You might notice a massive clump of leaves in your trees, but it isn't what you think it is.

This time of year, the leaves are getting ready to bloom on trees. Before they do, you'll be able to notice things in the trees in your yard that you otherwise wouldn't with all of the leaves. Case in point...yesterday, I was moving the trash can back up to the house when I spotted a clump of leaves in the tree across the street. Now, I knew they weren't there by accident, but I had never seen a bird's nest quite that large before. Well, after a little digging, I discovered that the clump of leaves wasn't a bird's nest at all.

Travis Sams
Travis Sams

What is That Clump of Leaves in Your Tree?

I naturally assumed something like that in a tree belonged to a bird. However, that's not the case. Those large bundles of leaves are called a drey. These are up in the trees all year, often hidden by other leaves in the warmer months.  According to Geography Realm, when all the leaves fall from trees, you notice these large bundles still in the trees. So, what are they? As it turns out, those clump of leaves you see in trees is a hideout for squirrels. The squirrels use these dreys as a safe place to sleep, stay warm, and raise their young.  

Travis Sams
Travis Sams

With the amount of squirrels that I see in my yard, I was not surprised yesterday by the amount of dreys I spotted in my trees. I counted at least five of them. It's funny when you slow down and take a look at the world around you, what you'll notice. So, next time you are outside and notice a large clump of leaves in a tree and you think "That's a big bird's nest," hopefully you'll remember that it actually belongs to a squirrel.

Animals You Might Encounter in The Wild in Indiana

There is no shortage of stunning wildlife in Indiana. Here are six species native to the state that you might encounter the next time you head outside.

Gallery Credit: Kat Mykals

7 Invasive Insects in Indiana You Should Kill Immediately If You See Them

In an effort to inform the public on the types of invasive species that are known to be found in their state, the USDA offers a "Pest Tracker" on their website, where you simply click the name of your state from the drop-down menu provided to see pictures of the different insects and weeds, along with descriptions of the type of plant life they target and the damage they can do if they're not dealt with.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Indiana

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Indiana using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.


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