I don’t make a lot of brush piles in my forest mostly because I don’t make a lot of brush. I have one near the cabin (in retrospect probably not a good location) that seems to be favored by a chipmunk family. And I made one about a year ago in the pine plantation when I was clearing some trees so I could plant other trees in their place.
In retrospect, I placed this newer brush pile too close to a beautiful white oak I’m trying to favor. Any ground fire that comes along might reach this pile of dried leaves and sticks and flare up to the point where it could reach into the oak and burn it. But the pile is where it is, and it appears that a family of rabbits has moved into it.
Libby and I were doing a little work in the pine plantation on a recent visit (how long ago was that?) and we added a few more branches to the pile. In the process we seemed to have frightened the residents, who bolted out the back door of the brush pile and onto Good Neighbor Brian’s land. They looked like rabbits to me.
So I get some warm fuzzies thinking that my efforts at stewardship are having good effects. Perhaps I’m only feeding the foxes and coyotes, but they are part of the whole natural order too.