South Hero Island, in Vermont, offers stunning views of Lake Champlain. It also offers "Birdhouse Forest."
Driving north, toward Canada, you pass a sign: "White's Beach." Look to your right.
Most travelers stop here, where a swamp borders the road, unsure what they're seeing.
Every tree sports a birdhouse, each in bright flower colors—rose, lilac, daisy, buttercup….
This might be a fairy city.
Even a few dinosaurs roam among the trees.
All this began when two neighbors learned tree swallows eat huge numbers of mosquitoes. Living beside a swamp, they had mosquitoes. So they decided to craft twenty swallow houses and put them up.
Swallows came, and flew through the swamp on mosquito hunts. So the neighbors put up more birdhouses, and more, and more….
Twenty years later, Birdhouse Forest is a swallow city, with 800 brightly colored birdhouses. For an added frisson, they installed carved wooden dinosaurs. Probably the reptiles wouldn't scare away mosquitoes, but still, worth a try.
Keep a lookout, driving America's back roads—you never know what you might see.