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Ben Allen

Creating a Fountain

The goal for the fountain was threefold: create a visual and auditory anchor to the new garden, attract birds to the bakyard, and provide a water source for the nearby honey bee hives.

I sketched out the size of the round resevoir and drew in the hexagonal rock rim in order to calculate the angle and length I should cut each side. It was a fine moment I wish I could have shared with my tenth grade trignometry teacher. Yes, it was amoment with trignometry came in quite handy.You can see I still remember the mnemonic SOHCAHTOA for how to calculate angles using trigonomety.The hexagonal shape is indicative of a honey bee cell in comb.


The cistern is about 16 inches deep and has a center piller inside to support the perforated top.


Angle cuts made and edging installed.


Red sandstone forms the decorative elements of the fountain.


I cut a little T-section out of one side of the edging and then fashioned a plug to cover it so that I can hide the electrical cord that runs into the fountain.


The first test works well.


Six red sandston pieces represent an abstract form of coneflower, a native flower of Iowa.


Within minutes of starting the fountain and moving away, birds start taking a bath.


I added what I call "potato" rocks to cover the resevoir cover. Again, it's adeliberate choice to create an abstract coneflower.


Birds aren't the only thing attracted to the moving water. Neighbor Nina was fascinated and always wanted to touch the water. She is one reason why there is no open water.


I chose one slab with an indentation to drill through for the bubbling water so that it would form a shallow pool for birds and insects.


A thirsty honey bee takes a drink.