Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Landfill or Critter Refuge?


This cagey looking device was once loaded with the faux stone I used to remodel our fireplace last year. It served that purpose well, but has sat here hidden behind the trash can corral since that time. I meant to take it to the landfill, but it just never seemed to make it in to the trailer with the household refuse.





Lately, it occurred to me that it might have one more life left in it ... one that could occupy it for a while ... long enough perhaps to make a trip to the landfill unnecessary.




A few days ago, I toted it out to a distant corner of our vast ten acres and placed it on the edge of a clearing.


After it was situated just so, I used the machete to do some clearing of palm fronds and low hanging oak branches that made you duck as you walked along the Beardog Trail.





I wove the palm fronds in through the wire first since they provide good coverage ... a roof of sorts.


After the fronds were in place, oak branches were alternately woven, stacked, and tossed over the wire cage to create ...





... a critter haven brush pile that won't collapse in on itself!


Somewhere in there is that wire cage.

Unsupported brushpiles have very short lives here in humidity land, which is okay in the big picture since it's all decomposing back into the soil.


Still, it's going to be nice to have one that lasts more than a year. With the wire framework supporting it, I can just add branches and fronds from time to time to keep this one going.





Here's where it sits.


If you're a little critter having to cross that open area, you now have a refuge awaiting you. I could have placed it in the central open area as a safe stopover, but I have some plans for that area, so it's a compromise between what's good for the critters and what's good for me.





A half hour after I built it, there were cardinals flitting about in it.





If you build it, they will come.

14 comments:

Pablo said...

Around here they recommend building brush piles on top of piles of stone or tree stumps to help support them. We'll get a dozen years out of a tended brush pile, but even in the temperate zone, things decay eventually.

Resourceful use there, FC.

lisa said...

Nice idea! Is it cold down there yet. Been watching the news and saying highs are only in the 50's. have a good day.

Mark said...

It never occurred to me that I could leave a pile of limbs in the yard and tell my wife that it was a good idea.

Sayre said...

Great thinking! In an effort to make our city more wildlife friendly, it has been recommended that yards contain a brush pile to give shelter to various critters.

Not that I think making a CITY wildlife friendly is always a good idea. Sometimes that just means that instead of roaming pets on the side of the road, we also find raccoons, foxes, and other animals indigenous to our area before the houses and cars came...

But for your little patch of heaven? A terrific idea!

Thunder Dave said...

Nice recycling job!

14F and snowing this morning, with an expected high around 20F here!

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
My sand is so nutrient poor that I actually like it when they decay, plus, I'm always making new ones. If we had some decent rocks, I'd definitely put them to work!

Lisa,
37 degrees at noon ... Accuweather is showing a low of 12!!! for tonight.

Mark,
Give it a try!

Sayre,
I guess a horde of garbage eating raccoons could be unwelcome in a normal neighborhood.


Dave,
Our high is supposed to be 47 and tonight's low is forecast at 12 degrees.

Mark said...

A low of 12 in Florida!? Did you know that water will actually freeze before it gets that cold? I would feel like someone had played a cruel trick on me if I lived in Florida and it got that cold.

robin andrea said...

What a great idea. It will be very cool to see who stops by there.

Stay warm!

roger said...

i winced a bit imagining such potentially useful bits of stuff in the land fill. but then i tend to overdo, in a big way, saving odds and ends.

great use of it!! the wire will remain after the pallet is gone.

Caroline said...

One of the best bird attractions is a brush pile...great recycling idea, I do same thing, although not such earthquake proof construction.

my word verification is caving...I think you created a sort of bird cave with the brushpile. :o)

Miz S said...

Great idea, FC! I'm adding that to my honey-do list for Josh.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

That's an interesting creation FC. You never cease to surprise.

Anonymous said...

If I die and come back as a small critter, I'm moving to FC Acres. Watch for me. I'll give you a wink and a nod so you'll know it's me.....

Floridacracker said...

Mark,
I had heard that.
It only got to the mid-20's so not so bad I guess.

Robin,
Will do. If I catch someone visiting the pile, you can be sure I'll post it.

roger,
... and they won't let us scavenge there anymore.

Caroline,
To the bird cave, Robin!
heehee
Cold out there?

Miz S,
Add it right under "Tease the missionaries.
:) Josh, I am not responsible for extra chores.


Robert,
Thanks, I enjoy it and believe that small changes can add up.

Anon,
"If I die ..." , well I don't know who you are, but I know you are an optimist! :)