Friday, February 05, 2010

Aldo Leopold: shedworker/shedliver

Probably not so well known outside the US, Aldo Leopold was nevertheless a conservationist, philosopher, wildernessist and writer on a par with the father of shedworking, Thoreau and his book Sand Country Almanac is an undoubted classic of the ecological genre. The tiny cabin - he called it the Shack - he bought in the 1930s when it was still just a chicken coop (pictured above): he renovated it and turned it into a weekend shedlike retreat for his wife and five children, making it the only only chicken coop on the National Register of Historic Places. The site, which inspired much of his writing including the Almanac, is owned by the Aldo Leopold Foundation and self-guided Shack tours of the area around the Shack, but sadly not the building itself, are available from May to October.

"The Shack was sort of an example of how you didn't need a palace and all these things surrounding you," said Leopold's daughter, 91-year-old Nina Leopold Bradley when it was accepted onto the Register last year. "The general effect was (showing) that you can be very, very happy with very little stuff around you." Lots more about the Shack here.
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