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Carved Squirrel

Once Dead Tree Lives

Fixing up a home for squirrels shares at least one thing with more conventional renovations. “It turned into a bigger project than we were expecting,” says Lynzey MacRae. In this case, however, it wasn’t improperly sized granite countertops or tiles slow to arrive from Italy that caused the job to grow. It was the fact that MacRae and her fiancé, Len Torgerson, had no experience with the fine art of chainsaw carving.

They do, however, have some experience with creative dispute resolution. Each spring for years, as the trees on the riverbank in their backyard produced buds and then green leaves, there was one stubborn holdout. Torgerson, at right in the photo, would say that it was probably time to call an arborist and have the dead poplar removed. MacRae, at left in photo, opposed the idea because it would displace the squirrels that called the tree home.