RICHLAND — Two giant turkeys perch outside a south Richland home -- but they don't have to worry about ending up on the Thanksgiving dinner menu.
They are life-size concrete lions dressed up as turkeys and they sit in front of the Meadow Hills Drive home of Sharon Lute and her husband, Jay Haese, in costumes handmade by Lute.
"It's just to add a little flavor to the neighborhood and a little personalization to an otherwise stone figure," Lute said.
The lions -- Lute calls them Siegfried and Roy -- were put up in the yard in 2007. The following year, she dressed them up for the first time as ghosts for Halloween.
"Everybody loves them. I get a lot of people who come by and take pictures," said Lute, who is an attorney. "You see my creative side out there."
As time allows, Lute makes new costumes to celebrate different holidays. Right now, she's up to eight holidays, with this year being the first year for Thanksgiving.
She started making the turkey costumes in October, and worked on them for a few hours at a time.
"Their heads are 43 inches, so it's not something you can buy," she said. "Their necks are 51 inches. You don't normally find a T-shirt that's 51 inches."
On Easter, Siegfried and Roy become fluffy pink fleece bunny rabbits. They get hats for St. Patrick's Day, motorcycle outfits with sunglasses on the Fourth of July, military uniforms for Memorial Day and hard hats and vests for Labor Day.
The lions get Santa hats, lights and wreaths for Christmas, but Lute said she is working to make the Christmas outfits a little more festive.
The Easter bunnies are "absolutely adorable," Lute said, and noted that even her neighbor's dogs take notice -- one barked for an hour after the bunnies appeared.
Another time, a neighbor and her 4-year-old granddaughter walked by and the little girl stopped and started petting them.
"They're nice and soft," Lute said. "She looks at me with these beautiful blue eyes and says, 'But they're not hopping.' "
Lute says she's had a lot of fun with dressing up the lions and often has people drive by, stop and back up to take another look.
"Under the economic conditions, anything for a smile," she said.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; email@example.com