I don't pretend to be a "rugged outdoorsman". Don't even own a gun. But I do live in "the country", have access to woods, and use an 18" chain saw to cut firewood.

I pretty much heat my farm house with wood I cut, haul, and split (by hand, not machine). The add-on wood burning "furnace" is in the basement.

Many years ago, I built a 12' x 15' woodshed to store dry wood. It holds a two year supply, unless we have an extraordinarily cold winter. It's a non-stop rotation of wood in, wood out, all meticuously stacked and racked.

Anyway, the point of my story is that my woodshed becomes a home for many a creature. Squirrels rummage around--oh the walnut shells I find. Mice, of course, are everywhere (no cats). Raccoons like it, as do opossums, the latter of which make winter dens in it.

Last night, I heard a pack of coyotes howling back there. I'm guessing they had some critter trapped. Someday, I'm gonna find me a bear lodged in there! Never a dull moment around here.  Have a good day.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on January 8, 2013 at 12:22pm

I have sweet memories of my grandmother's woodshed. It was connected to the hen house and when I went for wood or coal, in the coal bucket I still have sitting on my fireplace hearth, the chickens would run to me expecting fresh lettuce from the garden. They had different personalities. 

I have and encourage wildlife at the south end of my garden, out by my composts. A mouse family lives in a pile where I put anything that has seeds on it. Mice and birds feed on it constantly and neighbor cats come everyday and wait for a careless mouse or bird. Stacked so there are plenty of holes in the pile to escape into, and with tree branches to provide escape routes for birds, the cats have to be patiently clever to catch anything. I don't like making a dinner table for cats to eat my lovely critters ... alas ... that is part of life. So, all critters bring me pleasure.

Comment by Sentient Biped on January 8, 2013 at 10:03am

Sounds great! 

I haven't figured out yet what is the role of animals in my yard.  Some plants need protecting.  I do like seeing the deer and rabbits but I also want the plum trees to grow without too much harassment from deer.  And veggies.  So building some cages and fences for some of those.  I wouldn't poison any of them.  There are raptors that I imagine eat far more rodents than I could eliminate, so I don't want to make them sick by proxy.

Here's what some animal did to a pile of fig branches.  No loss, they were prunings.  But what animal?  Voles? Mice? Deer? Rabbits?

The chewing is only on the top surface, so I suspect it's not deer- they would have moved them around more.   Supposedly deer don't like fig trees, from what I've read.  Wild guess on my part - rodents.

 

So, I bought some tree wrap. I can't wrap every tree, but some have been a lot of effort to grow, and would be hard to replace at this stage.

 

Saturday I went out and wrapped this fig, a ginkgo, mulberry, plums, and lindens.

The wrap doesn't look like much of a deterrent.  Maybe it disguises the bark.  This tree was grown from a cutting 10 years ago.  This year I dug it up and moved it, major effort.  Probably weighed 100#.  Don't want it to be rabbit food now!

Sounds like you get to enjoy your natural world, and like the wild animals.  Sounds like a great way to live!

Comment by Loren Miller on January 8, 2013 at 8:16am

When Bigfoot shows up, CALL!

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