Sunday 8 September 2013

Our Hanging Birdbath

    It was probably twenty years ago that Joan bought the ceramic birdbath that you can see hanging in our Russian Olive tree.  For nineteen of those years with us, it spent its time in storage up in my shop attic.  I just never got around to hanging it.  This summer after watching all the birds splashing around in Milne’s birdbath, we decided to give our neighborhood birds the chance to have some fun in the water.
    I poked around in the attic and finally found the birdbath.  It took a while for us to decide where to put it, until Joan suggested that maybe we could hang it from the Russian olive tree, so that’s what’s where I hung it.
    It did seem a bit strange to have that large dish full of water suspended in the air like that, but I figured that the birds would eventually find it and make use of the water.  I have yet to see one bird at the bath, and maybe I should put it elsewhere because it has been causing us a lot of trouble.

    When people come down our driveway, they are confronted with a fork, with one side splitting to the right and our carport, and the other section that continues straight ahead to a parking area.  I try to always tell people that the easiest thing to do is to turn right toward our carport, then back around into the parking area, then they are already facing in the correct direction for when they leave.
    Inevitably, they always pull into the parking area and park, then when it is time to leave they back up, turn, go forward, turn, back up, see-sawing back and forth, until they get turned around so they can drive up the driveway.  They usually end up backing onto the lawn, and several have backed into the hanging birdbath in their attempt to get their vehicle turned around.    When I hung the birdbath, I assumed it was far enough away from the driveway not to interfere, but evidently I was wrong.

    One morning, a couple of weeks ago, I had just gotten out of bed, and I walked over to the windows in my upstairs bedroom and opened the curtain.  As I looked out through the willow trees, I saw a strange dark disc lying in the middle of the driveway.
    Something must have fallen off of a car, I thought.  I scampered downstairs and outside to the driveway to pick it up and was totally mystified to discover there was nothing there.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on, since I definitely saw something from the upstairs window.
    I took me about a week, to solve the mystery.  From the distance I was looking from at the upstairs window, I couldn’t see the small chains that were suspending the birdbath from the tree, and from that angle, it seemed as if the dark dish was an object laying in the driveway.

    I mow the grass with a gasoline push mower.  As I mow, I generally travel in a continually diminishing circle around the perimeter of the area I am mowing, but because there are a lot of trees, shrubs and other obstacles in the yard, I also have to do a lot of pushing the mower forward and backing up, pulling the mower backward.
    Yesterday afternoon was sunny, and so I decided to mow the section of the yard between the driveway fork and the barn.  At one point I was backing up, pulling the lawnmower, when suddenly it seemed as I was being electrocuted.  A pulse of shock streaked down my back and ended at my rump.  My central nervous system quickly forwarded the message to my brain that it wasn’t electricity, but cold water traveling down my body.
    Somehow I had perfectly positioned myself as I backed up, so that when I bumped into the birdbath, it lifted it enough on the one side, so that it unhooked the chain holding platter of water, and the whole cold contents of the birdbath poured down my back.  Joan who was up on the lanai, looked up, upon hearing my sudden shouts, and when she saw what had happened, just laughed at me.
    I finished mowing the yard with a wet T-shirt and wet pants.

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