Finch House

Well, I didn’t see my shadow. But Phil’s handlers determined that the ornery groundhog did.

After road tripping to Punxsutawney, PA back in college to witness the phenomenon that brings that podunk town to life one long weekend each year, my view of Groundhog Day changed forever.

It was snowing. People came from all around, bundled up in warm clothes and weird hats that you couldn’t help but gawk at, to catch glimpse of the most famous groundhog in America. (You may want to fact check that.)  By the time 7:25am rolled around in Gobbler’s Knob, most people had pulled an all-nighter, passing time or passing out until Phil was dragged out of his cage and held up for all to see. I remember losing my voice and getting sick soon after. And I also remember the spotlight on Phil.

Yes, it was snowing. Common sense told me that Phil should NOT have seen his shadow. But because of artificial lighting or something that the mayor knew that I didn’t (why is spring late the majority of predictions?), Phil’s handlers declared that year that spring would once again be late.

Best part of the road trip? Anyone celebrating a birthday on Groundhog Day got this awesome gift. It’s still my favorite mug.


Whether Phil legitimately saw his shadow or not, I saw a glimmer of spring a few days ago. It was a crisp winter morning and I woke up to the song of a cardinal piercing the air. After only hearing wyotes cry at that hour for months, I was pretty ecstatic. After all, it’s been a cold and dismal winter. When you get excited by a patch of blue sky, knowing that there’s a chance that the sun will peek out, and you contemplate driving to where you see the sun shining like you’re chasing a pot o’ gold at the end of a rainbow, you know it’s been a long season. And maybe you need to get out more.

While I didn’t see the cardinal, the song gave me hope that spring will come. It always does.

This finch house was a custom Christmas order for a dear family I grew up with in New Jersey. It was built specifically to attract finches and provide a shelter and safe nesting place for those beautiful little birds.


There are surprisingly many requirements needed for a finch house, from the size of the opening to ventilation to the necessity for rough wood on the interior.


Made from reclaimed cedar and other wood remnants, the house was finished with a naturally-felled branch perch, black walnut bark lid, and moss.


It’s been a rough winter for many, and for many reasons. Even though the air is now quiet, void of any bird songs, and it’s snowing again, I know that the sun will eventually shine, the birds will come back, and there will be new life. (Hopefully in this bird house.) But for now, on this particular morning? Life is good. I’m thankful for another year, despite being harsh to this aging vessel that houses my soul, and for another day drinking coffee out of my favorite mug that has shared too many sunrises to count with me.

Hold your head high, heavy heart.  “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” ~George Iles

Hope is such a beautiful gift.

About Mel

My name is Mel, and I spend my time living, working and playing on the east coast. I'm a reclaimed wood artist who loves to continually find ways to repurpose wood and give it new life. "Nature Calls: Reclaimed Wood Designs" is my business dedicated to doing that! Thanks for stopping by!
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