S. Berliner, III's Labyrinth Continuation Page 3 keywords = labyrinth rock labyr labrys path circuit rosette petal lunation turn medieval Chartres

Updated:   22 Sep 2019; 17:45  ET
[Page created 29 Aug 2019;
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/labyr-03.html

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Continuation Page 3


[Please note that I rearranged the main page and the first and second continuation pages and added
    this third continuation page on 20 Sep 2019 to balance out the coverage better.
 Accordingly, I have removed all prior NEW and REV'D icons.]

On Main Labyrinth Page:
  Introduction to the Labyrinth.
  Labyrinth Terminology.
  The Chartres Labyrinth.
  Designing a Labyrinth.
  Miniature and Finger Labyrinths.
  Building a Garden Labyrinth.
  Building a Deck Labyrinth. (moved to Continuation Page 2 on 09 Jun 2015).
  Building a Tape Labyrinth (moved to Continuation Page 1 on 16 Nov 2013).
  Redwood Shores Labyrinth (moved to Continuation Page 1 on 09 Jun 2015).
  Glastonbury Tor Labyrinth? (30 Oct 2016).
  Labyrinth Links.

On Labyrinth Continuation Page 1 (moved from main page on 16 Nov 2013)):
  Building a Tape Labyrinth (moved from main page 16 Nov 2013).
  Chartres Labyrinth Proportions and Dimensions.
  Nominal Dimensions and Precision.
  Redwood Shores Labyrinth (moved from main page on 16 Nov 2013).
  Grace Cathedral (S.F.) Labyrinth (24 Oct 2016).
  Armenian Heritage Labyrinth (09 Jun 2015).
  Clark Estate Labyrinth {???} (27 Jul 2015)

On Labyrinth Continuation Page 2:
  Building a Deck Labyrinth. (moved from main page on 09 Jun 2015).
  Chartres on the Beach (07 Oct 2018)

On this Labyrinth Continuation Page 3 (29 Aug - 20 Sep 2019):
  Cherry Point, MI.
  Gude Garden, MD.
  Building a Rock Labyrinth.

[My continuing gratitude to Jeff Saward of Labyrinthos for permission to reproduce drawings and a photograph from his site,
as well also to Robert Ferré and LG Moriarty for helpful advice.]

Pointing out labyrinths that catch my eye for one reason or other (I am NOT trying to compete with, or outdo, the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator!), here are two more:

At Cherry Point Farm and Market, 9600 West Buchanan Road, Shelby, Michigan, Barbara Bull has built a magnificent and gigantic "labyrinth" (it appears to me to be a simple spiral) centered on a glorious trellis-shaded herb garden:




Unfortunately, the 2018-19 winter Polar Vortex killed much of their lavender; there is no lavender in the labyrinth, but it still walkable.  They will replant; the herb garden, at the center of the labyrinth, is in beautiful shape (as of 20 Sep 2019).

Also, at the Gude Garden, in Brookside Gardens, Wheaton Regional Park, at 1800 Glenallan Avenue, in Silver Spring, Maryland, there is a classical Chartres labyrinth for all to enjoy:


Building a Rock Labyrinth

On the preceding Labyrinth Page 2, I had promised "much more coming - I'm 'way behind and have a lot to do!  Watch for a new page".  Well, here it is (29 Aug 2019).

If you've followed the peregrinations of my labyrinthine adventures, you may recall that I had intended a greatly elaborated Deck Labyrinth, to have been painted on a concrete pad, and that I was forced to abandon that great idea.  Further, I grandiosely announced that this new adventure would be "both within my grasp and easily accomplished".  HA!  We shall see; read on.

The great Chartres labyrinth measures an enormous 42' 4" (12.9m) in diameter, with eleven (11) circuits (courses) of carefully-fitted cut stone; this one is far less ambitious and more do-able,  Having been "forced" off the concrete pad I am left with "only" a small, trapezoidal patch of grass in the side yard which, while not between a rock and a hard place, IS nestled tightly between a garage wall, a shed, shrubbery, and a palisade fence.

Side Yard - Rotated to have North at bottom)
(Aug 2019 aerial view after Google Maps by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Having learned the hard way (see my Long Island Garden Labyrinth) that you can't defeat Mother Nature, I decided that this time I would more-or-less go along with that Grande Dame.  Thus, this œuvre will be placed directly on the grass (that little patch can't very well be described as a "lawn"), made of selected 2" (50mm) diameter "river pebbles" (a.k.a. "river rock" or "Mexican river pebbles"), highly (naturally) smoothed minature boulders, pressed directly into the turf just far enough to clear a mower or grass whip-cum-string trimmer*.

[* - also known as "weed-whackers", "weed eaters", "whipper-snippers", "weed-whips", and "line trimmers".]

This labyrinth will be another mini-Chartres (more of a micro-mini-Chartres) of five circuits, dispensing with fine detail such as lunations and petals in the rosette.  The outer diameter is initially assumed to be 15' (4.6m), with a minimum shoulder clearance of 15" (38cm), and with a 13" (33cm) path width.  Using a survey tracing as a basis, here's a first stab [from a CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing or Drafting/Draughting) image]:

First Iteration
(29 Aug 2019 CAD drawing by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Once again, as with the deck labyrinth, I am faced with questions (problems?) of exactitude.  There is a hedge against the garage wall and an asphalt walkway alongside the hedge; in addition, there are shrubs behind the shed.  These must be considered in any calculation of available open space.  Quite literally, back to the ol' drawing board (well - keyboard and screen).

29 Aug 2019 - Off to measure the shrubbery and such - stay tuned!

- - - * - - -

03 Sep 2019 - Hoo, sibling!  What a sudden slam back to reality!  Those shrubs are much bigger and denser than I realized and there are two twinned "pine trees" (arborvitae, apparently) out by the gate and a tangle of "pine trees" (yews, it would seem) against the back of the shed.  Both can be trimmed back a bit but I ended up cutting the planned labyrinth back to three circuits/courses with 11" paths:

Second Iteration
(03 Sep 2019 CAD drawing by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Wait - it gets worse!  The fence line has no obvious relationship to the property line and I, like a lemming, followed the survey blindly!  Once more, things just don't seem to match my elaborate CAD work.

It does appear that the shed is also located rather differently on the ground than on the survey.  Oh, damn and double-damn!  NO, I will NOT go back and re-measure everything; there's about 10' free and clear between the evergreen shrubs (the yews and the arborvitae) and ample shoulder clearance, so let's try a 10' diameter labyrinth with 12" paths and three courses:

Third Iteration

(04 Sep 2019 CAD drawing by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

It fits!  YAY! I'll settle for - {??? - wonder what text was lost here?} - I'll fudge the two labryses2 so they touch the adjoining paths to eliminate gaps - small gaps don't work well when you're using rocks.  I'm also fudging the entry to make it more "inviting".

[2 - By the way, per my main page, the word "labrys", as describing a feature of the Medieval labyrinth, is often mis-spelled "labyr", even by me (the correct plural is "labryses", not "labyrs").

So, we come to the Fourth Iteration - TA, RA!

Fourth Iteration
Oh, no, we don't -
there is no fourth iteration;
I overwrote it!

Rocks screened to 2" diameter are hard to get locally in less that pallet or ton quantities so I've settled for so-called "River Rounds", roughly screened to 1½" to 2"; Martignetti in Woburn Center was willing to sell me a 75# bag at a very nominal price AND put it in my car (there's no way I can lift 75# these days!).  It was hard but I did manage to roll it out of the trunk onto my two-wheeled cart (hand truck) and so through the gate to the worksite - whew!

Well, those rocks are a wee bit more varied than I'd expected and a LOT more ragged; there are quite a few little bits and pieces and a few monsters that are indeed 2" in diameter but 3"-3½" long - more like potatoes - no matter - they'll serve admirably.

Harking back to my Garden Labyrinth layout technique, I drove a gutter nail (a rod or stick would serve, but the head on the nail holds the looped string far better) into the turf at the intended center of the labyrinth and started laying it out.  It sure didn't take very long to discover the gross discrepancy in yard dimensioning!  That's when I found the clear 10' and revised the Third/Fourth Iteration and said "enough!"

Fifth (and Final) Iteration
(13 Sep 2019 CAD drawing by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Using a bunch of gutter nails, my looped string marked in 6" and 12" increments as needed, two tape measures, and 6" and 12" plastic rulers for layout makes layout a snap.  Eyeballing as needed smooths out a lot of inconsistencies.  Smaller stones will allow me to delineate the petals in the rosette after all and even approximate the fleur-de-lys inner tips.

Rats!  Far outliers from Hurricane Dorian have reached us and my ambitious quickie project was rained out this evening - or so it seemed; we had wild thunder and lightning at any rate.  Back to the grind in the A.M.

05 Sep 2019 - well, P. M., anyway, in glorious weather - hot sun, cool air.  Something's amiss (again!), though; the two labryses don't match the drawing,not even fudged.  ???  Got them down and some semblance of the rosette outer circle and entry are starting to show.  The weedy stuff some might call grass is growing faster than I am putting down rocks!

RockLab05a RockLab05b RockLab05c
(05 Sep 2019 photographs by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Dorian, however downgraded, is still huge and is currently due to pass about 150 miles ESE from here at about 20:00 in two days; at the very least, that means lots of rain and wind, with downed power lines and tree limbs a strong possibility.  We shall see; I'd better get busy.

07 Sep 2019 - I know it's tempting fate but I feel like saying, "Nyah, nyah, Dorian; you missed me!"  We are SO lucky; not only no rain, not even any real wind to speak of.  However, another contretemps raised its ugly head - well, not so much ugly as perplexing.  If you've read this far, you know I drew up a 10' mini-Chartres labyrinth with three courses of 12" path width.  There's only one leetle problem with that; without thinking, I laid out on the grass a FOUR-course pattern - AND it fits!  It was only when the labryses didn't line up properly that I recognized the discrepancy.  OOPS! You can't HAVE a FOUR course labyrinth!  They must have an odd number of courses.  Back to the ol' CAD program.

Gettin' old(er) and that ol' dyslexia musta kicked in, big time; what I drew was somehow actually at a more-acceptable 13" path width.  Well, if an 11' (66"R) labyrinth fits, we might as well start at a 27" radius and make the rosette fit in that, with 40", 53" and 66" outer radii.  Here we go, again!


This isn't all that bad; all I have to do is mark off a new guide string, move the small portion of the inner courses I already laid out in part, and reconfigure the entry.  No biggie!

Fifth Iteration
(08 Sep 2019 CAD drawing by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Biggie!  My whole drawing must be 'way off!  11' (66"R) just doesn't fit!  I'll have to worry about the survey and reality some other time; suffice it to say that I must stay within the earlier 10' (60"R) configuration and reduce the path back down to 12" (it's a good thing my spouse has small feet!).  Accordingly, lets just forget about the full drawing for the nonce - you get the idea, anyway - and stick with the labyrinth itself, alone:

(20 Sep 2019 extract from CAD drawing by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

With all the inaccuracies of rock sizes and labrys fudging, added to the undulations of the ground (it drops off towards the fence), this rough revision of the formerly-deadly-accurate CAD work is more than good enough.  So we end up with 24", 36", 48", and 60" radii, with an approximately 12-5/8"R inner tip circle in the rosette.

I simply do NOT understand what's going on; I just readjusted the rocks at 24", 36", 48", and 60" radii and realized, as I tried to create the labyrs, that I'd started making up FOUR courses again!  I can't be THAT dyslectic, but there it is:

RockLab03a RockLab03c

RockLab03d RockLab03e RockLab03f
(03 Sep 2019 photographs by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Fifth Iteration - final readjustment
(09 Sep 2019 CAD drawing by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The drawing is right this time; I'm NOT!  This is rapidly changing from an adventure to a misadventure!  So, it's back to the rock pile and scrabbling in the grass-cum-dirt!

AHA!  BINGO!  Eureka!  I found it!  Can't be THAT dyslectic, eh?  Apparently, oh, yes, I can.  Once I realized what I was doing wrong, it was crystal clear but, oh, to get there was hell on wheels!

So, the problem was that I was banking off the 12⅝" circle (for the inner points on the fleur-de-lys of the petals in the rosette) instead of off the 24" circle of the first course!  Well, duh!  Storm clouds are a'gatherin', so I'll just relax and bask in the satisfaction of knowing what to do next.

Moral to this part of the story - if you know someone who's even mildly dyslectic, go easy on them; things that are painfully obvious to you just might not be so to them.

Shifting the rocks inwards requires respacing them, which, in itself, would be no big deal but at my age all that stooping and bending is a wee bit rough on the ol' knees; happily, the back's holding up well (so far).

(09 Sep 2019 photograph by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

See the FOUR courses?  Curses!

10 Sep 2019 - oh, my achin' knees!  Those dark storm clouds recurred but no rain so I moved rocks and roughed in half of the petals; needless to say, they didn't align per the drawing!  How did I ever get any engineering work accomplished (and quite successfully, at that)?  I got about ⅜ of the paths done and may need a third 75# bag (actually two 37½# bags) - there was a wee bit too much undersized rock and junk in the second batch.  Gettin' there!

RockLab10a RockLab10b
(10 Sep 2019 photographs by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Hurrah!  THREE courses - count 'em!

This is supposed to be an early birthday surprise for my minister wife; she's pre-occupied with a major project but I don't know how much longer I can keep this from becoming obvious.  Even if I do, I'll have to spill the beans to see if that 12" path width is even vaguely workable.  I also may have to ditch the fleur-de-lys tips on the petals as being too intrusive in so small a space.

Friday, the THIRTEENTH! - 13 Sep 2019 - well, I finished (placing rock, that is; and it DID need a third set of two 37½# bags!) and so I asked la Pastora for her "advice", out "in the grass", "out front" (HA!).  Accommodating soul that she is, she complied but saw nothing unusual in the grass out front (surprise!), so I guided her through the gate into the side yard.  BINGO!  She immediately ditched her shoes and walked delightedly barefoot through the cool grass,  Success (and my knees aren't even ALL that painful).

RockLab13a RockLab13b RockLab13c

RockLab13d RockLab13e RockLab13f

RockLab13g RockLab13h RockLab13i

RockLab13j RockLab13k

(13 Sep 2019 photographs by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

[In my excitement (I freely admit it), I managed to blur the last two, REALLY badly!]

As to knee pain, bear in mind that I had to bend over for every single rock!  I tried sitting down but it was unworkable; after every two or three rocks, I was stretching too far.  A three-legged stool might have helped but I was done before I ever got around to finding or buying any such.  While I did carry a bunch of rocks at a time in that small, white, plastic bucket, I had to place and space each individual rock one at a time, using the marked string for the radial location and finely-calibrated eyeballs for the circumferential spacing.

The fleur-de-lys points between the petals have to be replaced with smaller stones and then the rocks pressed (pounded) down into the ground, both for stability and to allow string-trimming the grass (a.k.a. weeds).  The hedge, arborvitae, and yews also need some further, minor trimming.  For long-term use, the bare spots wiil have to be scratched and seeded.  I also have to summon up the energy to move that 3" galvanized pipe I forgot was laying up against the fence - it's 8' long and H-E-A-V-Y!

For the mo', tho', I'm just going to relax a bit (I think I earned it).  Whew.

RockLab19a RockLab19b RockLab19c
(19 Sep 2019 photographs by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Look at how fast those weeds grow!

Don't hold your breath but more will follow.

And so it does.

21 Sep 2019 - that galvanized pipe turned out to be "only" 2" (50.8mm) in diameter and not quite too heavy for me to manage, so it's out of the way, now.  The extra rock is stored away and so I essayed a few more pictures but, as I can't back away into the hedge sufficiently, nor can I force the screen out of the appropriate upstairs window, none are particularly good; climbing a tall ladder would serve well but is rather inadvisable at my age, so this is the lot:

RockLab21a RockLab21b RockLab21c RockLab21a
(21 Sep 2019 photographs by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Talk about mis-adventures!  Those are cell phone pix and this bunch managed somehow to get stuck in the phone!  I've been moving pictures from the phone to my computer effortlessly ever since cell phone cameras were first available, but NOT THIS particular morning!  I ended up sending each pic to myself as an e-mail message!  Bah; humbug!

Time to do some rock pounding and grass trimming, followed by some minimal soil prep. and seeding.

Oh, TOO funny!  Surprises work both ways.  My wife told me to look at the side yard but it was MY turn not to see anything different.  After several go-rounds on this, she said that she'd re-set the rear quadrant of the outermost rocks to widen the path a smitch; even knowing this, I still couldn't see the difference.  Technically, it really DOES make a difference because I located the rocks there with the string held horizontal, while the terrain drops off towards the fence; thus the hypotenuse (the ground) should be 12", NOT the adjacent (the string):

(21 Sep 2019 sketch by and © 2019 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The difference may be negligible but at least the basis is sound.  However, this should have worked FOR me; the path would actually end up ever-so-slightly wider!  No matter; one's spouse is ALWAYS right!  :·)

Being loyal to the labyrinth community, I listed this little gem with the WWLL (the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator); it is ID #7968.  Unfortunately, the link to the Labyrinth Guild of New England no longer works; I'm checking into this.   new (22 Sep 2019)

Continued from main Labyrinth page, Labyrinth Continuation Page 1, and (especially) Labyrinth Continuation Page 2.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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