"Poor indeed is the garden in which birds find no homes." - Abram L. Urban
One of the things 89-year-old Jerry Donaldson and wife, Kate, enjoy doing since moving to Chino Valley in 1977 is watching all the colorful birds in their yard. The birds there don't have to worry about having a home in which to build their nests, because Jerry builds very creative bird houses in his workshop.
"I was a mechanic for many years, and I've pretty much always worked with my hands, and my doctor says building these bird houses is good therapy for me," said Jerry.
Jerry makes bird houses that look like old-time outhouses and churches. The church birdhouses have little stained glass windows in them.
"My daughter Leisa helps me by putting in the stained glass windows, which she paints by hand, and she does the lettering on my houses too," Jerry said.
Jerry also has started building birdhouses that look some of the businesses in Chino Valley. So far, he has created birdhouses that look like Birdie's Barber Shop and State Farm Insurance.
"In our 61 years of marriage, I have never seen Jerry's creative side, and I'm amazed by it, " said Kate.
Jerry admits that most of his creations just come "off the top of his head." His advice to others who might want to try building birdhouses is that the birds seem to be attracted to the simple, unpainted houses.
Jerry gets a lot of pleasure working with his birdhouses.
"It's enjoyable for me because it takes my mind off my aches and pains and gets me out of the house and out of my wife's hair," he said with a grin.