In the summer of 2012 we decided to do some yard art on the 2.5-acre plot we call home. We noticed on satellite images you can clearly see the lines of trenches dug on the property years earlier. So we thought we’d make some marks in the dirt big enough to be seen from space.
The very back of our property (top of the image at left) had a lot of unused land.
Being dog lovers, we sketched the outline of a Running Dog for our design.
We transfered the sketch onto the satellite image of our property to determine where and how big the dog would be.
We overlaid a grid onto the sketch. When we transferred the grid to the site the purple lines on the plan corresponded to stakes set 12 feet apart.
The canvas was prepared: We mowed the grass.
We set stakes at the corners and ran string around the perimeter. We then put additional stakes every 12 feet along the string.
Ideally we would have run string every twelve feet, but that would have been a lot of string, so we used nails (with ribbons so we could see them) to mark where the strings would have intersected.
We built a wood frame 12 feet on each side. We then ran string inside the frame at three-foot intervals to correspond with the light blue lines on our plan.
We hauled out our tools: A gas-powered cultivator, shovel, rake and cans of marking paint.
We laid the wooden frame on the ground so the corners were sitting on the nails. Then we scratched marks in the dirt to correspond with each square on the plan.
We went over the scratches we made on the ground with marking paint so we could easily see the outline.
Finally we got to the fun part. We ran the cultivator along the paint line, trenching down two to three inches and kicking up a lot of dust I know our neighbors appreciated.
And the fun continued. Here’s Barb as she trenched along the top of the dog’s snout heading toward the nose at the lower left.
After trenching, we used a shovel and rake to remove the loose dirt from the trench. This image shows one of the paws of the Running Dog.
Before we were done some critters began reclaiming the land. Here a ground squirrel has burrowed into the side of our trench.
Standing behind the ear and looking toward the mouth you can make out the head of the Running Dog.
One of the front legs of the Running Dog can be clearly seen in the afternoon sun, but the entire dog is too large to make out while standing on the ground.