So I bought these large dipper gourds at a yard sale a couple of years back. They were straight out of some guy's garage, still all moldy and raggedy from his garden. I got them for a dollar. I envisioned some lovely birdhouses when I looked at these, and I played the "Mother's Day" card pretty hard. That didn't quite work out, though, so the birdhouses turned into a school project.
First thing to do was to get rid of all that scaly scubbiness covering the outside.
Did you know that steel wool sands that stuff right off?
And soaking can take you a long way, too.
We preferred soaking to sanding, since we quickly found that stuff to be a lung-clogger.
Underneath the scaliness, we found beautiful, lovely patterns graining the surfaces of the gourds.
It's like ink-blot samples straight from nature.
Measuring out the holes was a careful exercise of newly learned compass skills. Even the difference of a tiny, weensy 1/4 inch can discourage a bluebird while encouraging a wren. Weird.
Those miniature spinner gourds were bought at a flea market - five for ..... a dollar! I drilled some tiny holes in them, too, making what --- a fairy abode? a lightning bug retreat? I don't know yet, but they're so diminutively awesome! I got plenty of seeds out of them, and they're sprouting out in the greenhouse. I plan to run them up a small teepee, spray the heck out of any white mildew that appears and harvest my own crop of spinner cuties.
I think they look great hanging out in the red maple, even though they're still empty.
I plan to put up a VACANCY sign in the morning.