I’m out in the country for a few days trying to get some reading and writing done before fall semester starts. (It’s sweltering out here on the front porch, but it’s very quiet.) But fear not. I’ve got lots of material stashed away in my laptop so there’s no reason to stop posting.
Here’s a weird one:
I had to look closely to figure this out. It’s my beloved drainage wasteland between the track stadium and the power plant, back when it was much more heavily treed than it is today. (If you zoom in you can see the back of the stands in the trees to the left.) They’ve clearly just made another attempt to deal with the water issues that arise from the now partially buried Harris Gully. (But note the standing water in front of the shed to the right.)
Naturally, the photo is undated. So what are the clues? Well, the stadium stands are very tall–as tall as they ever got. There’s a storage shed. And the hedgerow that once went all the way to the stadium from the colleges has been removed from the reworked area. My gut reaction to the picture is that it was taken during or immediately after the construction of the new stadium in 1950.
And just by chance I happen to have here an aerial photo of the campus in 1950:
This is almost too easy. Click to enlarge, then zoom in. The new stadium looks finished, but the old one is still totally intact. Even the fieldhouse is still standing. Grass is just beginning to regrow to the east of it, where the ground was scraped bare for the drainage project, and you can clearly see the hedgerow stop abruptly at the edge. I can’t make out the shed, but I feel confident that’s it’s down in those trees somewhere.
Only slightly off-topic: This aerial shot shows my favorite Rice geographical feature EVER–the gaping maw in the stadium parking lot where the buried part of the gully ends. That is so cool.