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Make a Brush Pile - PEP BB animal.sand.pile

BB animal care - sand badge
 
master pollinator
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I can attest to the value of these piles for birds. Mine are accidental, the slash from trimming and tree removal that has to dry before burning. I notice that, for the first year especially, chickadees and house wrens work these piles methodically. I assume the newly cut green branches create a great insect habitat, and the birds are feasting on high-calorie snacks.
 
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I think I can do this BB as soon as I've got time. I already have a brush pile, but it isn't in the right spot.  

Remember to take all the required pictures  I've messed that up more than once...
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:

Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I think I can do this BB as soon as I've got time. I already have a brush pile, but it isn't in the right spot.  

Remember to take all the required pictures  I've messed that up more than once...

Thank you Mike, for that reminder.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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if my Brush Pile will ever be 5 ft wide and 5 ft high ... I don't know.
But anyway I started building it, and made these photos:

It will come in this spot. Between the willows and the 'stairs'.


I used my son's tool to make deep holes to put large sticks in that mark the border of the Brush Pile.


Two large sticks are put in the holes. Probably later I will weave willow branches in here


First load of brush branches for the pile


The Brush Pile as it is now. Four loads of old branches and some newly cut ones. Now I'll have to find and cut many more to get the proper size of Brush Pile!
When it's 5 feet high, I'll post a new photo here (editing this post)
 
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Approved BB submission
I used burning bush and American bittersweet which I spent all afternoon clearing out of my woods. Damned invasives. 😡

Anyway, I have a before, after, and several mid-construction photos along with a selfie in front of the pile. I'm 6'4" and the pile is over my head and wider than I am tall ladder I reckon it's probably about 7x7 and arranged stook-style, sorry of like how the Amish (and everyone before the 20th century) dry grain. It's open enough for passerines (song birds) and little woodland critters and insects to get into, but not big enough for hawks and other predators.

It's about 20 feet from my tomato and cucumber patch which is all I put in this year because we were dealing with the insanity if moving right at the prime planting time because COVID delayed our move in date. Blah. Guess I'm super to wait a year to observe before making changes any way, so there you go.
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I'm 6'4" and it's over my head
I'm 6'4" and it's over my head
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

Could you put something in the picture to allow certifiers to know if it's over 5'?

Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete along with your new air badge in Animal Care!

 
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Hello, I have brushed a pile!







Hand for scale? Or me?  I'm 5'9" and it goes up past my shoulder. I also attempted the measuring tape.







Per Mike's reasonable request I have put in a wheelbarrow for scale and outlined the pile.  There really isn't any angle where it isn't against trees because it is in the middle of a bunch of trees.  Also guess what?  Something is already building a nest there!  It looks like a birdhornet nest.





Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I'm sorry, it's really hard to tell from those photos how big the pile actually is. Could you put something by the pile that is a known height and take a picture or two from a distance? Maybe from the clearing so there isn't stuff obscuring the view? or clear the view a bit? It's hard to tell what's pile and what's not...

 
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Using your wheelbarrow as a measuring stick, it looks to only be about 4 feet tall (I don't think tall sticks jutting out from the top count?). Could you add a bit more to the top?

(And yeah, this part of it gets frustrating, because as you add more, it compacts more, and it seems hard to get it tall enough--at least that's what happened with mine! But, just keep adding too it, and you'll get there!)
 
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