Posts tagged ‘alumni gardens’

Hello? I’d Like to Order a Gazebo?


Monday morning started off a little bumpy around here.

First something went wrong with the fancy computerized locks on the alumni center doors, and we were momentarily locked out of the building. Then, once we got inside, we discovered that the air conditioning had stopped working over the weekend.

But the pièce de résistance was when we realized that the pounding sound out in the alumni gardens was coming from some Physical Plant guys who were taking sledgehammers to our beloved gazebo.

You can see the gazebo in the photo above, which was taken a few years back. You probably hung out there as a student. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a gazebo in that spot. But by noon today, all that was left was a pile of wooden rubble:


It turns out, though, that there’s no cause for worry: I’ve since learned that the gazebo has been on the schedule for replacement for a while. Its wood had been deteriorating and was becoming a safety concern. A brand-new gazebo has already been constructed and will be moved into place soon—possibly as soon as this week, but failing that, by mid-July.

Meanwhile, the alumni gardens right outside our building remain one of the prettiest spots on campus, our duck population is thriving, and we still have Joepa Turtle and Suepa Turtle in the pond. Come see us.

Tina Hay, editor

June 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm 1 comment

Ducks? Oh Yes, We Have Ducks.

One of three sets of ducklings on the pond outside the Hintz Family Alumni Center.

One of three sets of ducklings on the pond outside the Hintz Family Alumni Center. Click to see it bigger.

Last week we noticed that one of the resident ducks on the Alumni Center pond had had babies—we counted at least 11 ducklings. Then yesterday I noticed that we have not one, but three families of ducklings on the pond. Between those guys and about a half-dozen apparently unattached male ducks, it’s getting a little crowded out there.

Today on my way back to the building after lunch, I saw a lot of people taking pictures of the ducks—I counted at least six different people with cameras. I asked if it was part of some sort of class, but no, it was just a lot of people who were attracted by the ducklings. And who can blame them? The ducklings are very cute.

As it happens, I had my camera with me, too. Hence the photo you see here.

By the way, if you happen to visit the alumni gardens to check out the ducks—and the turtles, and the beautiful landscaping—we’d all really appreciate it if you wouldn’t feed the ducks or the ducklings. It’s a bad idea for a lot of reasons, I’m told. And the new baby ducks especially need a lot better nutrition than the bread and crackers most people tend to offer.

But with that caveat in mind, come see our ducks!

Tina Hay, editor

May 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm 1 comment

Uh, I Think This May be Too Many Ducks

Some years back, a pair of mallard ducks took up residence at the pond just outside the alumni center—right below the magazine offices, which are in what used to be called University House. The ducks spent the summer raising a family of ducklings and gave us plenty of reasons to eat our lunch outside on the bridge over the pond. I wrote a column about this for the magazine a few years ago.

The next year, the mallard pair came back and brought some of their friends, and the year after that they brought even more of their friends.

img_0449-med-ducksWell, it must be spring, because the gang is back. The other morning I counted 14 (!) ducks on the lawn next to the alumni center. The photo here shows just a small subset of them. They tend to hold a noisy group meeting on the lawn each morning and then disperse for the day—some to the upper pond, some to the lower, some to who knows where.

I really don’t see how this small space is going to support seven duck-couples and their offspring. It could get a little squabbly—and messy—as the summer goes on. But I assume that ducks have their ways of working these sorts of territories out, and maybe all 14 won’t stay for the summer.

I’m also mindful of the fact that a red-tailed hawk lives in the neighborhood, so I worry a little for the ducks. I would think that Mister Hawk could easily eat a duckling a day if he wanted to.

We’ll let you know how the situation unfolds. If you’re on campus this summer, be sure to stop by—the alumni center, and the gardens around it, are gorgeous. And I can almost guarantee you’ll see ducks.

Tina Hay, editor

March 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm 1 comment

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