by Charlene Burgi
My day was particularly challenging the other day and I couldn’t wait to get home to unwind. Fantasies of being transported to a luxurious spa consumed my thoughts. A hot tub and massage sounded good to me, fresh fruit and beverage in an exquisite vessel waiting nearby.
I stopped the car to watch the donkeys feed on fresh mowed oats and saw a blue jay flutter about in the birdbath across from the corral. My fantasy turned in a different direction. It was then that I had an epiphany. Why not create spas for wildlife? It would be a snap. Butterflies would relish mud baths—easily created by adding wet clay soil to a saucer—where they could indulge in sipping the mineral-laden water. Shallow bowls filled with sun-heated water would be an open invitation to feathered friends to frolic about. Add a birdfeeder or two around the yard and plant their favorite low-water-use, nectar-filled flowers such as agastache, asters, buddleia, yarrow or honeysuckle for an additional treat. The fantasy included a trough of water for larger critters such as deer, raccoons or whoever happened by, along with a salt lick as a surprise. As I drifted back to reality, I noticed the tension disappear as if it were me visiting a spa.
This weekend I will build on that dream and bring it to reality. The payoff will be attracting more beneficial insects and birds to my garden to enhance pollination, beauty and peace.