Monday, August 1, 2011

Bird Homes by Tim - Cheryl's Bird House

Anyone who knows me at all knows that, once I find something I like and value, I won't settle.  (This is part of the reason I'm still single....)  If I can't afford what I want, I'll wait and save up until I can.  This was the case with my friend Tim's bird houses.  I had seen his work for a few years but the budget just didn't really permit the investment rightly required.  So, when I finally could afford the investment in a fine bird home, I made the drive to his home/studio, where I spent a lovely visit with Tim, his wife Barb, their cat Jack and the various Love Birds (sorry guys, I can't remember your names).

Tim had thoughtfully rigged up a display in his garage just for me to view all his available pieces so I could choose the one I wanted.  This was difficult.  Nearly impossible.  So, I worked backward, so to speak, eliminating those that were least desirable; not easy, by any means, but easier.  Tim did his best to help me out by describing the materials used, the decision-making process that had gone into the composition of each bird house.  He shared his knowledge about design, process, style, materials, from the periods to which a particular piece of hardware belonged, where or how he had come by it, how it had influenced his creative decisions, basically sharing a biography of each piece, as if each were a person and not an inanimate object intended to house a family of birds.

I finally settled on a fairly austere design featuring fittings made of marine brass, a type of brass typified by higher content of copper, giving it a rosier color than most conventional brass.  As it was the end of September, he agreed to help me hang it the next Spring, in time for my first garden tour; in the meantime it would be kept in storage in my basement.

This Spring, Tim came over and we conferred as to where the house should be placed.  The types of birds it is intended to attract (cavity nesters, including chickadees) have specific criteria:  the house should be at least 10 feet above ground; there should be no other houses within 50 feet; and any bird feeders or bird baths should be 25 feet away.  (These criteria are based on studies of native songbirds.)  I only have one tree of sufficient size in my back yard, my yew (which is the only plant that remains of those that were on the property when I moved in), so we decided to hang it in there.  (Tim was concerned because the bird house I got from my friend Marie was in the tree as well - less than 50 feet away - but I said this way the birds could choose.)  I got up on the ladder and pruned out some dead branches; then Tim got up and set a screw in the tree and hung the bird house.  I haven't seen any indications of residency but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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