Freeland’s Enso House needs a new roof: buy a birdhouse!

Jim and Jo Shelver have created more than a dozen different bird houses and bird feeders for a birdhouse auction to help pay for a new roof for Enso House

A local hospice needs a roof, and volunteers will hold a birdhouse auction to help the cause.

Enso House is a home for people of all faiths who desire comfort care at the end of life. Located near Freeland and surrounded by fields and forests, Enso House provides a peaceful setting conducive to reflection, meditation and spiritual healing; but even the most meditative of buildings needs to be maintained. About $13,000 is needed to replace the house’s roof.

The Enso Birdhouse Auction will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at Enso House, 6339 Wahl Road in Freeland. The event will include food, music, a silent and live auction and local wildlife experts, including writer Frances Wood and Phyllis Kind of the Audubon Society and raptor biologist and naturalist Steve Layman, who will bring one of his birds for a demonstration.

Jim and Jo Shelver have created a dozen or so houses and feeders for the cause and organizer Cynthia Trowbridge said the auction would not have happened without the couple.

Greenbank furniture maker Rob Hetler contributed his own elegant take on the item, creating what he has called “A New Home for a Bird Spirit.”

“It could be used as a home for cremated remains or as a reliquary for a bird lover,” Hetler said. “Regardless, its shape will always evoke that of a birdhouse, with its faux entry hole and perch, as well as the pitched roof/cover.”

Hetler used Macassar ebony for the roof, and Oregon crotch walnut and bamboo for the box. The piece is valued at $400.

“I wanted to make something that would transcend the bird house function, yet embrace its form,” Hetler said.

“I have been called upon to make funerary boxes in the past, such as full coffins for burial for humans and animals, as well as boxes for cremated remains.”

Hetler said he is often asked to make reliquaries, or memory boxes as he likes to call them, to house artifacts of a passed loved one.

“When called on to participate in the Enso House auction, I thought it fitting to build something that would marry the function of a hospice facility and the form of a birdhouse,” he added.

Not all the birdhouses are quite as elegant, but lean more toward the whimsical side, such as the Shelver’s dino-inspired birdhouse, featuring the front and tail end of a child’s set of colorful dinosaur bookends.

“Jo found those at Value Village,” Jim Shelver said.

The Shelvers were quite excited to show off the variety of pieces that were sent in for the auction; birdhouses, feeders and perches made with every material imaginable, including metal, rocks, driftwood, cedar, a rusty, old license plate and a Mariners lunch box.

Sponsors of the event include Island Apiaries, Wild Birds Unlimited, Gosanko Chocolate and Book Lovers Book Exchange.

Call 331-4699 for more information.