J. has a slope. From this summer onward, she’d prefer to walk down a flight of stairs cut into the slope, rather than make her way down footholds hacked into it (as this winter).

Her thought was that the stairs should conform to the curve of the slope, and have treads made from ground cover, perhaps something that gave off scent when crushed. I thought flowers at the edges of the treads would be pretty, so I put some in.

Risers obviously shouldn’t be railroad ties, because creosote is bad. The risers could be treated wood, which at least wouldn’t rot, but which would splinter when hacked away at with shovels and ice axes during the winter. My thought was scrap stone.

How to prevent or mitigate slips? Not sure. A railing?

What to do with water running down the slope, parallel to the stairs? Not sure. Would swales be enough?

More sketching!

* * *

I did the sketch with an iPad app called Paper. Then I mailed it to myself (fix that, please, developers), pushed it to the Camera Roll, and added captioning in Skitch.

Paper is keenly minimalist — paper, pen, pencil, watercolor brush… — and actually fools me into thinking I can draw. It’s the most fun I’ve had on a computer since the Acta Outliner in, oh, 1986 (“I’m so old…”). And just as Acta on the 512KE Mac empowered me to write, perhaps Paper on the iPad will empower me to draw.

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