Shelter and Serenity: A Straw Bale Home in Virginia

A snug straw bale home abutting the foothills northwest of Charlottesville, Virginia, provides protection from the heat, light, cold, and humidity as well as a peaceful haven for its owner-builders.

In the South, where gourds grow wild, spring is the season for making organic birdhouses for sparrows, martins, and other small birds. Doug made the birdhouse shown here for his mother. To make your own birdhouse out of a green gourd, cut holes large enough for birds to get through, scrape out the seeds and pulp, and hang the gourd to dry. Poke holes through the top and run wires through for hanging. It’s that simple!
Photo By Philip Beaurline