Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Into the woods

Next week will mark ten years since I moved to this house. For all those years, every time I've driven out the driveway or walked to the mailbox, I've looked into the little patch of woods across the road. You can imagine my surprise when I looked over there earlier this week and saw a house I've never seen before. I suppose it could be a new home (there's definitely a new fence around it), but it looks as if it's been there since the last century.

The house is almost invisible in the woods, its wooden frame weathered to a shade of grey that blends in seamlessly with the trunks and branches of the many trees nearby. For most of the year, I'm sure, the leafy canopies of those same trees would provide even more camouflage for the house.

New or old, it's a wonderful house. It's three stories high, with magnificent windows and a wide porch that appears to run completely around the house. It's a noble house, one with a great deal of character. It's the kind of house that isn't scary but should be haunted by gentle spirits.

The woods themselves are a bit frightening at night, but in the daytime they're comforting in their serenity. This time of year, just before the sun goes down, the light behind the trees is so spectacular it catches my breath. The sun, settling down after a hard day's work, pours its most beautiful light onto the green grass of this field, like King Midas spreading out all of his gold, the better to enjoy it.

I'll end with one final photo of the woods, this one with its own bushy-tailed surprise just to the right of dead center. This one's for Annie.


  1. For a moment, at first glance, I thought it was a deer, we have many of those in Michigan, and you only see them when the leaves have fallen. You must be very busy in your day, not to notice a home across the road from you. Or maybe it's just me, I notice everything,well,almost. Nice pictures. You're a lady of many skills.

  2. That house does look very nice. It must be new. The color at first made me think it was old, but that round window up top gave it away. I love seeing you photos. I take lots of photos too, mostly of my kids. But I just love photos of anything.
    I'm from the south, so we don't have four seasons here. Mostly we just have summer and winter. But I noticed farther north, the seasons are more pronounced, and you can see more in the winter when all the leaves are bare. Our trees here, pine trees, stay green year round and don't get naked for the cold. Kinda boring sometimes. I love how the view changes in other areas.

  3. It looks old, I don't see how you could have failed to notice the noise if it had been built recently. Can you see it from any other angle?

    I love that sunlight!

  4. Schrems, I'm not THAT busy. I like to think I'd have noticed the house if it was directly across the street, but it's down the road a hundred yards or so. Behind the house, there's a bird sanctuary (a big barn-sized structure) that's been there for years. I guess my eye has always been drawn to that.

    Jewellybeano, I think it's a new house, too. The peak (and condition) of the roof make me think so. Whoever built it has done a wonderful job. There are so many McMansions popping up in this area that I'm really impressed by a builder who takes care to blend a home into its environment.

  5. Janet, this house is down the road to the right of mine. Down the road to the left, they've been clearing some land back in the woods and building another huge home (much more modern looking) for months. I've heard construction noises occasionally, but I've assumed they were from the building project I could see. My initial reaction was that the house is old, but the more I look at the condition of everything (porch rails, etc.), I think it's probably new. I might try to view it from a different angle this weekend, if I can do it without getting run over.

  6. It does look old but I have seen some new homes built around here with that "old wood color" too.
    You are such a good photographer!

  7. Hopefully they won't remove the little woods with all this new construction. The house is beautiful viewed through the trees that way.

  8. Beautiful prose and gorgeous photos that leave me wanting to know more about the house in the trees and its story!

  9. It's quite a statement that a house could have been there, or be being built, and you wouldn't even know it. I've always liked the idea of living apart from but not too apart from others - seems like you've got that kind of ideal space between you and them.

    Your little bushy tailed squirrel is cute perched there at the bend in the tree.

    Annie in Little Rock

  10. Velvet, what beautiful pictures of the woods - and that house is wonderful. Now in the summer when everyone is outside and seeing their neighbors, you'll have to learn the 'rest of the story' to tell us! Is it new? When did they build it? I would LOVE to live in a house like that!

  11. if it's been there a long time how did you miss it, back from the brink of death patsy

  12. Since Cap has retired he's taken to keeping the yard safe of all squirrel life. Oh if he knew I was looking at a pic of a squirrel he'd simply pass out...or attack the screen.

    About the house- that looks straight out of a horror'd expect some kids to come screaming out of it to tell a younger sibling about the haunted house where one kid went and never came back. That story would get passed down for 50 years to keep smaller siblings in line. I love old houses, architecture in general really.


  13. Velvet will you just march over there and see about this strange house that appeared in the woods. knock on the door and ask a few questions as we are all very curious about the house?
    Sis 3

  14. Cindi, thanks, but it's the camera. I just point it and push the button.

    Kat, we were told when we bought this place that the land across the street is protected wetlands and would never be developed. The woods are pretty swampy right by the roadside, but they (the anonymous "they") seem to be clearing out some trees on the backside and building homes in there.

    Dr. Kate, I agree, it's the kind of house that should have stories attached to it. If I find out it doesn't, we might have to make up some.

    Annie, I'm not really "apart from others" in terms of space and lot sizes, but the road is a busy one, and with no sidewalks it's hard to know any neighbors but the ones who live in adjacent homes.

    Jackie, I'd love to live in that kind of house, too. I hope my immediate neighbors know more about its history than I do.

    Patsy, I'm not the most observant person in the world, so it wouldn't have been too difficult for me to miss a house hidden by trees in a place I wouldn't expect it to be. I sure missed YOU! Glad to see you back here.

    Austin, congratulations to Cap on his retirement. What a great dog! As for the house, it wouldn't surprise me if somebody's dead relative was holding court in a rocking chair behind that fan of windows at the top level.

    Sister-Three, you must have mistaken me for somebody with a backbone and a reasonable set of social skills. Huh-uh. I'm not going over there and knock on the door. (But I will ask the neighbors I know and report back to you.)


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