Monday, March 4, 2013

Half mast today. godspeed, Purple Martin Man

A sad, sad day today. I received a phone call early this afternoon letting me know that Dave Fouts -- aka The Purple Martin Man -- passed away on Saturday. His sister Judith phoned with the bad news. He had a sudden heart attack and didn't recover. Less than a half hour before that I had added Dave's name to a list of people to invite to our Greenspaces 25th Anniversary celebration event.

She is planning to set up a memorial event for him on Sunday, April 7th at Howell Territorial Park. Dave loved the island and leaves a legacy of purple martin gourds and houses that he found or built and maintained over decades. He single-handedly helped to bring back the purple martin, a designated sensitive species in Oregon.

Last summer he built a purple martin gourd setup for me (see earlier post). Today I went out and lowered it to half mast, and tied a black sweater on it as a memorial "flag."

He had just called me last week and we were talking about how it was getting to be time to clean out the gourds from last year's nesting. I did that today, and below is the material that was in the two gourds where birds nested.

godspeed, Dave. I miss you already.