My friend, L.A., and I were enjoying our coffee on a gently used settee in her backyard. Another neighbor, Ed, had put the wicker piece with a broken leg curbside and we had rescued it. The ever creative L.A. had propped it with a piece of firewood, spray painted it brown, and placed it under a large maple. Not only was the seating comfortable, but we had a panoramic view of neighboring back yards. Little did I dream that in a few minutes we would be doing a different kind of rescue!
The early morning, echoing with bird calls, was a crisp 60 degrees F. Like I said, the seating was comfortable, and the coffee was spiked with Bailey's as we were out of cream. Suddenly, the few random bird calls became a cacophony of "Angry Bird" calls. The ruckus was so loud that we abandoned our settee to investigate two backyards away.
A flock of grackles dive-bombed a grey tabby, lurking near a steel horse trough. L.A. shooed the cat toward some bushes and the real reason for the ruckus dawned on me: three fledgling grackles floated in the two feet of water! One flapped weakly while I pulled it out; the other two were past saving.
L.A. got on her cell phone to get the neighbor home to empty the water from the trough. With no fence around the yard, it could have been an unsupervised toddler falling headfirst into the tank and drowning.
With hot weather and pools opening this Memorial Day weekend, please take note. Public pools have secure fences and lifeguards---inflatable pools and horse troughs do not. Think twice before leaving water in them: wildlife or toddlers can drown in just several inches of standing water. Empty them out when you are finished enjoying them. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!