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Cooler here in the southland!

July 16, 2012

WOW! I actually got to sit outside on my patio and enjoy breakfast this morning. I have not been able to do that for several weeks now due to the high temps even early in the morning. It is only supposed to hit 87 today in Highland and for those of us who survived last week’s 100, 105, and even 110 one afternoon, this really will feel as if an arctic breeze has moved in. I say bring it on!

I was out there on my porch swing with my cocker spaniel, Sammy, just swinging away and watching the birds taking their morning baths in my garden fountain. My fountain is perhaps a bit large by small neighborhood backyard standards, but then I had always wanted a fountain since I was a little kid and when I finally got my very own, I decided to make it count! I remember looking at pictures in the National Geographic and travel books and seeing the exquisite fountains of Europe….the cherubs, the mermaids, the animals…..such exotic, romantic creations they were and I wanted one! I remember too seeing fountains in parks occasionally and in Chicago when I went to visit my granparents…big, tall fountains that cascaded over large, shallow pools and children played in them during the summer. How I envied them! I saw fountains at the zoo, in front of a few churches and important civic buildings and in people’s yards and gardens. Those yard and garden fountains were extremely rare in rural Wisconsin of the 50s and 60s and so I guess made an even bigger impact on me. They were also fairly small….more like bird baths with bubblers on top, but that made no difference to me. I would stare at them, mesmerized, and think about how rich the people must be who owned those beautiful stone beauties with the water cascading so peacefully, how enchanted their lives must be, and how someday I would have one of my own. Well it is one of the few dreams in my life that really did come true, and although I am not rich and certainly do not lead an enchanted life, I am still mesmerized by the peaceful cascades of water, the soothing sound of water dropping.

I began thinking about those European fountains that had so captured my imagination as a kid and I wondered about the history and detail of decorative fountains world wide and here in the USA.  So I went to that trusted source of all sources, Wikipedia, to see what I could find.

I learned that the tallest fountain in the world is in Saudi Arabia and shoots 853 feet high out of the Red Sea. Now that is fountain……about the height of a 70 story building!

The oldest decorative fountain that I could find any information for is in Nuremberg, Germany and was begun in 1386, which is a long, long time ago! 626 years to be exact.

Las Vegas and Disney are known for developing the exquisite musical, lighted, moving fountain displays that we have all seen on TV or in real life, although a 1st century AD scientist describes a “bird made to whistle by flowing water.” Guess ole Walt wasn’t really all the creative after all!

In the US, the very first decorative fountain was created for the New York City Hall, and was soon followed by the beautiful angel fountain that adorns Central Park.

One of the most unusual fountains was designed as a Civil Rights Movement monument in Montgomery, Alabama. It looks like a huge round black granite table and has the names of Civil Rights heroes engraved into it. Water flows across it.

Water! The magic that sustains all life, the worlds oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds and my beautiful back yard fountain!

Here’s to a cool and waterful day to each of you!

Chatty Grandma





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  1. Shannon permalink

    You certainly are rich in the sense that you are loved by many, and I would say your life is a bit enchanted, having an eldest son who is sooooo perfect in every way! Lol

  2. jeannie lindberg permalink

    Water, water, cool clear water… fountains. The birds are flocking to ours in this drought. Love your blog. It is not only fun to read but informative too.

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