Realizing Collateral Effects for the Birds

So what have I learned from this weekend’s unfinished adventure in hugelkulture? It’s actually three projects:

  • to clear the brush pile and put it to use to the greatest degree possible,
  • to maintain habitat for the birds,
  • and to place the hugel barrier to stop and hold stormwater.

What’s with the birds?

I spent most of yesterday on the first, sorting and bundling the branches until I ran out of twine…startling the flock of small birds who populate my feeder each day: nuthatches, finches, titmice, sparrows mostly. They cheeped at me all day as I worked, and I realized with dismay that I was probably demolishing their home and source of supplementary food: the bugs, worms, and larvae that had taken up residence in the brush pile as it biodegraded.

As part of my goal in this permaculture project is to provide safe and productive habitat not only for myself but for the beings of this ecosystem, I needed to do something to provide for the birds I was displacing… fortunately, it appears my baby berms won’t need anywhere near the amount of wood I have! So the sorted and unbundled wood, for now, is being moved to a new staging point in my compost corner, where the birds (I hope) can continue to make use of it.

With a goodly chunk of the project done (and much more to do), I’m taking the week to recover and regroup.

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