It's THEIR World Too

When people come here and step outside, I see them gaze at the massive, tall White Pines that inhabit the surrounding woods.  Generally, it is later on in the conversation that they inevitably mention the tree in front of those on the East side.  Then comes... "why don't you get rid of that ugly dead one?"

That's when I explain that the cedar, number one, isn't dead. If they looked carefully, there is new growth at the tippy top ever since we saved it from the invasive Bittersweet Vine, known in my book as the Connecticut strangler.  (see the cut end in the far right corner...that's how thick the vines were!)

Usually that's when they make a face, as if to say "who cares if it has new growth, it's ugly...just get rid of it."  Meanwhile, I just continue on...
"So we saved it and besides it provides habitat for them.  Go ahead, ask me WHO?"
By that time, I'm really on a roll.  

"Do you know that dead wood, whether it be a snag (a dead tree), logs that have fallen to the ground, or a brush pile all provide habitat for birds...for many small mammals?"

When you remove "snags", those little Caroline Wrens, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Creepers, and Eastern Bluebirds to name a few may be left homeless along with the countless tiny critters that we don't see come to our feeders.

It's the old food chain theory.  Remember that from grammar school?  Well, it's right in your everyday occurrence..and they need food, shelter, water and a place to live.  It's their world too! 

And yes, there are ways to build and construct snags and brush piles. YIKES...who knew that?  However, I was fortunate in being referred to this DEEP website which has tons of links (thanks to my Great Mountain Forest getaway and that super smart gal...the one I call Nancy).

So, the next time you want to burn a brush pile so your yard is neat and tidy, think of the birds that could hide there...or the Eastern Cottontails or the Red Squirrels that could use it when being pursued by the hungry hawk...or the shelter it provides during the winter months.

Messy to Me but HOME to Them

 And the next time you want to mow your entire yard and fashion it after a golf course, think of how those taller patches that provide food and cover for the local wildlife, regardless of how small or large.

For instance, I finally convinced the Pres to mow only a strip along the gravel road, and let the adjacent patch grow up with it's Milkweed, Goldenrod and other native wildflowers.

 One of my many endeavors over the next few years will be to improve the wildlife habitat in our little niche.

Sharing the learnings with you and those at 

but my space with them because 

it's their world too!


MadSnapper said…
I love this post and thank you for posting about the habitat. if i were looking at your trees my first words would be I love that dead tree. i like them as much or more than living ones... also we are not a fan of manicured lawns. but we are in the minority... you have a wonderful place for all the little critters
Mary Hone said…
I love this. The birds and little animals need homes and protection. You are making sure they have that.
EG CameraGirl said…
GREAT! I love it when people realize this planet is not just for humans!
KL said…
I completely agree with you -- this world belongs, actually, more to them than to us. They have been here long before we came. I also get the same comment. I have a huge (at least 4-5 story) and tall pear tree. It sheds it leaves very early -- by end of July, its leaves are gone. People always tell me to cut down that tree though it provides the animals, birds, insects and us with thousands and thousands of pears. My yard is very messy with lots of weeds also, not only all sorts of grasses but twigs, leaves, weeds, and whatever not. And, I see they are very important to animals.
E. Beth. said…
i love your woody the woodpecker shot ... such a beautiful colored bird. ( :
Oh the Pileated Woodpecker is so handsome. We leave piles of brush in our bush for the little animals to hide and keep warm for the winter. I love watching them watch me while I sit back in the snow looking at a pile. Hug B
Paul is very good about not mowing big sections of our land ;-)
Gail said…
You have such a wonderful yard. Thank you for remembering the wild life.

In the woods here we do not burn the fallen trees. Sometimes we gather them and make a big brush pile. Other times, if it's not a safety hazard they are left where they fall.
Rambling Woods said…
YES YES YES... thank you for posting this information..... Michelle
Ann said…
I was driving down the road the other day and kept seeing yards that were well maintained except along the ditch line. I wondered why they didn't mow that and now I know
Oh, I wish EVERYBODY would read your post and live by it!!! I've had that same battle with folks about cutting dead trees that couldn't reach the house if they tried, should they fall.
Florence said…
Oh yes, yes, yes!!! This world is their home too!!

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