I do my best to let our yard be natural, only doing what is required to keep us out of trouble with the city. This fall, I have had to do a lot of trimming of bushes and small trees along our fence that were getting close to the power lines. If I don’t trim it down, Westar will, and they will do it in the spring when birds have already nested and baby rabbits are hiding under the bushes. I try to be proactive, so they have few reasons to stomp around the yard. All of this means that the brush pile I have been adding to is much bigger this year. The white-throated sparrows seem to be loving it, and with two Cooper’s hawks, a merlin, and at least three free-roaming cats, it is much needed cover.
If there is a fortunate side effect to all of the tree trimming going on in the neighborhood these days, it is the addition to our backyard brush pile. I asked the tree service to leave all the smaller limbs. With so much habitat loss in the neighborhood, the drought, and no acorns, it seems particularly crucial to give the neighborhood wildlife at least a little extra protection. This morning, the mourning doves let me know the safe space is most appreciated. Click on picture to enlarge.