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Bird Houses of the Ma & Pa Trail

The Ma & Pa Trail, in BelAir, Maryland, is the epitome of multi-use: Walking for fitness or socializing, solo or in groups. Runners and bikers. Senior adults to kids. The trail is home to everyone. I’ve walked and jogged the trail in every season. For the longest time though, I was so focused on my activity that I never noticed the bird houses scattered along the way.

Today, my purpose was to photograph them. Some are artsy. Some are basic. One has a snake living in it. I don’t know who put the houses there; some have not been tended in awhile. But they are fun to look for.

First, here are two views of the trail for those not familiar with it:

I’ll start with two bird houses that are on adjacent trees:

This bird house is close to the beginning of the trail, not near the others. It appears to be newer than the others, maybe hung more recently:

Two of the more basic bird houses, easy to miss while you’re walking:

I love where this one is placed!:

Peeking inside – the roof may be dilapidated, but there’s a nest:

Very amusing, this one has a cat painted on it, near the entrance:

An unexpected guest is living in this one:

At the back left corner of the house, a snake has its head poking out. You can see its body through the bird hole. I watched and took pictures for several minutes and it never moved. Honestly, I thought it was fake at first. But there’s no sign that the house has been touched, so no one could have put one in. Then I thought it was dead.

On my return trip though, the snake was poking its head out through the front door. Obviously not dead. But by the time I grabbed my camera, he disappeared. No sign of his head through the hole where he was earlier:

No sign of his body inside the house:

Returning to less adventurous bird houses:

This one is my favorite. Some one spent a lot of time painting it. It’s very noticeable from the trail, too:

This one may easily be overlooked:

The entrance looks like it’s been chewed:

Another fun, colorful one:

A more obscure one, to finish the tour:

If you visit the trail, I hope you’re inspired to slow down and look for these. For my other readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures!

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Really enjoyed the tour and seeing all the bird houses. About that snake… don’t assume it’s living there. Lots of snakes will happily eat eggs and chicks, so you may have caught sight of him at the “scene of the crime.” There’s a passage in “Alice in Wonderland” where her neck has stretched so long that her head is in the treetops near a nest. The birds there were alarmed and cried out, “Snake! snake!” out of fear for their nest.

    April 16, 2012
    • oh, thank you! Maybe he slithered away real quick while I was grabbing my camera. I can’t wait to get back to the scene of the crime. I love that you recalled a passage from “Alice” – that’s very cool.

      April 16, 2012
  2. What a very cool trail with all the birdhouses. It’d be a game each season to see if any new ones are added. Maybe you could add to the collection!

    May 1, 2012
    • What a great idea! That would be fun. I just put the post on Bel Air Patch; maybe the idea will take off with others too.

      May 1, 2012

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