Birdee Bear dresses for the occasion
Birdee Bear has a serious job, providing direction for lost souls, but that doesn't mean she has to dress like a police officer directing traffic. Some days Birdee is dressed for golf, other days for a luau, a workout, or picking flowers.
Birdee Bear is a large wooden statue, standing near the mouth of Ogden Canyon. Robyn Scott had Birdee Bear made about 10 years ago, because people had such a difficult time finding her secluded home at 1717 Canyon Road, in Ogden.
"I would tell people it's the last driveway before you go up the canyon, and every time they'd miss it," she said. "I thought, 'I need something out on the road that they can see.' "
So she ordered the bear, with one arm raised, waving at passing drivers, and the other holding a bird in a nest. Scott is known to her grandchildren as Grandma Birdee, because her name is Robyn and she has an affinity for birds, so the statue became known as Birdee Bear.
The bear was doing a great job of directing visitors to the door, but one day Scott tied balloons onto Birdee for a grandchild's birthday party.
"Everything kind of escalated from there," she said.
Soon Birdee Bear was wearing a cowboy hat and toting a cap gun to celebrate the July holidays.
"Sometimes he's scary, and sometimes he's nice, at Halloween," said Scott. "For Christmas, of course, he's Santa Claus -- he always has a big red bag on his back, and his Santa Claus hat with mustache."
Between major holidays, Birdee Bear is dressed for the season.
"He's either golfing in summertime, or he's raking the yard, or he's picking flowers," she said. "Today's a rainy day, so he's got his umbrella."
The bear used to hold skis when it was snowing, but Scott says dressing Birdee in winter is difficult so it doesn't happen as often.
"People kind of whine if I don't do something," she said. "They don't like to see him undressed anymore."
The outfit that got the most comment was this summer's wedding attire.
"I had a lot of people call me, and ask me if I was getting married," she said.
Scott was hosting weddings for others at her home, and decided to dress the bear for the occasion.
"Birdee Bear was holding the bridal bouquet, with a big flouncy veil on her," she said.
That's right -- she said "her." Scott thought Birdee was a boy, until the weddings came up.
The bear's next costume may involve a big bandage.
"Poor thing needs some cracks filled right now -- he's not in very good shape," Scott said. "He's got a cracked knee."
Here's hoping Birdee Bear has many more years of offering direction and laughs.
"People have stopped out front, when I've been out there, and said, 'We have to drive all the way around this way, when it would be shorter for us to go by the golf course, because my kids have to see what Birdee Bear's wearing this week," said Scott. "I always see people out there taking pictures with him, so I think he's somewhat of a little celebrity or tourist attraction."
Contact reporter Becky Wright at 801-625-4274 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ReporterBWright.
Majestic elk, bison, deer spotted in Liberty
LIBERTY -- Two bull elk, a couple of deer and one very large bison are trampling through this Liberty front yard, and no one seems the least bit concerned.
It's the wonder of amazing wildlife without any of the flower-nibbling, bush-trampling or fence-bashing side effects.
Six large metal animal sculptures are artistically situated on the street-side grounds of Kim and Carol Rindlisbacher's home at 5117 N. 3350 East. There's still another creature relegated to the backyard because he's a bit out of his element.
"There's a big old turtle out in the sandbox that the kids play in," says Kim Rindlisbacher, who estimates his statuary collection began four or five years ago.
Rindlisbacher is a land developer who often uses such statues on his properties. Because of the volume of business he does, he says, he can pick up extra animals here and there at reduced prices from the Texas company he buys from.
"I like looking at them," Rindlisbacher says in a phone interview from his primary residence in Highland, where he also has a variety of animals grazing on the wooded grounds.
The antlered elk and other animals are made of cast aluminum that's painted to resemble bronze. A life-size elk may run up to $4,000 at full price, Rindlisbacher says, so, "They're not cheap."
On one side of the Liberty driveway is a cougar figurine, selected in part because Rindlisbacher is Brigham Young University Cougar fan, and in part as a sort of tribute to the real mountain lions living in nearby mountains.
Using such statues to decorate subdivisions, apartment complexes or other properties helps relate a theme unique to that area, Rindlisbacher explains. He's putting in a bucking horse at a Rock Springs, Wyo., project, for example, and a bison at a site in formerly buffalo-rich country in Cheyenne.
The Liberty house is a home-away-from-home for Kim and Carol and their nine children and three grandchildren. From here, the family enjoys outdoor activities like snowmobiling, four-wheeling, golfing and horseback riding.
When other family members, like nieces or nephews, stay at the home, Kim Rindlisbacher says they seem to get a kick out of the oversized lawn ornaments.
"They're always taking pictures of themselves in front of the elk," he says, "and sending them to us."
Contact reporter Becky Cairns at 801-625-4276 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @bccairns.