Man uses GPS mapping to create 'saintly' mower art
ROSENTHAL Heights resident Graham Hawthorne took mowing his lawns to a whole new level at the weekend - mowing the stick figure from the popular 1960s TV series The Saint into one of his paddocks.
The figure, only visible from the air, is 180m long.
Mr Hawthorne, who lives on Mardon Rd, said the project had been in the back of his mind for a while.
"We went down to Lake Eyre last year to try and find the Marree Man," he said.
"It's the image of a man with a spear ploughed into the ground.
"It's about 4.5km long and no one is really sure how it got there.
"Only it had faded away and we were unable to find it."
Mr Hawthorne, who is a recreational pilot, decided that he would like to have his own enigma in his backyard.
"I used to watch The Saint on TV years ago and I've always been able to draw it," he said.
He enlisted the help of his neighbour Bob Hade, who was only too willing to help.
"Until recently I was employed as a spatial information officer producing a variety of mapping products for a state government department," Mr Hade said.
"He asked me if I could set out the image for him.
"Using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software I downloaded an image of The Saint and inserted a number of points along the axis.
"I generated latitude and longitude for the points and downloaded them into a GPS which I used to set out the image in the paddock."
Mr Hawthorne said it only took him a day to mow the image into his paddock, on the northern side of the road.
"I started on Friday afternoon and was finished by lunchtime on Saturday," he said.
"Bob had mapped out 33 points and we went along and put steel posts in each of them.
"Then I just mowed from post to post.
"I did it on the ride-on mower - the grass was really thick and the mower was just about at its limit.
"I had to make sure it was nice and neat."
While he did it for just a bit of fun, Mr Hawthorne said he planned to maintain the figure in his paddock for a while.
"After a bit of time it might show up on Google Earth," he said.
Mr Hawthorne said he did not have any plans to mow any more figures into his other paddocks - yet.