Bird House HGTV

Debi Maynard, HFFL Clerk

Earlier this year our cousin made an adorable birdhouse for us. Meant as an indoor decoration, it looks like a working birdhouse, except the little round entrance hole is blocked off with a piece of black-painted wood. It was so beautiful we had to hang it outside of our kitchen window so we, and everyone who passed by, could enjoy it on a regular basis. 

For a while it hung there quietly, its only movement brought on by the spring breeze. As the days went on, we noticed some sparrows, stopping to land on the perch, seemingly inquisitive about the fact that there wasn’t a way to enter this sweet little house.

Their visits soon became a regular occurrence. (We humans were on “pause” by this time due to the pandemic and so maybe because of that we noticed their comings and goings even more.) They would fly around the house spending a lot of time inspecting the eaves. We believed that they were trying to see if there was an entrance there. Daily we would see them, flying around the house stopping for minutes, then flying off.

This went on for about a week. We decided we would go out and see what they found so interesting about the side of the birdhouse that I could not see from my window. To our surprise, we viewed a perfectly round opening under the eave. An opening that was so precise, you would think a tool had been used to create it. How were tiny beaks strong enough to do this wood work? Could they have employed the help from a woodpecker??

These determined little birds had made it their home, and the busyness surrounding this tiny house led me to believe that their family was growing.

While the rest of the world was on lockdown, trying to find things to keep us busy staying in our homes, these tiny birds were busy remodeling my “outdoor decoration” to house their new family. If these birds could think like humans, would they wonder why anyone would build a house that didn’t have a door?

Starting Seeds for Summer Gardens

Marie Ellsworth, HFFL clerk 

Materials 

  • Old socks (yes) – they must be at least part cotton – 100% polyester won’t work 
  • 1 liter soda bottles 
  • Perlite (buy in the garden department) 
  • Peat moss (although I used ordinary garden soil – so far, it’s working) 
  • Water 

Directions 

  • Cut the socks in strips about 1” wide  – the strips need to be 6-8” long
  • Take caps off bottles and cut the bottles in half around the middle
  • Stuff a sock strip through the opening of each bottle – let it hang out about 3”
  • Put some water in the bottom half of each bottle
  • Put the bottle tops upside down into the bottoms, so the sock dangles into the water
  • In a separate container, mix the perlite and peat moss about half & half
  • Fill the tops with soil – to about 1” of the rim 
  • Put some sees on top of the soil (read the packet to see how closely they should be planted) 
  • Sprinkle a little peat moss over the seeds. 
  • Put in a sunny window 
figure illustrating how to create the starter container
Photograph of a finished container