Sunday, September 20, 2015

Given Back Birdhouses!

I'm SOOOOO excited!!  The Elks WiFi is back online and I'm in internet heaven!!!  I probably looked up ten things last night, just because I could!!

After another good breakfast at Le Bouchon yesterday, I walked down to the Farmers Market.  I guess it’s late in the year, because there were only a few tables.  Nothing to write home about anyway.  On my way back to the car, I discovered Given Back Birdhouses was open!  This is a stop you MUST make in Old Town Florence on Bay Street, down close to the bridge.  I think they are only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:00, but SO worth the stop.
Although they call themselves a museum, that’s kind of a stretch, but please pay the entry fee of a measly 25 cents … I promise you won’t be disappointed!!  You will be greeted by Amen and Maria Fisher, amazing artists and wonderfully friendly people who combine art with science and forestry to bring you birdhouses extraordinaire.  I know, sounds kind of silly, but they know everything about every bird you might entice into your garden, and what their exact real estate needs are.  Here's one they made last year with a Nuthatches inside.

Be sure and take time for Amen's little tour of the shop.  He has a wealth of interesting information and is more than willing to share every bit of it.
Here’s another example … made specifically for pollinators … the bees and wasps that will pollinate your garden.  The bird houses contain holes of the appropriate size, a condo of specific proportions with exact roof heights and perches.  If you want to attract anything else, including bats, wrens, chickadees, hummingbirds or owls, they can help you there too.  
This pollinator isn't just one sided ... it is decorated all around, including the back.  Each one is made specifically for one type of insect or bird and decorated to help keep other predators at bay.  Here's an interesting tidbit ... momma bird brings spider eggs into the nest, which hatch and eat mites on the babies.  The babies, when old enough, eat the spiders.  Pretty smart little cookies!!
If you want to make your own, they have an autographed book for $25 that will tell you exactly how they do it, including measurements and requirements for each type of bird.
It's just fantastic what they have put together in the small studio, along with their sweet dog Zoey (who likes her tummy rubbed).  They can even make a customized piece just for you.  If I’m going to pay for “art”, this is the kind I like.  Most bird houses run around $45, all made with parts and pieces they have collected from the beaches and forests and have ingenious hangers.  These aren’t made with fresh cut wood, but dead wood or driftwood and require many hours to hollow out the right sized hole.  

With a purchase or maybe two in hand, I drove out to the jetty again to check on the wind conditions.  Mother Nature said not today, so after a quick stop at the rig to check on the puppies, I headed out to gather some pieces for MY birdhouse, to be built when I get home.

Bob’s Beach was a great start, where I picked up lots of redwood bark driftwood to become birdhouse shingles.  Once you start looking, there’s lots to find.  All driftwood is not smooth however, so be careful when picking pieces up.  I got a nice sliver that took me 30 minutes to remove!!  The tide was coming in, so the tide pools were out of the question for pictures, but there are rocks you can still climb on.  
Course there’s always someone who tries to push the envelope … not a good idea here.  These two girls were stuck on the rocks until the tide went back out enough to clamber down to the sand. 
The ocean water comes in around the reef at this point, making a nice pool about 10 feet deep.  A great place to look for critters!!
These guys are of course everywhere.  This seagull flew off the rock, grabbed a seashell from the surf, and as he flew up high, dropped it on the rocks.  I thought he was just clumsy until he landed on top of it and had lunch!!  Another smart cookie!!  I wondered how they got those tough shells open!
Big Creek bridge is a beautiful bowstring arch bridge, completed in 1931, one of three along the Oregon Coast Highway. 
You've seen this view before, but with lots of rain clouds.  This is looking South on Heceta Beach.  I didn't realize how much the landscape can change in just a couple of months.
So this blog was written from the comfort of my motorhome along with my morning cup of coffee.  I still have to make a trip back to Old Town to pick up a Given Back bird feeder.  They also have suet feeders, but I doubt that would work in my neck of the woods.  They can't make one big enough for buzzards!!   

I'll probably just hang out at the RV park today and start packing up for my next move south to Bandon.  I have to be in Hanford California for a meeting by the end of the month.  BOOOO!!!  Back to the old grind for a couple of months and dare I say it ..... back to the Magic Kingdom of Bingo!!


  1. If you get to the water gun stage and the boys' mom comes over to complain, just tell her that you can't control your dogs any better than she controls her kids. Jim

    1. Exactly Jim!! Yesterday one of those kids threw a tantrum and laid in the middle of the road kicking and screaming for a good 20 minutes while Mom played soccer with the other one. I'd hate to see what kind of adults they will become!!