Spring flowers
autumn moon
summer breezes
winter snow:

With mind uncluttered
·  this is  ·
the finest season!

-Wúmén Huìkāi

Bird shower

Birds baths, when available, are a year-round boon to all sorts of winged and surface-bound visitors and permanent residents. Where the vigor with which an oriole

S0248036fpexploits this elevated puddle might encourage the pathetic fallacy of imputing decadent delight, such a “deep scrub” is critical to the maintenance of feather condition and the control of mites and other parasites. Yet activity around these small ponds can be hyper indeed, especially in times and places of scarce moisture, high social activity or territorial assertion:


On the subject of low water, austerity measures imposed by state authority and refined in administration by Lincoln’s own Water Department (for an interesting read, see also the per-address usage tables posted there) mandate broad reductions in non-essential use. Since tubs require such a large fill volume for so little actual consumption, avian bathers are duty-bound to respect the same guidelines as their human benefactors. Fortunately, low-cost photovoltaic cells and high-energy product rare earth permanent magnet motors (both increasingly monopolized by China) converge in the ready availability of fixed or floating “solar fountains” in various configurations:


Deep dish



Plugged into the sun

An additional benefit from adding this feature to a bird bath is that mosquitoes seem unwilling to lay eggs in their presence. Apparently, egg deposition does not occur at night, when the spray is dormant. This does not apply to larger bodies of water,


Shallow pool

but the fish, tadpoles, turtles, dragonfly nymphs and other carnivores that more natural ponds usually host can make quick work of both eggs and wrigglers (ad even low-hovering mosquito mothers).

If a saucer is used, it should be wide enough to contain most of the spray even in a gentle wind, and deep enough not to require frequent filling:


Rocks provide stability for the bath, a beach between dips


and filler to maintain depth when most water has splashed out or evaporated. The area required for bathing per se is quite modest:


At least when food is plentiful, weather congenial and other priorities minimal, though, the bird bath seems to be a preferred spot for conversation


(with ever a wary eye on the nearby photographer)


and peaceful contemplation of the infinite: