Log Piles

One of the easiest things you can do to support wildlife in a suburban garden is to add a small log pile.  The BBC talks about log piles and the beetles, fungi, and critters they might attract here. And this article suggests that a log file is also an excellent addition to a butterfly garden. 

So, when  a neighbor told us that he had to take out two redwood trees that had been topped and were now unstable and dangerous (DO NOT TOP REDWOOD TREES!), I asked whether he could supply some logs. I was delighted to come hope and find  a nice stack of wood in the corner near the garden gate. Today, I made two small piles in the front garden, and two slightly larger piles in the back. The first is under the redwoods.

The other is between the blue elderberry and the Carpenteria, stil in shade, but more exposed to rain.

Right now, the cuts look a little fresh, but soon it will all blend in with the garden. And in fall and winter, when the rains come, I'll go by and check whether the salamanders and other creatures are finding a home there.

Now, wasn't that easy? It took about 5 minutes (well, maybe 10) and who know, it might make all the difference for some critter I'll never even see.


Country Mouse said…
I just read an interesting article in the London Guardian about this - "the secret life of a suburban garden" - it's about "bioblitzing" a kind of activity in which biologists take a 24 hr snapshot of what is living in a specific spot. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/18/secret-life-suburban-garden
Logs are a lovely way of bringing biodiversity to your garden. They look great too! I love the BBC - they have such sound advice!

I like Conutry Mouse's idea - But I'd expand it - Take a photo every week from the same vantage point and watch how the wood weathers and the insects gather, then post all the photos - like time lapse photography blogger style!
Rachel said…
Log piles are neat, but not for us. Well we have "log" piles (more like firewood and lumber) and we are in the process of getting rid of them. Why would I do such a thing? Rats. The rats live in them and cause our dog to go nuts (she'll systematically tear apart a pile to get to them). We want to keep them out of our livestock feed too so we prefer not to provide them with a hiding place.
With all the dead trees we removed the first two years we were here, we ended up with a number of piles of wood. In the forested area we left some logs on the forest floor as 'habitat'. We also have a large pile of cut logs just off the road leading to the gardens. It's amazing how many things move in. Snakes, zillions of lizards, skinks, the works. Like Rachel pointed out though, it's important not to keep these piles near livestock or your house. Rodents do love to take up residence.
A Deacon's Wife said…
We too have a number of piles of logs, lumber and brush. Some will stay, some will go. Fortunately, we also have a number of feral rodent hunters. I am trying to leave some strategic brush piles for the quail, hoping to encourage them to stick around.
Our neglected firewood pile has a certain mass of animal life in it. The lizards are great, as are the various insects. On the rare days we bring in some to burn I always wonder what might be burning up with the wood. If some of the resident wood termites go up in flames, however, I won't stress too much.
Lynne said…
This is a neat idea - I knew I kept those logs bits that are under the stairs for something.
My back yard has lots of visitors, so I'm not too worried about rats as the coyotes will likely take care of them.