Sidebar: Topography

In addition to the forest, the property has very interesting topography, and it was this combination that sold me instantly. As a bonus, the western border faces a sprawling wetland, which means it will never be touched. This is the direction the house faces, offering a vista of woodlands that stretches as far as the eye can see; it's easy to pretend it all belongs to me. The best time of year to enjoy the view from the house is early May, just before the leaves have filled out.

A satellite view isn't very informative, since the trees obfuscate the terrain. However, it does reveal that the image was taken in mid-April 2016: it shows the finished foundation with the garage framing nearly done. You can also just make out the driveway and the little Epiphany. But photographs of the property are only marginally better; they lack the sense of depth needed to truly appreciate the drama of the environment. It seems as if the land swallows the house whole—which is just the way I've always wanted it.

The topographic survey (completed in January 2015) provides a sense of the various landforms, and shows the house and cabin in context. Evidently the highest point in the county is in the upper left corner of my property—which is where I've begun building a little treehouse.