Our front yard has a landscaped extra tier before it goes down to the lake. We have rip rap (rock) that protects the soil from erosion. This rock work was done years ago by the previous owners. I don’t know how much of it was there naturally originally, but they built a small tier of about 3 feet wide before they put another border of rock. Our lawn is above that second border of rock. A couple years ago we let that lower tier of yard go natural. The DNR requests that homeowners not mow their grass all the way down to the lake’s edge.
Yesterday while Jim was mowing the lawn, there was a lot of commotion down on the lower tier with a little bird flying around in a panic. He immediately quit mowing around there and left it alone. After further investigation we found a tiny nest and a pair of frantic Song Sparrows! They had built their nest right on the ground and used the long grasses to camouflage the nest. According to my Peterson Field Guides “Birds’ Nests”; the Song Sparrow nest is “well hidden under a tuft of grass”. What a find and what instant gratification! The long grass on our lower tier of yard may not look the best, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world right now!