Two Downtown Salem Trees, 50 Bird Houses
Here's the story behind a pair of city trees adorned with dozens of unique bird houses.
If walking down Hawthorne Boulevard is part of your regular route through Salem, you've probably noticed Anita Armell's amazing bird house collection.
If you haven't, and you're picturing a bunch of those wooden bird houses many of us made in middle school wood shop - you're way off.
All of the bird houses in Armell's downtown collection are truly one-of-a-kind. Some are made from former Christmas ornaments, others have a Halloween theme and there's even a big plastic fish hidden among them.
Although Armell said she's had as many as 50 bird houses hung between the two trees outside of her home, she's attracted only one taker to the display in almost eight years.
"All these bird houses and we've only ever had one bird move in," Armell said with a laugh Tuesday afternoon.
The unique display brings tourists to her front door all the time, she said, and some people have even stopped in because they thought her house was a shop that sold bird houses.
"We had to invest in new locks because people were just letting themselves in," Armell said.
Click through the photo gallery attached to this post for a closer look at this downtown Salem bird house collection.
My recent transition from editing Marblehead Patch to running Salem Patch has meant devoting time each day to exploring the ins and outs of the city - and making a real effort to sniff out local feature pieces by getting lost on the side-streets of Salem.
Is there something or someone in the city that you think would be perfect for our next feature story? Let us know or leave a note in the comments section below.