FALMOUTH, Maine — The owner of the old barn looks at the broken doors and boxes of rusty tools and sees junk. Tony DiPietro sees whimsical perches, roofs and chimneys. Soon, backyard birds will see a home.
In 1998, DiPietro took early retirement after working 20 years in a paper mill. Around that time his daughter brought home an unfinished birdhouse. DiPietro and his daughter decorated it and put it in their field. To their surprise, swallows found it and moved in. And DiPietro found a new profession.
Nowadays DiPietro tinkers in his workshop, giving new life to salvaged materials. Nothing is mass-produced.
“That’s what I didn’t like about the paper mill. Everything was the same every day,” he said. “But with the birdhouses, something’s going to be different with every one.”