It is a lazy long weekend. The city is quiet and the beaches and campsites are likely very busy. It has been so hot and dry that I really didn't want to make travel plans when home means air conditioned comfort. The summer drought continues and the stress from the lack of rain is showing on the lawns, trees and gardens. Farmers with irrigation are harvesting good vegetables but have to sell them at a higher price to compensate for the extra water used.
We worked in the garden yesterday weeding, trimming and thinning out the perennials. I have had a small tabletop bird bath on the deck and noticed the birds have been coming to it on a regular basis. It dries out in a day in this heat so I decided to visit the nursery to look for a bigger bird bath. Well, it was my lucky day.
There were three statuary bird baths with pumps being sold at a 70% reduction in price. After reading Larry's recent post about birds loving dripping water, my consultant (the Becka) and I decided on a very heavy, but very functional model. My husband carried the massive base to the garden and in short order it was set up and running. The first visitor was a Monarch butterfly and all evening I watched our backyard birds enjoying the water.
The little chipmunk came by but stayed on the ground looking for sunflower seeds where the feeder used to be. I leave fresh water in a dish in the garden for our resident chipmunks and they have become quite tame. I have seen goldfinches on my echinacea flowers, but the chickadees were the ones feasting on them this time. They were also eating the seed heads on my peony plants. I always leave some dead flower heads for the birds. Our mountain ash tree had only half a dozen blooms this year so there are very few berries on it. Our tree man said it was not diseased, just affected by dry weather and pollution, but the birds love the fruit of that tree.
I like the sound of running water in my garden. I doubt I would go to the effort of installing a pond because of our long winters, but this is an inexpensive alternative that has earned me a few more backyard friends.