Up until last winter the bird bath that we had in our yard was one that had originally belonged to DH's grandparents. It was at least 40 years old, and had been a fixture in their garden before he inherited it. We used it year round, summer and winter. In winter we ran an outdoor extension cord to the back of the yard and attached a heating coil which sat in the water of the bird bath. The temperature was just warm enough to keep the water from freezing solid so that the birds could drink. The water level was kept high to discourage the more fool hearty of avian visitors from trying to take a bath after quenching their thirst.
unfortunately, one day last winter DH went out to add clean water to the bird bath and discovered it to be bone dry. A hairline crack ran across the bottom of it, just big enough to allow the water to continually drain out. It was the beginning of winter and not a prime time of year to go shopping for bird baths. So we had to wait for the Spring season to roll around before we could go out in search of a new bath. But we found one eventually that we liked and put it in place in the garden. It took awhile but the birds started to return and make use of it.
Then a few nights ago, after DH had retired for the night, I was sitting here at the computer reading blogs when I heard a bit of noise outside. It was a cool evening and the windows were open. Phoebe was on her blanket next to me on the desk and she heard it too. She stood on the desk with her front paws on the window ledge and peered out into the backyard, tail swaying gently back and forth. I looked as well but without any real expectations of actually seeing anything because it was too dark. As I settled back to the computer I heard a loud clinking sound and thought perhaps something was poking around my flower pots. I got a flash light and shone it around as far as the beam would reach but everything looked normal so I had to leave it and wait for morning.
The next morning I was up early because I was catching the Go bus down to Toronto to meet my friend Linda for lunch and shopping. DH got dressed and went out side to check on things. He walked down to the end of the garden and found what we'd been dreading. The bowl of the bird bath laying in two pieces on the ground next to the pedestal. We assume that either a squirrel or a raccoon tried to perch or rest on the side of the bowl and it tipped off the pedestal and hit the paving stones that we have under the pedestal to keep the bird bath balanced.
So now it's back to the gardening centre for another bird bath. And those things ain't cheap!! Dang! (Or would that be cheep????)
The old bird bath is now planted with succulants and enjoying a new lease on life. We weren't about to get rid of it since DH had such fond memories of it in his grandparent's backyard.