Our old yard was a shady place, and I became adept at planting things that didn't need much beyond inconsistent mottled light. In stark contrast, the sun beats down on our new property from morning 'til night. This is an absolute joy in terms of what I can plant and what will thrive, but all those hours of unrelenting rays take their toll on both soil and shoot.
After many hot hours in the front yard yesterday, I pulled the hose over and set about sprinkling everything down, washing away mulch and dust and giving my plant babies a much-needed drink. I arced my arm right to left, left to right, over and over again, noticing the droplets that hung from leaves and those that sparkled like ephemeral diamonds in the air.
A few birds flew by and landed in the crepe myrtle nearest me. They looked hungrily at the wet plume but kept their distance; all except for one, a sweet little robin with trusting eyes.
Hop, hop, pause. Arc left, arc right. Hop, hop, nearer. A cock of the head, one eye studying me intently.
"Come here, sweet thing. You must be hot. Come have a cool bath. I won't hurt you." I cooed.
Hop, hop, into the spray.
Y'all, that sweet bird was blissed out, and so was I. It ruffled its feathers, shook its head, danced about in the refreshing mist. Having now held the hose aloft for a fair amount of time, my arm was quivering, but you couldn't have paid me to lower it or release the sprinkler head trigger.
The robin looked at me again before returning to the crepe myrtle and heading on. I smiled and let the hose drop, ready to start cleaning up so I could head in.
A few minutes later, a little robin with a trusting eye landed on the sidewalk in the same spot as had the first one and looked at me. I'm sure it was the same, returning for a second dip. And so I fired up my hose, flipped the sprinkler head to shower once more, cooed an invitation, and delighted in his jumping in once more.