Closing the Loop

6 years is how longĀ  I’ve been after the goal of closing a loop of trails all around our land. I started the day with a mission, to close that loop from the disparate trails I pushed a little each previous year so that I could go all around the land on the ATV.

It is notable that an ATV is not a tractor. It is less capable and it is much lighter. There is no way I could take the tractor through the trails I made, yet it would be very useful to work on them and turn them into nice trails. Even, dry, wide, this is not where we are now. But… I can take the ATV through the loop and that’s one heck of a start. It means access to fire wood, it means the trails forming the loop are bound to get nicer and better managed. It means being able to bring equipment & material to various places of the land (sugaring, lumber, et cetera).

Today’s mission.


Parts of the patchwork of trails I’m sticking together for the loop were obviously man made and used, all I have to do is clear all the trees which came to obstruct them.

Closing the loop means going through a marsh, this was definitely the hardest part. I shouldn’t have done this after 3 days of rain, on the other hand I won’t be able to see the ground very soon when all the greenery sprouts. It was now or never.

I’ll need some slab wood to help, and now I can take it there :).

Plotting like there’s no Tomorrow

Raytraced Sphere (reinder @ turtletoy)

Digital render


Analog render


Close up. The imperfections of ink flow is 80% of what makes pen plots appealing


Curl noise (reinder @ turtletoy), playing with a color changing pen.


When I don’t know what to plot, I can always browse through the hundreds of cool mandalas people draw on Mandalagaba every day. By happenstance, my life is set up such that a steady stream of plotting material is pointed at me.

Hava, by far the most advanced user of Mandalagaba, never hesitates to mix tessellations, radial symmetry and then fine tune the parameters of each resulting cell.


Simple mirror symmetry is often used to draw fauna.

Decisions from Winter Stupor

Every year in January, we spend one evening dreaming of greenery and raiding nursery websites. Then we forget all about it and random trees & shrub show up in the mail through April and May.

7 plum trees, 2 apricots and a few more shrubs not pictured here

We are starting to have a lot of fruit trees around. We try to pick a good spot for them all, but some just don’t make it. Since we put an emphasis on variety, we couldn’t possibly know and cater to all the optimal conditions needed by all. So our strategy is more on the carpet bombing side, imprecision and loss are part of the equation.

I rarely post about the garden as it has mostly become Nicole’s project, but it’s starting to be seriously amazing. I’ll have to post more pictures of it this growing season.