A Pagosa Springs treehouse built by Smith and his firm. AP
Gulf Today Report
Anthropologists believe our ancient human ancestors spent their time in trees, so it should be no surprise we love treehouses today.
Treehouses of all kinds are experiencing a renaissance.
When an acre-size slice of land in Gold Hill, Colorado, came on the market earlier this year, local resident Jessica Brookhart, 41, snapped it up for $80,000, according to AP.
The draw for her: the house was a treehouse.
It was a place she could hang out with her husband and two young boys.
"I had never been inside it, but had admired it from a distance," she said, admitting it was an emotional purchase.
The man who owned the land had built the treehouse with materials from a recycling centre in neighbouring Boulder. The structure can fit two adults and two children. There’s no bathroom or running water, and a squat potty is outside down on the ground. There’s a camping stove for cooking, and water has to be brought up. From the windows, you can see Longs Peak and the Continental Divide.
As pandemic lockdowns droned on, Nanci and Ethan Butler of Newton, Massachusetts, decided to build a backyard treehouse for their two kids. Ethan, an engineer, found treehouse floor plans online and modified them to accommodate their family.
Building the house was a family affair, and in about three months, the Butlers had a beautiful hideaway with built-in bunk beds and a front deck. They enjoyed some nights camping out in it.
Then, on a serene day about three weeks after it was finished, a big oak in the yard broke in two. Part of it fell directly onto the treehouse, crushing it. Carpenter ants had brought the tree down.
"It was traumatic, I was stunned,” Nanci, 45, said. "But we were also so saturated with despair at that point. Nobody cried.”
Part of treehouses' popularity, he said, is parents' desire to create more backyard amenities so kids will go outside.
Nostalgia is another part of it.
"Nostalgia is a huge driver for consumers in general,” he said. "People are being creative with how they engage with that type of nostalgia.”
Business is booming for Aaron Smith, who owns the Fort Collins, Colorado-based treehouse architecture firm Treecraft Design-Build. He started it in 2015, and now employs a second designer and eight carpenters.
"In COVID times, I saw a spike in requests for backyard treehouses just because everyone was at home and the kids needed to get out of the house too,” Smith said.
His treehouses have ranged from a basic backyard structure costing around $10,000 to a livable treehouse with indoor plumbing for half a million. He has clients all over the country.
For many people, basic is OK for treehouses. Jim Brook, a 71-year-old grandfather in Breckenridge, Colorado, built his three grandsons a small platform treehouse nestled among some aspen trees a few years ago.
Over 60 environmental thinkers, campaigners, activists, journalists and academics from across India jointly released the 2021 State of India’s Environment report online. The SOE 2021 is the annual publication of the Down To Earth (DTE) magazine.
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Iranian photographer Gohar Dashti has created a body of work that explores the relationship between nature, human migration and the ripple effects of conflict and social upheaval.
In a sea of the pandemic, amid a flurry of activity to stem the much-feared and hated coronavirus, some things are simply given the go-by. The remedy is largely medical in nature. Nature itself could be a panacea for some issues, such as mental problems.
Umeno Sumiyama, Koume Kodama are awarded are oldest identical twins ever (female) and oldest identical living twins (female) at 107 years 300 days old.
The Queen’s 12th great-grandchild arrived on Saturday at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.
Emma Corrin even swapped her crown for a bonnet for the event.