|a fall photo|
The sound of happy chattering birds draws me to the porch. It is a marvelous, magical sound.
Earlier this morning as we walked in the park clouds of dust swirled at our feet and by the time we got home our socks were brown. We are in the midst of the hottest, driest summer in decades. What little grass I have is crunchy, perennials are just barely surviving, the shrubs are drooping and the trees are dropping leaves! The wet weather streams are dry, the usual watering holes are dried up. I worry about the birds and other critters who are parched and struggling. My little birdbaths are busy everyday. But, they are not enough.
So, I've started turning on the hose to spray water all over the woodland garden. It's not for the garden, it's for the birds. Nothing makes them happier than flying through misting water.
Within minutes of turning on the spray they congregate in the nearby shrubbery. The Robins hop about in the wet soil and poke around for worms. The Cardinals sit in the tree and let the rain wash over them. Chickadees, nuthatches and bluejays fly by. They all chatter to each other like neighbors around the village well.
That's what brought me to the porch, the sound of happy chattering birds.
You could tell me I am being wasteful, but, for a little while a hostile environment becomes a cool oasis. Our best chance of rain is sometimes next week and even that is not good. Until the rains return, I will turn the hose on every day.
I do it for the birds and, yes, I do it for myself, too.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.