Up in Saugerties there is a magical place where a sculptor named Harvey Fite took this...
...and transformed it into this!
Behold Opus 40! Covering six acres, this labor of love (and sweat) is comprised of hundreds of thousands of tons of finely fitted bluestone, constructed by hand over a period of 37 years.*
This grand space is a total artistic environment. You can walk through, around, and over it. I found the deep recesses of its lower pathways to be really cool...literally...which brought much relief on the sweltering day I visited.
Fite worked alone, using traditional quarryman's tools - hammers, chisels, drills, crowbars, and a huge boom equipped with a hand-powered winch. It's amazing that one man created this.
The central monolith weighs nine tons!
Fite built his house on the property. When it still had no electricity or plumbing, he used this circular pool as a refrigerator. A mesh bag with milk, butter and eggs could be lowered into its icy water and pulled up as needed. Today, the algae makes it look like a big bowl of refreshing gazpacho soup...yum!
There are several natural quarry pools fed by springs...
...where one can picnic among the stone sculptures, all hand-carved by Fite.
Opus 40 is a tranquil treasure of the Catskills, where one can walk, climb, sit and dip one's toes into the cooling pools...
...and reflect on one man's vision to take earth's Paleozoic bounty and transform it into a magnum opus.
*40 refers to the number of years Harvey Fite expected he would need to complete the work. Fite died in 1976, in the 37th year of his creation.