Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SHSU Botanical Research- Administration Building (Hydrangeas) SELF-GUIDED TOUR #5

FITNESS WALKING MAP - Between .05 & 1.0 Mile
 Presumably you have finished exploring areas around Austin Hall, Old Main, Jewel Garden, and Peabody Memorial Library.  In continuing your walk you will see this bench on the sidewalk leading to the Dan Rather building.
Immediately past the Dan Rather Communications building you will arrive at a sidewalk located between this building and the Administration Building.  Before heading on this pathway to the Mall area, make a small detour to look at the stunning Hydrangea bushes growing in front of the Admin. Building.


Hydrangeas is a genus of 70-75 species of flowering native plants, that find their origins in eastern Asia and the Americas.  In China, Japan, and Korea is the greatest species diversity.  Their height ranges from 3-5 feet tall, while a few can reach heights of 98 Ft by climbing up trees.  They are either deciduous or evergreen.
Their flowerheads are shaped and  resemble pom-poms.
Also next to the  building where University Presidents office is another bench commemorating former President Gaertner.


Now use the SELF-GUIDED TOUR map as a guide and walk towards the Mall area, Tour #6, but make a stop at the waterfall.
Until Next Time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SHSU Botanical Research- Peabody Memorial Library, Ghosts Stories & Camellia SELF-GUIDED TOUR #4

FITNESS WALKING MAP - Between .05 & 1.0 Mile


Did you know that our SHSU Archivist, Barbara Klevit-Mason, who at one time officed in this building, has seen a ghost in the Library?

She speculates the woman's spirit may be one of the college's first Professors or Librarians who is wearing a dark outfit resembling fashions from the early 20th century.

                                                         More campus Ghost Stories

If you want a see for yourself,
The Library is open on designated days and hours
 Next is SELF-GUIDED TOUR #5, but first take note of the flowering bushes growing along side this building.

Wondering what this flower is? A Camellia
The most familiar of the camellias is Camellia japonica – often simply called ‘japonica’ – with varieties blooming from early winter through spring. C. japonica has been cultivated in the U.S. since about 1800, initially as tender greenhouse ornamental plants in the north.  It wasn’t until 1819 that C. japonica was introduced into southern U.S. landscapes through a nursery in Charleston.   Today, many large, old camellias grace old plantations and homesteads all across the south, and many fine specimens can be found around Tyler and East Texas

Lovely Camellias that grow along the side of the building
Keep walking down the sidewalk toward the Administration Building-SELF-GUIDED TOUR #5. 
Until Next Time.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

SHSU Botanical Research- Austin Hall (Flowering Quince Tree & Bruce Fulenwider Hedge Marker) SELF-GUIDED TOUR #4

FITNESS WALKING MAP - Between .05 & 1.0 Mile

Flowering Quince Tree that may be from the original root stock of the plants growing by the Houston's Woodland home on the Museum complex grounds.
Back Door of Austin Hall

Did you know we at Sam Houston State University have the bragging rights to claim our heritage of this building being the First Law School in Texas. Yes, that is right, the school was established by The Board of Trustees of Austin College, March 1855.  Is someone doubts you, just point them to this plaque by the back door.

If you look just across from the doorway and down into the hedges you can spot this marker.
Bruce Fullenwider is now retired as the Grounds Manager at SHSU.  He hired current Grounds Manager, Scott Dolezal 17+ years ago.

 Another school tradition, students and lovers carving their initials into the brick wall.

This statue of Sam Houston was part of the Centennial celebration, 1879-1979

Also if you look down at the ground slightly in front of  Sam's statue, you will see another plaque.
It is the plaque representing Pluto.  This is the end of a scaled representation of our Solar System.  The beginning plaque, our Sun, is at SELF-GUIDED TOUR #12 located next to the sidewalk in front of the Farrington Building.

Now would be a good time to visit the Jewel Garden.  Go to the left of this statue.  If you go right; back down the sidewalk, this path will lead to the Peabody Memorial Library.

Until Next Time.

Monday, March 16, 2015

SHSU Botanical Research- Old Main (Biennial Garden) & Tripod. SELF-GUIDED TOUR #4

FITNESS WALKING MAP - Between .05 & 1.0 Mile

If you are using the Self-Guided Tour Map you will be rounding the corner and seeing Austin Hall up top of the hill.
 The Walking Trail in this direction will have you passing Old Main and Austin Hall.  You will be reaching Mile Marker 1.0 around the corner. 

Tripod's Headstone under a shade tree
on "College Hill"

He lived a good long life, 21 years according to his headstone
If you are wondering, who was Tripod?  He was the unofficial Mascot of SHSU "The Three-Legged Don Juan of College Hill."
According to the Newton Gresham Library podcasts, Episode 28:Jan, 3, 2008, "Tripod, as he was named by the students, loved a parade and football game.  He managed to be on the scene of all major activities.  He ate at dorms or fraternity houses.  He slept in apartments and dorms.  He never lacked for food, affection, or medical care.  He made his annual visit to the veterinarian, carried by a friend.  He always managed to have a new collar when needed."


The "Old Main Pit" as this area is known is well worth the effort to explore and see what's left after the fire of the old architecture.

The springtime blooms of the Texas Mountain Laurel
smell like grape chewing gum.
According to Scott Dolezal, Manager of SHSU Grounds, this tree is 25+ years old.  The tree has grown so large it is beginning to split apart due to the weight of the branches.  He is hopeful it will survive.

The red seeds are the Mescal Bean

The Bicentennial Garden was dedicated March 2, 1993.  The garden is now occupied with perennials such as native Lantana, and Pampas grass. Originally the newly patented Sam Houston Roses were planted there as part of the Bicentennial celebration.  Due to the fact there was too much shade in this particular section of the garden, the roses did not thrive and had to be removed.

As you leave the pit area these two native plants can be found growing inside the brick wall planters leaving Old Man and leading up the walkway to Austin Hall.

Texas Red Salvia (right side)

Turk's Cap (left side)
Before you venture too far, this fountain donated by the Sam Houston Players, is just around the corner from Old Main.

Until Next Time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SHSU Botanical Research- Jewel Garden's Magnolia Tulip Trees (-SELF GUIDED TOUR #3)


Walking down the side street that originates with the Faculty parking by the Visitors Center, you will pass by the Student Union.

Next will be the Margaret Lea Houston Building.

If you look up atop the hill 

for a much too short period of time in early spring, you will see a row of Tulip trees blooming within the Jewel Garden, tucked in a little area just west of Austin Hall. 

   What a viewer can expect this greatly admired sight in early Spring.

Trees Dormant in Winter

The Senior Class of 1948 presented the garden.  Grace Longino assisted with the beautification of what was originally a dangerous mud slope.  The original fountain is no longer working, but the various precious stones which lead up to the statue give the garden its' name.  The serene statue of a young, tranquil, curly headed woman was modeled after a student cheerleader, Ruth Whisenhant.

Jewel Garden precious stones and statue

This Jewel Garden bench allows one to enjoy the meditative aspects of this garden which is surrounded by Camellias, Azaleas, and Magnolia Tulip trees.

Now continue on around the corner and up the hill to SELF-GUIDED TOUR#4.
Old Main & Austin Hall.  You will be able to catch your breath shortly, after visiting these two sites.
Until Next Time.

Monday, March 9, 2015

SHSU Botanical Research-McLeod Tree & Thomason Bldg.-SELF GUIDED TOUR #2

FITNESS WALKING MAP -Between 1.0 & 1.5 Mile

Coming from the Evans Complex and admiring the Red Cedar that seems to be hugged by a building, the next place on the Self-Guided Tour map is the Thomason Building.

Memorial Plaque inside entryway

The Building is named after SHNI graduate, John W. Thomason, Jr.  He was a celebrated author and illustrator.  A wonderful collection of his work can be found in the Newton Gresham Library, Thomason Room; List of Special Collections

A Wonderful memorial to Professor of Biology,
Claude A. McLeod

This day the leaves seem to shimmer
with leftover Fall foliage

This wonderful Red Oak tree is planted on the lawn just outside the Thomason Building's Entryway.  It is in memory of Professor of Biology, Claude A. McLeod.  This particular variety, a common type of Oak, is one of the trees found in the Big Thicket Preserve which was an important part of his life's work.

His work included the book, "The Big Thicket Forest of East Texas (1967), and can be requested from the Newton Gresham Library.  McLeod's work and was an important part of the development of the Big Thicket National Preserve.

Professor McLeod is also acknowledged for his contributions in one of my husband's favorite books, "Nature Lover's Guide to the Big Thicket," by Howard Peacock.  Peacock writes, "McLeod devoted his brilliant scientific rationale to provide and publish a territorial definition of the Big Thicket."

As you leave this site, make your way back to the street side of the Thomason Building.  Continue onto SELF-GUIDED TOUR #3

Until Next Time.