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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fly Away Home (Sept. 20, 2012)

 
Birdhouses. Some people collect them or make their own. I don’t make or collect them but recently one practically leaped into my path, inspiring this blog post.
I was walking in a neighborhood of older houses, an area where people express themselves through how they paint or accessorize their homes. I saw something from nearly a block away. Was it…a birdhouse? Yes, yes it was, but this was no ordinary birdhouse. I charged across the street to investigate.
 
 


This was the biggest, most imaginative birdhouse I’d ever seen. Clearly, someone had designed and made it by hand (and that alone is criterion enough to become a Sarah blog post). It seemed to be a bird castle, complete with turrets, flags, battlements and tiny trees. Majestic. Someone had built and hand-painted this palace for feathered friends, placing it atop their roof as a welcoming beacon for birds. I was enchanted. This kind of fanciful project is exactly what calls to me. There are my people, the ones who dream up something fun, something that will add delight to the neighborhood.

At home I Googled unusual birdhouses. Apparently there is a wide array of quirky birdhouses out there. Some are made from old license plates. Others are shaped like gingerbread houses or cowboy boots. (As you know I’m also charmed by life-sized houses in the shape of giant shoes or hot dogs. But not everyone wants to live in eccentric buildings. Perhaps for some people, buying or creating a birdhouse with a playful shape is an opportunity to be spirited without committing to life in a house with curved walls.) Online I found other creations that fit with today’s theme of whimsical birdhouses. An artist who calls himself “Funky Randy” (see? These are my people!) creates birdhouses that evoke the colorful architecture of New Orleans. He uses salvaged lumber, paint, collage, beads and Mardi Gras throws. Each birdhouse also has a solar-powered porch light to help guide birds back after hours. Charming!



Why are birdhouses appealing? Is it that I’m a creative homebody, so a small, colorful house for birds taps into my obsession with feathering my own colorful nest? Or is it that creating a birdhouse is a way to nurture animals, so it appeals to those of us who nurture? Or is a birdhouse an excuse to make something wacky and imaginative?  D: all of the above? Yes, I think so.

The discovery of this rooftop birdhouse is another example of how many surprises are out there waiting to be found, often when you’re not looking for them. So remember to look high and low when you’re out walking your neighborhood. Delightful details await your discovery…


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