Three years ago, a treehouse in New Zealand won the hearts of architecture critics, restauranteurs, and sustainable designers. The pine-slatted pod suspended visitors in a redwood tree, then served them canapes and petit fours. The treehouse was designed with locally milled redwood, built by local labor, and also made an Auckland accordion player named Tracey quite famous.
If you wander long enough in California's redwood forests—long enough to believe that the color spectrum has been condensed into infinite shades of greens and browns—you might stumble on an anomalous patch of white. Little clouds of the forest floor, they lurk in the understory, affixed to the feet of redwoods. Scientists are fascinated by them. Some call them ghost trees, others compare them to vampires. Most will agree that albino redwoods are, at the very least, curious parasites.