Sunday, January 16, 2011

Twice Weekly Bird Bath

There's a low spot in my driveway.  Every time it rains, there is a lake in Wilton Manors.  Since the soil here is basically beach sand, most of it drains off and percolates into the soil within an hour or so.  The house is at 15 feet above sea level, the street is around 10, so everything from the property drains to the road.

We're still under watering restrictions here, limited to twice weekly watering on the property.  Exceptions exist for Drip Feed Irrigation of course, and they basically say to keep that "reasonable and proper" like the old speed limits in Connecticut before the 1973 oil shock.  That means if you have thirsty plants, you can drip feed them as much as they need, but try to keep the watering to a minimum.

My house gets to water the grass on Sunday and Thursdays.  It is on a timer, and usually on those mornings, it is what wakes me up instead of the dog.  I hear the relay snap, the bedroom hum with a bass note of 60hz, and then the sprinklers in the front yard begin to hiss.   For the most part my irrigation system works well, it hasn't been changed in the two original zones save replacing broken parts due to a rather large moose standing on sprinkler heads. 

Sure, Florida has Moose.  They are rare, and just as clumsy here as their Northern cousins are.  Really they are...

Starting at 6AM, I got up and dragged the dog out for her walk, and came back stepping around the growing puddle at the bottom of the driveway, made breakfast and coffee and settled in to do the other morning ritual of the Job Search.   After a while, the sun came up painting the Island City with shades of pink and then blue, filling the air with the perfume of the morning breezes from the ocean just 2 miles away.

I finished my coffee, went into the kitchen to make new.  Walking outside, I dumped the grounds onto the garden to fertilize my plants and came back in to fix the next mug.  My kitchen has a window behind the sink that I can look out onto the pool through my bougainvillea and the other flowers I have.  As I was stirring the grounds of my second mug into a froth, I watched two Ringneck Doves fly in for a landing.  The two birds hopped onto the divider between the pool and hot tub and took a sip.   At that same time, my kitchen timer sounded off saying 4:30 are up and it is time to drink coffee.

The birds didn't like that so they flew off.   Apparently not everyone like a beeping kitchen timer.

Stirring the coffee and walking out to the front door, I saw the same two ringneck doves flutter down to the swale and begin to drink the ground water out of that puddle.  The birds traded places between bathing and drinking in the same water, and I stood there standing transfixed while sipping coffee and listening to the Hawaiian music from the internet radio station, Hawaiian Rainbow.  It is an uncommon format to listen to on the Mainland unless you're in a Theme Bar, but watching these two grey brown birds with the steel guitar and ukulele playing and "Bruddha Iz" singing gently in the background just seemed to make it all right.

The puddle will be there through the morning and into the late afternoon providing comfort for birds and entertainment for those who chose to watch.

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