Friday, August 10, 2018

Product Review

Product Review

Last year our neighbourhood was improved with the Shannon’s purchasing a house and bringing all their fur-kids along. Karen immediately started up her “Rent A Daughter” services and Glenn had an enviable workshop built in his backyard where he plays with re-claimed wood and produces unique creations. They are a semi-retired couple who have already shown such creativity with the improvements to their new home. We became fast friends so easily, of course, because our dogs all just loved each other instantly. Who could fight that?  

One day Glenn had Dave over to see his workshop and we just totally fell in love with his birdhouses.  In a subsequent visit, we learned he also makes bat houses… so you know we had to have one of those as well. 

As you can see from the pictures… these are not your average birdhouse creations. Some have swooping roof-lines like those in Whoville (you know: Horton Hears a Who); others resemble a Smurf hat. Exterior walls are stained and/or decorated with polished stones, or wood art that Glen made by hand – carefully carving windowsills, doors, decorations, furniture… all out of re-claimed wood.

Some of the "works in progress" from Glenn's workshop

Glenn has a real passion for making something out of what others see as waste. He gets wood from all sorts of places – sometimes gleaning from unwanted pallets, construction piles (like the one we had) or hardware store waste-wood bins and occasionally purchasing wood from yard sales or buy/sell groups.

These houses are carefully made with precision – notice the quality wood joins. They feel lightweight yet you can also tell they are of solid construction. Glenn is very thoughtful at every stage, creating just the right size entrance and building a removable clean-out door. 

From the three pictures below, you can see that our birdhouse is coincidentally stained just the right tone to go with the ambiance of our yard… that, and the swooping roofline and the tiny carved furniture were what captured our attention. We just had to have it!!! 


Dave installed it with the back to the rising sun on the far edge of the grape arbor, which is located between two of our three bird-friendly water features. It looks stunning there with the grape vines behind it. We thought that because this location is also between two houses, it would experience more protection from the elements and weather extremes. The grape arbor is 10 feet tall and that places the birdhouse well above our heads, allowing the critters some sense of security and privacy.

This pic is taken from over the deck railing - to give some perspective of the birdhouse placement 

The bat-house (yet to be installed; the pics below were taken in the music studio) is made entirely of unstained rough cedar. We intend to leave it untreated, rather than staining it to match everything else. I looked it up on line and it says that here in BC, Canada the bat-house should be painted or stained a dark colour and placed so that it will receive the maximum amount of sun each day ***except in the “particularly hot regions of the Okanagan, Fraser-Thompson or Kootenay regions of BC… Well, we are in the Kootenays.... So reading on I learned that if you live in hot regions consider leaving the wood natural or paint a light colour. 

Like birdhouses, they should be placed near good foraging and water sources. Bats like to be up really high – a tall pole or on the side of a building. People who opt for the pole often choose to have two bat-houses placed back to back, sandwiching the pole between them. Using a tree is out – usually – because bats like a clear path to fly in and out, and the branches present obstacles. The only option for you, if you must mount the house in a tree, is to clear some branches away. 

Just like birds, bats tend to take up residence in the spring however you may find some taking refuge in the house at other times of the year, so go ahead and install it whenever you can.

Prices, styles, shapes and sizes vary - so be sure to connect with Glenn's facebook page so that you can reach out and find what's currently available:

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