My father-in-law loves many kinds of animals. Like the two dogs that belong to the uncle around the way that he rides back to their house in his old Blazer on many mornings, when they could just as well walk back the way they came. And the cows he call babies and loves on when they let him. And the birds, which I'm pretty sure are an especial favorite.
I'm thinking the birds are special because of the collection of bird helpers out in the yard of which I've just recently taken full notice. First, he has multiple bird feeders hanging from the maple tree out back, all of which can conveniently be seen from his usual chair at the dinner table. He keeps them religiously full. Apparently the collection is still growing: the one with the bright red roof was added just this year. I'm pretty sure that no bird for miles around has to go anywhere but this buffet all winter.
That's also the beginning of the birdhouse collection, in case you missed them. Let's continue the home tour.
There's a faded blue bird box nailed onto a utility pole...
and two houses mounted on fence-high posts at the yard's back edge.
Then there are two martin boxes mounted on taller metal posts on the side of the house.
Do you get the picture that the size and stature of these bird helpers keeps increasing?
Well, now the topper of them all has arrived.
Some Amish neighbors, in appreciation for being allowed to hunt on father-in-law's back 240, gave him an even grander martin house (more like a condo really) on a 20-foot wooden post, with a cord and winch for raising and lowering these dee-luxe apartments in the sky. Fancy.
It only took three farmers to put it up last Saturday. Of course, my bright husband was the one who figured out how it had to go together and held it up on the post the whole time that they weren't succeeding in figuring it out--after all the gardening of the morning. Need I mention that he was sore the next day?
Even though I wonder where this collection ends and suspect that a bird skyscraper may be next, I have to admit that the Amish gift is handsome, a bright lofty cottage that just needs twittering residents. If you see any homeless martins, just send them our way. We're ready.