The real winners, however, are undoubtedly the birds -- both those who live in the brush pile (even as it is mostly covered with snow at the moment), and those who may soon have brush piles inspired by my winning entry into this contest. Anyone who thinks birds are impressed by carefully manicured gardens and meticulously tended landscaping needs to think again. In fact, the amount of maintenance (lawn care, pruning, chemicals, etc.) to keep such gardens at their finest is often unhealthy for birds, when they'd much prefer a more natural, less fussy setting. If my scrub brush pile inspired even one person in one city somewhere to add a brush pile of their own from miscellaneous branches, prunings, or a discarded Christmas tree, then we've both done the birds a favor.
Does your yard need a brush pile? Learn how to build one!