It was a good morning for watering and weeding. The hot weather had the late summer blooms begging for a mercy. The birdbaths were dry as a bone. So . . . I lugged the hose to the “way back” and filled the furthest water bowl to brimming as a chorus of robins and swallows and a few nervous wrens waited, all at a respectful distance, waiting for me to finish.
The robins were first up, though a crow quickly bullied his way into happy hour. No matter. Robbins are always civilized, waiting in line, taking turns at the bath, dipping and dunking and ruffling their feathers when done. They all waited as I snaked the hose to the bird bath just beyond the arbor, followed by the sky blue bath in the shade garden.
I watched as they enjoyed the splash park, and they watched me as I watered the clematis and roses, the Ladies Mantle and the hostas. I love watering hostas, for, no matter their condition, they perk up and say thank you as soon as the water reaches their toes, and is there anything more poetic than drops of water resting in between the creases of her Ladyship’s skirts?
A few steps up the arbor and onto the drive led me to our corner bird bath; a reclamation of a neighbors’ long-ago fountain destined for a landfill. As I dipped the watering wand into the basin, a bird swooped in and landed upon a shepherd’s hook, just a few feet from me. It was a young robin, pictured above, wandering the neighborhood while his parents were off to more grown up matters.
I stood there, holding the nozzle just so, creating a gentle spray. This fledgling watched the droplets and me, tilting and turning his head. At least I thought he was watching me, until he moved, in a wink, opened his beak, and caught a minuscule bug, crushing then swallowing and looking at me, as if to say “see me, Miss Penny, I can do this all by myself“.
It was really a very sweet moment and I mumbled “ohhhhh” and, do you know, dear reader, he did it again. I swear, he was smiling. He watched as I turned the nozzle off and pulled the hose toward the front, where a few more birdbaths beckoned me. As I tugged, for the hose is heavy and the drive is long, there he was, sitting on the rim of a rather dry bowl, waiting. I did not want to scare him off, so, I added water to a much more shallow bath and a few plants until he flew away..
All the baths full, I started pulling weeds, carrying them a short way to my nifty new wheelbarrow – and there on the handle was none other than my little feathered friend.
It is nice, is it not, to make new friends whilst working in the garden?