In 2006, 60 birdhouses were distributed to local artists, to be painted and displayed publicly in the surrounding environs. Many of the artists did what Mike had done the previous year, choosing not to just decorate their birdhouse with paint, but to take a "conceptual" approach.
Mike confesses his idea was born of frustration. He couldn't think of anything to do, and he really didn't have time to fool with yet another donated art project that took his time and didn't make him any money. He kept stalling. Finally, in an eleventh-hour act of desperation, he impulsively threw his birdhouse onto a bonfire of dead trees he was burning,...to destroy it.
But, as he saw the pine birdhouse char to a beautiful black and silver husk, he grabbed a rake and rolled it out of the blaze, quickly hosing it down with water. (Apparently, not only can "neccesity" be the mother of invention, but "frustration" too.) He then sculpted a little bird-sized fire-extinguisher, hose-clamped it to the pole, and voila!
The kicker to the story is that the sponsor of this particular birdhouse, was a retired fireman! Thinking it was created with him in mind, he loved it.