Did you know...
Some anthropologists believe that Native American tribes did not make totem poles before Europeans came to the New World, but the oral histories of the Northwest Indians and their neighbors are unanimous about the totem pole existing in those cultures long before European arrival. Indeed, it would be hard to believe the distinctive art form could have sprang up recently.
Totem poles have definitely grown in size since the introduction of European tools. We still have examples today of majestic totem poles created during the 1800's carved from a single piece of cedar wood and standing up to forty feet high.
Completed totem poles are usually erected as part of special ceremonies and depict crest animals that are property of specific family lineages and reflect the history of that lineage. Animals represented on the crests include the beaver, bear, wolf, shark, killer whale, raven, eagle, frog and mosquito; the crest animals represent kinship, group membership and identity, while the rest of the pole may represent a family’s history.
My birdhouses are hand-crafted from Eastern Red Cedar. The cedar provides a natural bug repellent for bird chicks and creates a more natural nesting spot than houses made of lumber. Using cedar also provides an almost indestructible bird house. These will be hanging around as long as you want then in your yard. I’ve still got some of my first birdhouses that I made 12 year ago. They are holding up great and house birds every spring! The nesting hole is 1 and 1/8 inch in diameter, which is a perfect size for most nesting species. While designed to best accommodate chickadees, finches and wrens, blue birds and other birds have been spotted nesting in these houses. Squirrels are not likely to chew on cedar, and the entry holes of my houses are at least 2 inches deep to help keep predators away from the eggs and chicks.
The bottom of each house is held on with two wood screws, making removal of the bottom panel simple and quick for an easy clean-out, which should be done every year before Spring. To clean the nest box, you can simply dump everything into a plastic bag and dispose of it. You may wish to rinse out the house with a water hose or diluted bleach spray. A clean home is a happy home!