Nature Meets Nurture

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Nick Churton of Smith & Associates’ London office goes bird watching in the Great Bayou by Port Richey, Florida. One really caught his eye.

Broker: Smith & Associates

Agents: Larry & Janet Mendez

Most homes have something that makes them stand out individually, but every now and then a house comes along which is a complete original, a one-off that somehow links a creative human imagination with the Creator.

Well I have found one of the latter. There is something both elemental and ethereal about the Bird House in Port Richey, Florida. To say this house is in Port Richey or Florida for that matter somehow grounds it in a way it never should be grounded. In many respects it could be in southern Asia or the Australian Outback. But travel through the neat, well-ordered streets and roads of bounteous Port Richey with its comprehensive range of fabulous facilities and turn off onto Limit Drive. The change is immediate and astonishing. Before very long you are in another bounteous world altogether, a world of coastal hammock, salt marshes and mangrove swamps. In the mangrove waters snook, redfish, trout, tarpon, shrimp and crabs thrive, creating a happy hunting ground for an astonishing variety of bird life drawn to this perfect habitat.

Built on stilts, the Bird House acts like a giant live-in hide. From the wrap-around balcony views extend across the Big Bayou to the coast. Your bird list will include spoonbill, heron, ibis, pelican, osprey and bald eagle plus hundreds of others. Drinking a Sundowner on this veranda will make the taste that little bit sweeter as the sinking sun disappears beneath the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This is nature in the raw but it is a rawness tempered by being only ten minutes’ drive from a great prime rib at Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse. Delicious is even better when linked with convenience.

But the Bird House is no temporary hide. It is a very permanent hideaway, built beautifully by a master craftsman in iron-hard Honduran mahogany, cypress wood and reclaimed heart pine. In the UK we would call the decorative style, Arts and Crafts. Art deco style stained glass windows add a flourish.

So buy a kayak, dust down the fishing rod, polish your binoculars and head to the Bird House. This place is something very special indeed. It is where nature meets nurture.

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