It’s the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend when many folks are putting up their outdoor holiday decorations. I see strings of lights hanging over some neighbors’ garage doors awaiting their official “throw the switch” ceremony. Yesterday I saw the folks across the street placing green wreaths with red ribbons around the lamps on either side of their garage door. I do that, too. I hang wreaths on the garage lamps. I think they make a home look festive and inviting as if the occupants are welcoming passers-by and extending their cheery Happy Holidays wishes to all. You can almost smell the cookies baking inside a house when you see those holiday lights and decorations. But my holiday decorations won’t go up for another week or so. It’s an unwritten rule in my home … no Christmas decorations until early December.
I spent time today putting out a seasonal welcome of a different sort. It’s time to power up the winter hot tub and invite in everyone who did not fly south for the winter! The BIRD hot tub. The thermostatically controlled year-around bird bath.
I have two bird baths. One is safely stored in the garage along with the hoses and container garden pots so as not to crack and break in the snowy bitter winter. The other bird bath remains out doors all year around with its electic cord dusted off for use in the winter months only to be removed and stored for the summer just about the time the hoses, plant containers and second bird bath return to the garden.
It’s a rainy day. I found my garden mud boots and set to work. I emptied the stones weighting the bird bath base onto the sidewalk, snaked the electric cord up into the hollow base from the bottom, replaced the stones, plugged the cord into the bottom of the bowl, then screwed the bowl back onto the base. Hopefully the stones will again successfully anchor the entire assembly when heavier creatures attempt to sip from the bird bath this winter. I often see squirrels jump up to steal a sip. And I think the neighborhood raccoons know there is water in the bowl because one morning I found it tipped over and I’m sure it wasn’t blown over by the wind.
There are many different heated bird baths and heaters to place in a bird bath to keep it ice-free. I selected a bird bath with the heating element built into its bowl. You really need to study your individual circumstance in order to select the correct one. It’s easy to forget that in the summer you can just whip out the garden hose to clean and fill the bowl. In our northern winters the challenges of cleaning and filling a bird bath become interesting, to say the least. Knowing how much birds need a source of open water on frigid days and seeing them appreciate their birdie hot tub makes the challenge worth while.