Traveling west on MD 28 on our way to Virginia my husband and I found a cottage at the intersection of 28 and 85 at Tuscarora where Rick Keeney displays his artisan birdhouses.
When we parked and got out to explore the birdhouses we discovered that no one was there at the time. We quickly saw the sign telling us that it was fine to explore the property to view the birdhouses and that if we found a birdhouse or two that we wanted we could just put our money in the “honesty box”.
I could not resist looking at each and every birdhouse there. The small houses are crafted from reclaimed materials from old farms, junk yards, and any place that has something that may add a bit of character to the small houses. I was fascinated with the variety of materials and the way the materials were used. The bird may have an old doorknob for a perch to enter the house…or a key and hook …or an old knife or fork! The roof of the birdhouse may be wooden or metal. The birdhouse may be rough old barn wood which has been weathered or it may be painted. The birdhouse may be for a single bird and nest or there may be two or three holes and separate sections…sort of a bird apartment building.
As we wondered about looking at the different birdhouses we discovered that behind the cottage there were even more birdhouses to explore. Some of the birdhouses in the yard were on pitch forks so that they could be put into the ground without the use of a pole or tree.
A while after we began our exploration Rick returned to the cottage. He was very kind to show us the different types of houses he had built and to explain his craft. He truly enjoys his creations and sharing his love for using reclaimed materials.
The birdhouses, besides being works of art, are well built. Any bird would be proud to live in any of the small houses. The houses have hinged areas for cleaning them out at the end of the season. They truly are functional pieces of art.
Rick’s work has been featured in the weekend travel section of the Washington Post. He has been invited to many artisan and craft events to display his wares. Rick did include one of his small houses in an auction at the Cochran Gallery in Washington, DC for a fundraiser. You may have seen one of Rick’s birdhouse creations at a craft event in the area.
It is definitely a great place to visit, a great place to purchase a birdhouse and a great piece of art that you will be obtaining. We did purchase a long, three bird apartment with a tin roof. We hung it on a tree near our home in Ohio and it wasn’t long until it was occupied! We have happy birds nesting in Rick’s creation.