Some six years ago, my fiancée Rachel’s mom had asked me whether I could possibly repair a simple platform bird feeder that she’d built in her backyard. The single solid steel upright she’d used had been damaged by raccoons, and the entire thing had been bent about halfway up.
Since raccoons were a constant presence in her yard – her house is on the edge of a considerable amount of woods, across the river in Illinois – I told her I’d try to make her a new piece that raccoons would never be able to bend.
I figured I’d try to create something that would spread the weight across several thin uprights, rather than one single piece. I had also just seen a documentary about big wave surfing called ‘Riding Giants’. These guys had somehow figured out that a tail fin with two distinct horizontal elements, sitting just below the surface, actually seemed to ‘anchor’ the board right below the water line. This innovation allowed their boards to almost float a few inches above the surf.
I thought this idea seemed to make a lot of sense in almost any application, including the concept of anchoring a vertical bird feeder into the ground and keeping it there… so that’s exactly what I made for her. It worked very well, and I’ve been using that same essential base design ever since.
My future mother in law, Sharon, has since become the official ‘field tester’ for almost every new design I come up with. She’s also a very talented artist… and with our encouragement has begun to list her own hand sewn pieces on Etsy. Her work is just brilliant. I’ve included a few examples here, along with the link to her new shop. Enjoy!