Monday, July 28, 2014

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen new restaurant location on Eldridge Parkway

Sylvia's Energy Corridor Location: View of Entrance with Folk Art
Margarita with Sylvia's Menu 
1140 Eldridge Pkwy Ste 100 Houston, TX 77077 
This restaurant space near the Holiday Inn
was previously occupied by Sharky's Amercian Grill
and Enclave Grill before then

Sylvia's billboard on Highway 6 near Memorial Dr. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hike & Bike Trail on Buffalo Bayou at Eldridge Parkway

Trailhead: Anthills Mountainbike trail
Paved multi-use trail alongside Eldridge Parkway North
of Enclave Parkway

KBR Building seen from Buffalo Bayou bridge.
Terry Hershey Trail passes underneath 
Eldridge Oaks Office Tower overlooking the bayou
KBR Office Building (Eldridge Oaks) across the green fields on
Southern Bank of the Bayou 
Pedestrian and bicycle bridge next to Eldridge Pkwy Buffalo Bayou
road bridge

Indian Paintbrush flowering along Terry Hershey Trail
segment between Eldridge and Memorial Drive
Restroom facility for trail users at Eldridge Pkwy

Pedestrian bridge over Buffalo Bayou with KBR Building
in the background 

Monday, July 21, 2014

George Bush Park in July

Bush Park name sign at the Pavilions on South Barker-Cypress
area of the park South of Westheimer Parkway

Lake on South Barker Cypress Road close to Southern edge of the reservoir
and the segment of Barker Dam running parallel to
Westheimer Road (FM 1099) 
Gravel dam road on the East end of the reservoir running parallel with Highway 6
with sunflower 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Turkey vultures

Turkey vulture (close-up)
Turkey vultures are easily distinguish from 
the more common Black AmericanVultures
because they have much in common with 
turkeys as the name implies. 
Turkey Vulture perching
Both turkey vultures and black vultures are
common in the area, but the black ones are
much more numerous, and can often be seen
in pairs and even large groups. 
Pair of American Vultures on a power-line pylon in
George Bush Park near South Barker-Cypress Road 

Rabbit season on Terry Hershey Trail

Rabbits: ubiquitous again this time of the year
along the hike and bike trails at dusk 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Skanska project site on 15300 Block of Memorial Drive (photos)

SKANSKA Office Building Project on Memorial Drive
seen from Terry Hershey Park parking lot (July 2014 pic)

View of growing Skanska Office Tower from the trail
on the bank of Langham Creek at dusk 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hiking Trail Signs

Biker vs hiker: Who has the right of way? 
Harris County Commissoner's Sign urging park users to keep parks clean
(posted at Sports Park at Barker-Cypress corner of Barker Reservoir)
Nobel Road Trail - Signs at Trailhead
Slippery bridge (when wet) warning sign along Terry Hershey Trail
Terry Hershey Trail Etiquette Rules
Posted speed limit for bikers when passing hikers: 10 MPH
Gator warning in Memorial Park
near Bayou habitat observation deck
Nature Area advisory in George Bush Park at Buffalo Bayou
boardwalk and bridge

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ideas for boy scout public service projects in George Bush Park

Scouting challenge: Educate recreational Bush Park visitors about reservoir hazards and how to avoid or mitigate them while enjoying wilderness and wildlife 

A sign at the trailhead of Noble Road Trail in the Barker Reservoir warns of unspecified dangers of wildlife: Beware of harzardous plant and animals. The warning it about as useful as your Mother's erstwhile "be careful" send-offs on your daily walk to the neighborhood elementary school, or a friend's friendly good-bye in the form of an all-purpose recommendation to "take care".

What should we watch out for and take care of when exploring the Bayou and heading into the woods? What is there to be careful of? What are the does and donts? To be sure, you could stay out of the wilderness altogether to avoid any and all risks, known or suspected, but you would miss all of the wonders of the wilderness and its wildlife, the charms of the landscape, whether dominated by lush greens or variations of orange and rust, not to mention a great chance to exercise and do something for your health no matter what time of the year.

Here is where the boyscout projects come in: Identify and explain on posters the known and unknown dangers in the reservoir, and the best way to deal with them. Like how to avoid stepping on snakes and when  and where to expect them on the ground in the first instance. And while we are on the topic of snakes. There is precedent for interpretive posters with pics  already a bit further north: at the equestrian area in Bear Creek Pioneers Park (Addicks Reservoir).

What other perils may be lurking in the suburban wilderness? Anything else that's poisonous if not venomous? What about poisonous plants (poison oak, poison ivy, and so one)? What about wild berries? And how about the feral hogs? Are they to be feared? Do they ever charge humans? Not to mention mosquitos and other insects during the hot and humid months? If you find a dead animal on the ground, with flies buzzing around, should you report it, or let the area vultures do the clean-up work? Is there any risk in approaching for a closer look? What about rabies? Should that be a concern?

And how do you report an emergency, or just useful information about something unusual that may need attention, and report your location? Which takes us to another topic: George Bush Park is so vast, it needs markers and names for better orientation. There are several permanent bodies of water inside the reservoir, for example. None of them has  a name. And the same goes for the many trails, with the exception of Noble Road Trail. Even the North-South paved bike and hike trial has no name posted, notwithstanding the fact that it used to be a regular road connecting two settlements. It should at least be identified as Barker-Clodine Trail.

Boy scout troops have already improved the park with wooden benches along trails and on the shores of the ponds. There is even a wooden panel with a trail map at the West end of Noble Road Trail that was placed there years ago and is now weathered.

There are many projects awaiting volunteers, to benefit the public, or at least that segment of the public that shares the scout's commitment to the outdoors and appreciation of nature, and wants to enjoy it with safety in mind.


Crude area map on wood panel at Western trailhead
of Noble Road Trail in Barker Reservoir 
Bench built by scouts on the Lake North of Noble Road Trail invites quiet contemplation of scenic view
with great white egret across the water
Another trail-side bench built by a scout troop as a community service project

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Deer in Barker Reservoir

They like to come out of the woods at dusk and help themselves to the lush green grass 
on the slopes of the Barker Dam. Deer in George Bush Park are abundant and much more visible the the the wild hogs.

The flora on the slopes of the dam changes over the course
of the year. Now it's sunflower time again.

A deer at the bottom of the reservoir just behind the dam in an area
close to Buffalo Bayou that floods periodically.
Flock of birds flying over the reservoir at sundown