I never tire of birdsong, the Mourning Dove’s slow, low, melancholy notes in the chorus. The dove seems a patient creature, waiting its turn to sing. I miss the pair. For years they either found their place on the telephone wire along the driveway, or an oak and maple limb.

It’s interesting how nature changes her habits.

Nonetheless, how blessed is birdsong! Even the sorrowful dove-a reminder of life’s unpredictability in the streams of gain and loss. Mostly cheerful chatter all the day long, their ode to joy.

To be like birds and sing amidst the woes and bondage of life! For they never forget God’s faithfulness. He sends them to sing to us, who are not always merciful, wise, and repentant.

Birds are proof enough for me that God’s Word is true. They sing in darkness and daylight. They testify of the covenant God made with us when He sent His Son to die on a cross hewn from a tree, to arise from His tomb.

For when we plant an oak or maple seed, a tree will grow. Songbirds will come. The taller and wider the tree grows, the more birds. If you plant a flowering shrub, a bird’s hungry beak will find their seed. And if you plant abundant trees and shrubs, you invite a host of feathered visitors from sun up to sun down.

Word travels fast in the bird kingdom when a fruitful habitat appears on the scene beneath their wings. Territorial creatures with a lifespan of two to three years, songbirds feast and sing throughout the growing season-a reminder to be thankful for our harvest.

A remarkable moment in my day is to observe a robin, jay, cardinal, or bluebird bathe in the birdbath in my lower, backyard garden. They risk the claws and jaws of Mitty and Cuddles (our cats) for the pleasure of splashing and preening in shallow water. Birds are humorous, rambunctious bathers.

This past week while my middle daughter and I visited my sister and brother-in-law who live in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, we noticed birds did not bathe in her new, yellow birdbath. Day after day while we relaxed on their front-yard deck, we’d say, “Where are the birds?”

At last I considered the busy birdbath in my backyard. “I think the water may be too deep.”

I left Prestonsburg without offering to empty some water from my sister’s birdbath to test my guess.

My McCoy family reunion, my sister and brother-in-law’s hospitality, the chair lift ride in Kentucky’s Natural Bridge State Park with my daughter, and book launch for Matewan Garden Club in Matewan, West Virginia, are history.

So, Dear Reader, I watch songbirds bathe while standing at my kitchen sink. A bowl of overgrown cucumbers awaits for me to make bread and butter pickles. And what to do with several giant zucchini?

Before I answer that question, I email my Kentucky sister a website link that asks, “Why aren’t birds using our birdbath?”

“The water’s too deep,” it replies.

Contact Iris at irisfarmletters@gmail.com