The bayou adjacent to my apartment complex becomes a virtual jungle during the warmer months. It is nearly summertime, and green vines proliferate, creating a green canopy of leaves, the trees and other plants underneath disappearing. Around the edges of this green horizon, there are hints of the urban landscape nearby. When winter approaches, the lush vegetation will turn brown and retreat, but today there is no sense of decay as it unfurls seemingly without end. Even the gentle resistance of a black metal fence is challenged.
My apartment borders Spring Branch Bayou, a tributary of Buffalo Bayou. It’s loosely defined as a slow-moving river. A characteristic of local bayous, especially in the warmer months, is a proliferation of plant life. It is difficult to “take it all in” and identify clearly where one plant begins and another ends. Weeds grow between tall trees, which themselves are strangulated by vines. Invasive species thrive, such as bamboo.
Sometimes, I like to walk along the part of my apartment complex that is right next to the bayou. Only a black metal fence separates the two, and if not for the landscapers, I’m sure that the vines would soon engulf the fence itself.
These two images are some of the bayou’s flora that caught my eye earlier today, the tree-and-vine canopy and a weed in bloom.