Tag Archive for: white pelicans

East Fork Water Shockingly Clear with Mines Closed

The attorney general has had production at the Triple PG mine on Caney Creek shut down and the breaches in the mine’s dikes closed since early November. Also, the Texas Concrete mine in Plum Grove on the East Fork closed. And the TCEQ is forcing them to fix breaches and replant exposed areas before abandoning the mine. It could just be a coincidence, but water clarity on the East Fork and Caney Creek have improved to a shocking degree with both of the major mines out of action. See below. Said Kingwood resident John Knoerzer, “This is the clearest I’ve ever seen the East Fork.”

Photo taken by John Knoerzer on East Fork at East End Park on 12/20/2019.

It’s not Cozumel, but it’s far better than the opaque brown liquid we had.

Return of Eagles

Resident Josh Alberson reports that he’s seen cormorants, pelicans and bald eagles return to the East Fork and Caney Creek. “They were feasting on the white bass.” Says Alberson, “Last Sunday, we saw more birds than we had every seen working. It was National Geographic worthy, but I couldn’t get close enough to get any quality pics or video.” He attributes all the birds to both the bass and the clarity of the water. “It helps the birds spot the prey,” he says.

Only problem: there’s so much sand in Caney Creek that it’s hard to boat upstream. Josh Alberson informs me that his jet boat got stuck on a giant sand bar immediately downstream from the Triple PG mine. Boats with propellers can’t get through at all, he says.

Please Help Document Wildlife and Water Clarity

It seems to me that this change, if it is permanent, is important to document. Any boaters or jet skiers who can make it upstream, please send pics through the submissions page on this web site.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/21/2019

844 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 93 since Imelda

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

May You Always Walk in Beauty

A highly talented Kingwood photographer named Emily Murphy contacted me this week. The proposal to build high-rises near the river alarmed her. The impact on wildlife terrified her.

The Seldom-Seen World In Your Backyard

Emily often kayaks on the river with her camera. She has documented a world that few of us will ever see in person. But it’s there for everyone to see…with a little bit of effort. When she showed me her work, the beauty she revealed took my breath away.

It reminded me of a quote from Ansel Adams, America’s greatest landscape photographer. Adams, who died in 1984, was also one of the early leaders of the Sierra Club. He said…

“If you want to preserve something, inspire people with its beauty.”

– Ansel Adams

Below are some of the quiet, peaceful moments Emily Murphy experienced while paddling the San Jacinto River. All of these photos were taken within a few minutes of River Grove Park and the proposed site of the high-rise development.

Eagle photo Courtesy of Emily Murphy. Taken across the West Fork from where the proposed new high-rise development would go.
Taken from River Grove Park, looking east in morning mist toward the site of the proposed high-rise development. Photo Courtesy of Emily Murphy
American white pelicans and double-crested cormorants on the West Fork. Photo Courtesy of Emily Murphy
Quiet morning light in the backwaters of the West Fork. Photo Courtesy of Emily Murphy
Eagle flying near West Fork and Lake Houston, downstream from proposed high-rise development. Photo Courtesy of Emily Murphy.
Juvenile eagle easting fish east of River Grove Park. Photo Courtesy of Emily Murphy.
Roseate spoonbill on West Fork. Photo Courtesy of Emily Murphy

Feel Free to Use Images for Letters to Corps and TCEQ

Emily Murphy encourages people to submit her photos with their letters to the TCEQ and Army Corps of Engineers. They illustrate why these wetlands are unique and irreplaceable. (However, please do not use them for any other purposes; respect the photographer’s copyright.)

A mitigation-bank credit purchased by the developer in some far-off watershed cannot begin to compensate for the loss of a unique habitat like this…inside the limits of America’s fourth largest city.

A Community Living in Harmony with Nature

Murphy’s photography reminds me of two things. First, it reminds me of why I moved to Kingwood 35 years ago. The fact that Emily can still photograph moments like these is eloquent testimony to the founding vision for Kingwood – a community living in harmony with nature. The density of development was sufficiently low that wild animals such as these still live among us.

Second, it reminds me of a Navajo prayer that I first learned in Canyon De Chelley (pronounced ‘de SHAY’) in northeastern Arizona. The title of the prayer was inscribed on a plaque at Spider Rock, another of the world’s most beautiful places. The inscription simply said, “May you always walk in beauty.” No matter how beautiful architecture is, it can’t match the beauty of nature.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/18/2019

507 Days since Hurricane Harvey