For small wildlife, nothing could be cozier this winter than snuggling down beneath a nice, messy wood pile, especially one that’s begun to rot. I have several of these piles in my yard. I know they’re well used. Sometimes, after a fresh snow, I see little tracks to and from the piles. It warms my heart to know that small creatures feel safe and cozy in my little neck of the woods.
Centipedes and beetles love wood piles. They also love to eat slugs and slug eggs, which is good news to gardeners. Toads and salamanders will hibernate beneath moist wood piles while voles and shrews will appreciate the drier ones.
Creating a wood pile is all too easy. You gather up a few sticks and branches, perhaps stack a few logs, and place them in a spot that is off the beaten path. Then you leave it alone. The hardest part is accepting the fact that your yard is going to have to look a bit messy in order to be attractive to wildlife.