Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Farmers and Equally-Spaced Trees


Driving through the Free State, the ground is almost flat, but not entirely. The terrain is scattered with small hills. At some points, these hills run parallel to the road. Along the highest ridge visible from the road, there are lines of trees, various heights and types, but all equally spaced. The arrangement and precise location of these trees is too coincidental to be a natural occurrence, and since the surrounding country side contains nothing but farms, one has to assume that the farmers must have done it.

I think it's my engineering mind that realised the problem. It's just the technical difficulties of lining the trees so precisely, often a few kilometres from the road.. One person would have had to be on the road, sitting in a car (so that his head is at the right height). He would have the direct the farmer (probably over radio), so that the farmer could mark the highest line on the hill visible from the road. He would then have to use a tape measure and mark off the intervals, and then plant the trees. It all sounds like a lot of pointless effort to me...
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