Living in the mountains of North Carolina is pretty wonderful almost all of the time. We often remark that we feel like we live in a national park and quite honestly I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. We love our little mountain home and all that comes with it.
Wildlife is a huge part of what we love about our area. It is not uncommon to have daily visits from deer, geese, ducks, heron, osprey, raccoons, white squirrels, grey squirrels and at times we even have the occasional bear. While I have not seen one in our yard for awhile I did see one on a trip home from Hendersonville a couple weeks ago and it is always exciting when that happens.
For the past couple of years when I have driven up or down route 276 to and from Brevard I have spied a lot of bears by the side of the road. I have never stopped to visit them but this past week I finally did. Now this time when I say bears by the side of the road I mean this kind of bear.
Artist Jerry Stringham has an amazing talent with a chainsaw. He creates bears and more from huge logs and fashions them in a matter of hours into artwork that has found its way into many homes across the country. I have always said I was going to stop by his roadside set up when he has been there and just never have. One day last week I followed his truck down 276 to the post office. I asked him if he was going to be mailing what he was hauling in the back of his truck because if he was I was going to go to another post office.
Later that day as I was driving home I saw that his truck was there and he was out so as I promised him when I had seen him earlier in the day I stopped. I was delighted to talk to him a bit between customers and of course I had my eye on a bear for my fisherman husband and this one came home with me.
I loved talking to Jerry and found out a lot of interesting things. He travels the country a lot selling his chainsaw art, worked on movie sets, and continues to love working with metal and stone as well as doing the chainsaw art that is popular in our area. You can find him and his unique trailer set up on the parking lot close to Connestee Falls quite a few weeks out of the year and his inventory is always changing. He has recently added white squirrels to his popular carvings and they don’t stay in stock long from the looks of it.
Jerry has huge piles of logs that he uses to create his various statues and it is neat to see the logs and slabs come to life bit by bit. Being the personable guy that he is he is easy to talk to, always willing to take a break to engage with a customer or fan. I could have talked to him for hours but we both had things to do so maybe another day I will stop by again.
I think Chris liked his surprise but I think he is also afraid that yard art might take over like teapots and books have taken over. I promise to keep it to one adorable bear in the yard.
Jerry has a blog located here and a Facebook page here. Make sure you check out these to see what he has been up to. If you are in our area just take a little ride on 276 out of Brevard and chances are you will see him set up on the right hand side of the road by the Connestee Falls waterfall area.
Jerry’s son also does amazing work and he was gracious enough to allow me to link to his work as well. Check out “Little Jerry Stringham’s” Facebook page by clicking here — Stringham Carvings.
Do you have something like this in your yard? I would love to hear about it so leave me a comment. Remember that each comment this month means a 50 cent donation to our Comments for a Cause — Find Your Anchor. You can read more about that by clicking here.