On a mild New England summer day in mid July, we came across a unique spread of pines, both young and aged that seemed to call out to us. We stepped into the timberline and determined the landscape could work with us and develop a relationship to create a simplistic structure we knew as Fort Arcturus. This was the start of a unique connection between man and the landscape.
Focused on the goal of preserving the quaint and peaceful area, we only cleared as much timber as necessary to build upon and with.
We worked all day and through the night by torch and firelight to construct our fort. Trying to incorporate as many natural materials as possible and keeping a strong consciousness for each woody plant, we strengthened our bond with nature.
The site is hidden in the woods and is enigmatic to all but the founders and the wildlife. Porcupine often sits and observes from the mature pine towering over the roof. Wind whispers through the firs and settles among the rock crests. Remnants of stone walls from days of pioneer farms form the foundation of our fort to integrate landscape history.
When the construction was complete, we struggled with what to name our pride & joy. We had installed a wood stove and got it cranking to about 76 degrees in the little hut. As we sat in the dead of night listening to the wind whip outside, we began to brainstorm.
The stars shone as bright as ever, and as we looked up at the sky through the window of the fort, one single star shone brighter than the others. We all saw it all the same time, and it was almost as if it had gotten brighter in that very moment. We researched and determined the name of the star that had illuminated itself to us; Arcturus.
-inspired by the style of Leopold
Fort Arcturus shares various characteristics with Lone Rock Point. Birds can be heard in the trees in both landscapes. While Lone Rock meets the lake, Arcturus meets a wide open field, however they both reside in a deep forest. Glacial erratics at Lone Rock can also be found to the left of the site of Arcturus, among a group of trees that we like to call “Death Forest.”
While mainly cedars live on Lone Rock, there is a majority of pines and birches on the site of the fort. The dissimilar soils can account for this difference. On lone rock, the soil is much sandier and rockier, while the earth under Arcturus is moist and is home to a much more diverse population of vegetation.
Both phenology landscapes are holistically beautiful in their own unique ways. The land on which Fort Arcturus sits generates a stronger personal connection than Lone Rock, for I have observed more life in that spot. I feel one with the earth when I am in Arcturus. I have developed a relationship with each season through this small, hand constructed home.
-in the style of Wright