Ron Dolash stopped recently in the newspaper office to tell us he had a stoplight on his lawn in Toledo.
This wasn't totally surprising, because he long has had a replica of the old Toledo water tower in his yard. Couple that with downtown Toledo's old-fashioned stoplight and it fits together.
(Before it was replaced, the Toledo water tower sat directly behind the home of Ron and his wife, Judy, at 501 South Elm.)
Ron and Judy Dolash with the stoplight birdhouse which now graces their yard in Toledo.
But Ron's new stoplight addition is more than just decorative.
It's a birdhouse. Each red, yellow and green signal on the four-sided light has an opening and a perch. It was mounted high in the air to accommodate "bird traffic."
Judy says it was actually a photo she saw of a similar item in a magazine which inspired it. She urged Ron to try to build one saying she was "confident" he could based upon his other creations.
Ron said it took him about 10 days to build the first one. The structure is built from wood with the "lens shades" recycled from institutional size tin cans and coffee cans.
After that he built three others with each taking about four days to complete. They're donating one to the Tama County Nature Center Fun Night auction scheduled for March 24.
Ron says his stoplight birdhouses are a limited edition- he's ready to move on to a new project and doesn't plan to build any more beyond the four.
Judy and Ron have fed wild birds for many years in the yard of their home. in addition they have a pair of unique accommodations for squirrels secured in trees Ron made from hollowed out sections of down trees he found.