Sunday, November 14, 2010


I leave a pile full of leaves in my backyard by the compost pile. Wood logs and large twigs are set amongst the leaves, creating a wildlife-friendly brush pile. The Cone Flowers, now only darkened flower heads, contain thousands of seed. I leave them standing. My sedums turned a beautiful red in early Fall, and still remain so. If you have colorful zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, phlox, and daisies, please let them stand after the flower heads die. The seeds are invaluable to birds and other wildlife when the chilly days of winter arrive.

Each time I pick up twigs and small branches off my lawn, I toss them into the backyard brush pile, which is partly hidden by a fir tree. In the Spring, birds shuffle through it, uncovering insects and worms under the moist blanket of leaves where they also discover the perfect twig for their nest.

A suet holder, heated water dish, common bird seed feeder with cracked corn added, a wooden bird feeder with perch filled with black-oil sunflower seeds, and a Goldfinch thistle feeder attract many winter birds. Today, I was surprised with a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

The bird houses are left out over winter. I’ve seen winter birds seek shelter in them on frigid days. In Spring, a Carolina Wren takes this one over and raises its young. I’ve always wondered if it’s the same wren, its offspring, or a totally different Carolina Wren.
Occasionally, a rat will visit my yard. Last year, I witnessed a Cooper’s Hawk attack one from the fir trees. It killed it instantly and feasted in a neighboring tree.
Oh my gosh! It's December 4th already. A light blanket of snow has arrived and covered the leaves and brush pile by my frozen watergarden pool. The birds seem to enjoy my backyard feeding station all the more. A winter time of entertainment is awaiting me.
This video (below) is from Naturgrafix and is worth watching. It was taped in NW Ohio where I live, so it was relevant to me. It captures the beauty of nature and the winter time enjoyment a nature-friendly backyard can provide.

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Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. writes about the natural world and promotes converting America's 25,000,000 lawns into wildlife-friendly lawn at a time! Do you have a Website, WebBlog, personal story or project, photos or articles to share on this site about how you created or protected a wildlife-friendly space? Please contact us at the secure Bpath Mail Form. We'd enjoy hearing from you!