My brother’s family frequently visits Crystal Falls in da U.P. eh [translation: the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, yes?] and reports back on their trip highlights. One of those highlights was a special store - Birdbath and Beyond. The store sold, well, birdbaths and other such garden ornaments. Besides making me giggle, the store’s name conjures a vision of fantastic shapes in metals, cement and ceramics - a veritable sculpture garden with multitudes of flowers and flags and a Victorian mirror ball, too. How I would have loved visiting it!
My grandmother always provided a birdbath in her beautiful gardens, which has inspired me to place one in my gardens, too. My most recent, a cement one, has been the best - although it does suffer from algae in the summer. This year I may try putting in copper pennies or use a vinegar solution to keep it cleaner.
The birds, however, don’t seem to care about algae. As long as the birdbath has fresh water in it, they will come. Last summer, one particular fat and sassy robin made it his personal property. When he arrived on the scene, he chased away all other visitors, staking his claim on the bath. He would splash and dip and flutter his wings to clean himself with joyous abandon. What fun it was to watch him! I hope he comes back.
My birdbath also marks the spot where we buried our sweet black cocker spaniel, Petunia. She chose that name herself. We intended to call her “Blackie,” but on our drive to bring her home, my husband said, “She’s just as a cute as a little petunia.” Whereupon, she woofed a little puppy woof and became Petunia ever since. She lived for thirteen years, spunky to the very end.
Her resting place with its special birdbath reminds me that life continues on and can be beautiful even after a death. The birds love visiting her and so do we.