Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Bathhouse

Such a lazy unproductive day. I sit with my laptop on my lap casually reading blogs with one eye and with the other eye and both ears following the history channel on my television talking about some ancient ways to kill an enemy with an assortment of what they call "hidden" weapons. 

I have moved the bird bath from my front yard so that it now sits (a little askew on a lopsided table) on the back deck with the background of glowing fall trees allowing afternoon light to flicker across the surface of the river and bounce up to make a golden and red backdrop at the bird bath.  The bird bath is located with such energy efficiency that I can watch it without moving at all!  My head rotates from laptop screen to TV screen to window.  Such a fun and lazy way to spend a cold and windy fall afternoon. While birds visit on and off all day in the 44F degree weather they tend to gather more in the late afternoon.  I take photos through the window which gives everything a bit of a blurry watery edge.



I have placed the bird bath heater into the water since early this morning I saw titmice skating across the surface of the ice in search of a melted area for their morning drink.  They would peck at the hard surface and then tilt their head wondering how hard the ice really was.

The house wren that visits the watering hole often breaks into song, flooding my heart with memories of spring. How can their song be so full and happy at this time of year when they no longer need to attract a mate and their immediate future will be so cold and spare? How can they remain so lyrical and upbeat when the wind pushes against their feathers and almost lifts them off the table? 



The bluebirds come in threes.  One watches at the railing while two drink.  They dip low and then throw their heads back allowing big gulps to flow down their throats.  Their little dark eyes glance around for hawks before dipping again for a another long drink.  

The cardinals always drink alone and the females frequently argue about their space on the rim of the water dish and chase each other back and forth at the table.  There is sometimes a male cardinal waiting patiently until the bitching and moaning is finished.

This year the nuthatch has joined us!  He usually would hang out by the feeders and the suet cakes but never came close to the house for water.  I have seen him at least twice today.  


Then comes the chickadee.  And the funniest part today is watching the titmice dip their head in the heated water and spray drops everywhere in the sunshine and then jump into the pool and actually bathe.  They sit for a while before flying off to groom in some nearby tree.  I am amazed at the insulation of feathers for these little gray ones who do not seem to be cold.

Hey, do you mind?  I am bathing here!

Dipping his tail and flicking the water into the air.


12 comments:

Penelopepiscopal said...

What wonderful photos! Love the bathing beauties!

Red said...

Bird baths provide you with all kinds of photographic opportunities. Birds love to find water in the winter. Birds need to bath in the winter to keep their feathers clean and in so doing get better insulation.

Linda Reeder said...

Such beautiful little visitors. Lucky you to have such a view while being lazy.

kenju said...

Such a nice post. I confess to missing the pair of cardinals who live in the forsythia off my rear deck (in the old house). I don't see many birds in the new house.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I absolutely adore that you take the time to notice these birds and and their mannerisms. Plus, I am so jealous. The Bluebird is my favorite bird, yet I've never seen one. Imagine that. Maybe someday.

Enjoyed it.

Peruby said...

Ewwwww...they bathe and drink in the same water? LOL!

Granny Annie said...

Wish I had such a neat way to multi task while watching the outside critters. Love the bluebirds best.

Kat said...

I love your line about wondering how the birds manage their beautiful song without needing it for a mate and despite the oncoming harsh winter. It makes animals seem wise and spiritual.
Beautiful post. I just love birds. What gorgeous little ones you have there. Chickadees are my favs but those little nuthatches and blue birds are gorgeous too! Thank you for sharing!

messymimi said...

A parade of birds! It must be quite a days entertainment, better than the TV.

Scriptor Senex said...

What a wonderful post - I Love the bird looking askance as you watch her bathing.

Hilary said...

I love this. Frank and I were just looking into getting a heated bird bath.

Kay said...

Oh wow! These are absolutely beautiful photos! I love that bluebird.