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HomeNL-2014-05 Turtle Bayou

Canoe/Kayak Turtle Bayou
April 12th, 2014
by Tom Douglas

On a day when the weather could hardly have been better, a large group of paddlers met up at White Park.  The focus of our morning’s itinerary was to follow along the waterfront of the new Turtle Bayou Protection Project (see pages 122-124 here), which protects habitat and water quality on more than 500 acres of land along the bayou’s western shore.  As a contribution to the Project’s educational component, our group made a number of additions to the list of plants and animals that have been observed on or near the bayou.  Down at the mouth of Turtle Bayou, near Lake Anahuac, we gathered data on invasive aquatic plants for submission to a state-wide database. 

Paddling Down
Turtle Bayou
Photo by Linda Shead
   Mouth of
Turtle Bayou
Photo by Joe Coker
   Can You Spot Three
Invasive Species?
Photo by Linda Shead
   Lunch at the Future
Boat Launch
Photo by Tom Douglas

Heading back north toward the Highway 563 bridge, we stopped for lunch under the shade of Eastern red cedar trees at the future site of the Turtle Bayou Protection Project’s canoe/kayak launch.  Our route back past White Park made it easy for several of our paddlers to depart early, in time to meet late-afternoon commitments back in the city. 

Completing Our Paper-
work in the Field
Photo by Tom Douglas
  Blue Flag Irises
Photo by Linda Shead
  Spider Lilies
Photo by Tom Douglas
  Joe the Snake Charmer
Photo by Linda Shead

Then, we were off on the northern loop of the trip, which was of roughly the same length as the southern loop.  Beyond Interstate-10, Turtle Bayou becomes narrower, more winding, and more shaded by the riparian forest.  Many of us felt as if we were getting to take a second river trip on the same day.  Blue flag iris and spider lilies were in bloom along the banks in several different places, and the carcass of a remarkably large snake floated back among the tree trunks. 

Nearing the Northern
Turnaround Point
Photo by Linda Shead
  Texas Dandelion
Photo by Joe Coker
Photo by Joe Coker

Even though the bayou continued to beckon, we eventually calculated that we would need to turn back toward our take-out point at White Park if we were to complete this outing on time.  As we drove home, we knew there would still be much more to see on future trips to Turtle Bayou. 


Trip photo albums by: Joe Coker and Kent Walters.


The author, Tom Douglas
Photo by Linda Shead