What’s a Little Water?

Part Three of after!

Here’s my before:

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The concrete area is pretty well taken care of. However, there’s that area under the tree (Cherry blossom? Embarrasingly, I haven’t devoted any time to looking it up for ID).

I threw a bunch of things in the spot under it; you can’t see it well but it’s squared off with pavers and has an attempt at weedcloth and gravel. Neither are working well anymore so it gets overgrown with weeds. This planter was on reserve for something else when I realized it didn’t have any drainage holes, which would make it water tight……Hmm…..

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Because, you know, I don’t

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have enough

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water features

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in my house

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at ALL.

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Not like it hasn’t rained excessively this season, either.

Really doesn’t matter. I have to have a water feature outside. Since I can’t put in a pond, this will do nicely. This is also my only area of orn-lawnaments. Have to have the Gryphon, there’s an aligator (another must), a Victorian gazing ball, ceramic toad house, and my garden man face.

Ta-dah! My ‘better birdbath’.

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How did I turn the planter into a bird bath? Really very simple. I already had the pump from a previous pond. The outlet for this is about 50 feet away, on the opposite end of the house. I have a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord and bought a watertight connection cover for where the two cords join.

I had also bought some egg crate for the turtle/frog tanks (upcoming project). Since my brain froze on that one, I cut into the eggcrate (warning, when you go into the home improvement store asking for ‘eggcrate’- and you’re a woman- you will instantly be regarded as idiotic. No, it’s not for chickens…..Egg crate is the white plastic grid they cover flourescent lights with. Had issues when shopping for a heat gun and vice, too! Then again, when I went to the bookstore asking for the novel ‘Poison Study’, the clerk got very embarrased and whispered: We don’t sell those types of books here. )

I had some PVC pipe for the tanks’ projects, and an amazing PVC pipe cutter. So much nicer than using a hand saw! The crate cuts very easy with just small wire snips.

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Before cutting the legs, I measured out where I wanted the water surface to be, how deep I wanted the water (I wanted the birds to get drenched if they wanted. Watching a bird take a bath is pretty hysterical. They go all out with glee), and how deep a layer of stones I wanted.

*Do not let your potential birdbath fill with water before you’re ready for it. It’s been raining like crazy here since the snow melted. When I finally went to put the bath together, there was several inches of rain water- and two drowned fledglings. Watch toddlers and small children as well. This is why I went for a shallow pool in a deep container.*

With some aquarium glue (safe, made for water submersion, non-toxic for animals) I glued the legs onto the plastic. It doesn’t stick very securely- I am gluing a hollow tube onto an open air grid. I think if I had used PVC caps on the ends, it might have glued tighter. As it is, it glued enough.

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I spaced the legs to fit over the pump, which is in a large filter box. After it set like this enough, I flipped it over and globbed on more glue over the top. It doesn’t need to lay smooth, and will be covered so it does not need to be pretty.

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I cut in a trap door to get to the flow valves, should I need to make adjustments. The trap door was cut from another piece of egg crate to fit over the hole, and cable tied loosely in place so that it opens when I need, but won’t wash away.

I topped it with weed cloth and white stones (stones are all around the garage, so they were free). I like the stones because they’re rough, so they’ll give traction and something for little feet to cling to.Because they’re white, they may be easier to see vs. black, which would have been my better option, cosmetically.

Voila! A birdbath!

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I read that birds are attracted to the noise, and the motion keeps mosquitoes from laying their eggs, which is why I didn’t just fill a pan. I also had the majority of the items on-hand. I have caught some sparrows checking it out, getting closer and closer, and one began drinking. But I was standing right there at the time and the dog was being a nut, running around like she was a greyhound, but not stopping when she came charging at me. Scared the bird away.

Next post is the finale: tea garden, herbs, flowers, and refinished chairs!

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