to build in flood plains. Of course, a decision against that might have been more useful ten or twenty years ago, but what’s done is done, and all we can do now is move forward. Perhaps some caution in allowing rebuilding will be in order. After Ike, several nearby communities moved historic buildings and made other changes in order to build retention ponds, and it’s made a big difference. There are ways to mitigate some of this.

      The most astounding bit of information is one I found just this morning. Only twenty percent of Houston residents have flood insurance. I just can’t fathom that. Even I have flood insurance, and wouldn’t be without it.

      As for the business, I’m not worried about that at all. The nice thing about boats is that they float. They go up, they come down, and all is well. It’s wind that causes problems for them, and we haven’t had that. Not only that, all of my customers save two are on floating docks, so even getting on or off the boats is no problem. I’ll be going out in a bit to check things out.

      1. In a tiny neighborhood along Bull Creek in southeast Austin that had been flooded several times, the City gradually bought all the houses and tore them down. Each time I went by there for a couple of years fewer houses were left, and when I was last there two months ago, not one house remained.

        1. I suspect one of my friends in Bellaire whose house just flooded for the third time would be happy for anyone to buy it. She pondered selling after finishing the last rebuild (about six months ago) and decided against it. Hindsight, and all that.

          There seems to be a growing appreciation for the need to rethink development, and I take the fact that some rational discussions about limits on rebuilding are taking place in not-always-friendly arenas like Houston talk radio as a good sign. I think the increasing visibility of projects like Exploration Green is helping, and of course Harvey has helped to re-focus attention on a whole assortment of issues.

  5. Getting cabin fever? Itching to get out and about?

    If you mentioned that to Miss Dixie, I’d bet she just harumphed, stretched, shifted position and went back to sleep!

    Bats? Cool.

    P.S. I have a swirly to watch. Yay.

    1. Serious cabin fever. Like the bear that went over the mountain, I’m heading out shortly to see what I can see. First, I’ll check the marinas, then the nature centers, then the neighborhoods generally. Then, I’m going to help a friend get her daughter situated in some temporary housing. Then, a new blog post.

      You mean that swirly that’s already got a name? Irma? Here’s a tidbit for you. The European model predicted Harvey almost to the mile. It’s the only model that got the move offshore correct. Lookie here. I got the image from Eric Berger at Space City Weather, my go-to site for non-hyped weather. Regardless of what happens with Irma, I’ll be working this weekend. With luck, I can get a job finished before the next round rolls in.

  6. Glad to see you’ve kept your artistic perception! This is a lovely shot. It sounds as if the misery that Harvey brought is moving east. I used to live in Port Arthur, but I was blessed not to have this kind of monster storm during that period. I imagine you’re stuck pretty close to home, unable to really work. That would be frustrating, but it could be so much worse. Take care and know the sun hasn’t forgotten you!

    1. Port Arthur, Beaumont, Orange, and all of the small surrounding communities are suffering as badly as Houston. Unbelievably, this storm moved east to the Golden Triangle, and dumped over 40 inches of rain there, too. Just tonight, the city of Beaumont lost its water supply when flood waters breached the plant.

      When I first saw this photo, I was certain it was a fake, but it isn’t. That’s Interstate 10 near the Golden Triangle after the rains arrived. There just are no words.

      The sun came out yesterday, and the flooding’s receded from enough roads that it’s possible to get around, even if you have to take some pretty creative paths. Some grocery stores are open, but relatively empty because their suppliers haven’t been able to get in. That will improve.

      Today? It’s time to go back to work, and enjoy the sunshine.

      1. Be safe out there, Linda. I imagine the critters are more confused than the residents! Thanks for the photo of I-10; you’re right, there are no words.

    1. Thanks, Pete. The image was just as fleeting as your moths. By yesterday, the water was gone, and so was the reflection. I’m just as glad to have only the photo as a souvenir.

  7. I’m glad to hear you are safe and on the third floor! You have been in my thoughts. What a disaster, how I feel for you all. Here’s to it all drying out asap. Fantastic photo…xxx

    1. It’s going to be a while before we’re dried out, but at least the process has started. The rivers are going to be in flood for a good while, and people who never imagined they were in a flood plain are discovering they just might be. The scope of this has been nearly unimaginable, but the response of people both in and out of government has been wonderful — and effective.

  8. Beautiful! and I hope, on reflection, many will realise that buildings were built where they shouldn’t have been. We learned ( or hopefully have done so) the hard way, too.

    1. The history of the Houston reservoirs is interesting. As the population moved out to meet them, I’m sure decision-makers never imagined something like this.

      We’re accustomed to a hurricane coming ashore, moving inland, and dissipating. Because high pressure systems kept this one moving along the coast rather than heading inland, it was able to keep drawing water from the Gulf, and returning it in the form of rain.

      I still can’t get over this: it’s 200 miles from where the storm made landfall to Houston. Once it was done with us, it moved on up the coast again, to Beaumont and Port Arthur, still dumping over 40 inches of rain — and that’s nearly another hundred miles up the coast.

      By the time it was over, the U.S. record for rainfall had been broken — 51.88″ — and everyone along three hundred miles of coastline had been affected in one way or another.

      And poor Rockport, Fulton, and Port Aransas — there’s nothing left. The area’s known for its beautiful, wind-bent oaks. All gone. Those people have been nearly forgotten because of events here, but they’re actually the ones who suffered the destructive winds.

        1. Here’s something amazing. I just heard an interview with the Galveton County Judge. Presently, there are five people in a shelter in Galveston, sixteen are being sheltered in Dickinson, and thirty-five remain sheltered in League City. I believe there were three hundred in League City shelters right after the storm; the speed with which people are being moved into more adequate housing is something.

          Our library is re-opening tomorrow, and trash pickup is starting again. Carolyn’s coming home tomorrow, and already has a contractor tearing out her sheetrock. I’m going to work through the weekend, and then on Tuesday I’ll be over at Armand Bayou Nature Center, helping with the clean up.

          And, thanks to Twitter, I found an open gas station nearby and have a full tank of gas. Life is good.

  9. I’m glad to see you’re still OK, and hope you continue making lemonade with lemons. I look forward to seeing some strange sights here, over the next weeks – maybe months –

    1. As some of us like to say, I’m finer than frog hair. I have a tank full of gas, fresh romaine and strawberries, the sun is shining, and the cat’s stopped yowling. Life is good. I went to work today, and apart from the vague odor of dead fish, enjoyed it mightily.

      Last I heard, there were only 35 people left in our shelter here, and there have been so many donations of goods, services, and money, they’ve asked for people to stop giving — at least, for the time being. There will be more needs down the road, but we’ll find a way to take care of them.

  10. I love reflections although I’m glad to hear the reason for your image has receded.

    (I’m way behind with blog reading, so I hope you’re in an even better position to get back to work on the marina soon).

    1. I made it to work yesterday, Vicki, and it was so good. A good friend whose house flooded is supposed to be home today, and if she is, I’ll go up and see what I can do to help her out. Otherwise, I’ll find somewhere else to be of use. Our local shelters are well supplied and staffed, but there’s no end of people who suffered far more than I did. I had my traumas with Allison, Rita, and Ike. It was a relief not to have to contend with wind or flooding with this one.

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