Photo Essay: In the Birdhouse

EDEN, N.C.–Tweet.  Tweet.

One could be forgiven for mistaking that sound for the thousands of celebrities updating their Twitter streams to dish on the latest Lindsay Lohan scandal.

Alas, the high pitched warble heard outside the backyard of one prominent Eden, North Carolina resident isn’t an audio cue on Tweet Deck or a thousand other social media sites.  Rather, it is the sound of sparrows, jaybirds, cardinals, and a dozen other avians nesting in these colorful bird condos.   Flitting in and out as they gather food to feed their hungry little ones, they are the snapshot of avian suburbia.  While it is unknown exactly how many have taken up residence in these avant-garde homes, the impact on the ambiance of the neighborhood is keenly felt.  At least three or four (human) homes on the stretch of road where this photo was taken play host to one form of birdhouse or another; several more have birdseed at the ready to feed the eccentric beasts.

Regardless of one’s feelings about the avian neighbors, the impact on the local economy is unmistakable.  A handful of bird seed and pet stores in Rockingham County, N.C generate an untold number of dollars.  The town of Eden is but the latest beneficiary of the bird watchers–at least one store is known to be thriving in the bedroom community, and many more are slated to arrive soon.

 John Winn 

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Photo Essay: They’re Loving It

 EDEN, N.C.–The main drag of Fieldcrest Drive in Draper in Eden, North Carolina is the last place one would expect to find the gleaming red and yellow colors of McDonald’s.  Yet it is hard not to notice the similarity in this municipal fire hydrant, pictured in a resident’s yard.  Nestled near a thicket of hardscrabble shrubs not far from the street, it advertises it’s hidden wares to pedestrians and motorists alike.  How it managed to escape being snapped by photographers up to this point is uncertain.

For the record there are several hydrants of similar hues dotting the street–from blues and greens to plain old black and whites.  According to one anonymous local, the multicolored structures are part of an initiative by the city government.  Why the town felt the need to replace the familiar red hydrants remains a mystery, but residents appear to be indifferent in the meantime–with a median income of $27,000 and 17% of the population under the poverty line, they got enough issues to deal with.

John Winn