Friday, August 12, 2005


Yesterday I was working on the "cup-runneth-over" bird bath I've been planning for a while. The idea is to create a gracefully curved copper tube to drip water into a shallow copper dish overflowing into a tub of stones. I got the parts into place yesterday but I found that the pump I was using couldn't lift the water to the height I wanted. On the plus side I accidentally created a much more graceful curve with the copper tube than I had originally envisioned.

As I sat back on the deck with a cocktail to contemplate the progress, a young Redstart landed on the wire fence near the project. He explored the parts, landing on the copper tube, the edge of the dish and finally plunging into the water to bathe for a few minutes. He didn't mind when I cautiously got up to get my camera. But I took a moment too long to grab the long lens. As I came back, he finished his bath and sat preening on a branch above the water.

I can hardly describe my pleasure watching the bird. I've never seen a Redstart this close. They eat insects, so naturally have never come to the feeder. Bill has told me again and again that running water is a magnet for birds. Hence the plan for the bird bath. But who knew it would work this fast? I can hardly wait to get another pump and finish the project.

I had trouble finding a picture that adequately conveys the grace of this tiny warbler. Peterson's Field Guide describes the Redstart as "the most butterfly-like of birds." This lovely photo is from Carol Edwards and copyrighted 2004.

These are the moments that restore my soul.

No comments: