I was raking up some leaves last weekend and looking around at my yard thinking I should really clean it up for the winter. Then I remembered that keeping your yard a little messy in the winter is good. I left some leaves around flowers and bushes because robins, thrushes and sparrows will take advantage of the leaves left on the ground. If you have shrubs with berries or other fruit, leave them be. Wildlife creatures will eat them to help store fat for the winter. It’s good to have some evergreens planted in your yard because they help smaller wildlife hide from predators. If you’re worried about rats, don’t put out rat bait or other poisons. Songbirds can be poisoned when they eat bugs who feed on bait, and hawks and other predators will eat poisoned animals and die from it too.