California’s drought is taking its toll on thirsty wildlife. Many sources of fresh water are depleted. Birds and mammals are struggling to quench their thirst.
So while I’m happy to let my lawn die while at the same time watering trees with my bath water, I’m choosing to share some of our fresh water with the critters that need it most.
Our small, re-circulating water fountain continues to flow.
We have a bird bath hanging from a branch of a maple tree
and the newest addition: a pair of dog food bowls.
Last week I spotted a squirrel on the patio umbrella, sipping from a rivulet of water formed by the morning dew. I filled a plastic bowl with water and wedged it into the rock wall. Within minutes the squirrel was having a drink.
A few days later, a mourning dove swooped in for a drink from our bird bath. They’re large birds, so she couldn’t land on the small bird bath and instead sent the bird bath swinging and sloshing water.
Over the weekend I bought two, heavy-duty dog watering bowls and placed them outdoors on the hutch. The bowls are sturdy enough that they can’t tip over, but accessible to larger birds, opossums and squirrels. As you can see, above, the squirrels found them immediately.
As we draw to the end of another long, hot summer, I’ve become acutely aware of the value of every last drop.
Nothing in all Nature is more certain than the fact that no single thing or event can stand alone. It is attached to all that has gone before it, and it will remain attached to all that will follow it. It was born of some cause, and so it must be followed by some effect in an endless chain. – Julian P. Johnson
If you live in California, I would like to issue a small challenge: The next time you stop to quench your own thirst, think about sharing a bowl of water with the creatures in our midst.
Then and Now: California’s depleted reservoirs
Wildcare: Live well with wildlife
Water Wiggler: attracts birds while keeping mosquitoes at bay