Aldo Leopold's Shack, from the architectural drawings from the application to the National Registry of Historic Places
Aldo Leopold’s Shack, from the architectural drawings from the application to the National Registry of Historic Places

Aldo Leopold’s Cabin

jacked cider, giant saw teeth,  bald eagles raking 
the sleepy Wisconsin River for risen fish,

sandbars with ribbons of chocolate like a marble cake unfrosted,
water shallow on the sides, encrypted,

eddied like a young girl’s heart, feet cartographic, 
eyes a compass rose,  riverbank a commingled death and life,

hollows where light speaks into a dark space 
and a field opens--nature left alone

does not leave a person alone but left alone inhabits, 
a new covenant, thorn-snagged twill twirls

left like crumbs to lead back to the beginning,
pricking briars so thick light is periodic.





Aldo Leopold spent weekend retreats with his family in a shack along the Wisconsin River. Leopold is famous for his work in wildlife ecology and promoting the United State’s wilderness system. His “land ethic” was informed by his time at this shack and his work “A Sand County Almanac“.

In case you’re interested in building a similar shack of your own, you can find the drawings from the Library of Congress as part of the application to the National Registry of Historic Places.

An aerial photograph of the land surrounding the shack with the Wisconsin River cutting through the top of the frame.

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