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Living in harmony with nature

The exterior of my house has begun to look like an x-file. Box alder bugs are gathering en masse, trying to get into our house. They seem to favor the second-story window on the front of the house. It looks pretty creepy. As you can imagine, my girly-girls are not excited about tons of bugs crawling around, trying to get in, no less. I seem to have read about these bugs in the paper somewhere after we moved to Portland: they are harmless, do not carry disease, do not damage your wood, etc., but if you smoosh them, their bug guts can be very staining. That's all I seem to remember. Our home backs to a greenspace, so I'd guess we get a lot more of these bugs because of that.

Yesterday my kindergartner came home from school singing a song about animals with the line "they've got feelings just like you." Which gave me a great lead into why these bugs are trying to get into our house. It's warm and dry (yes, we finally did cave in and start using our furnace). Who wouldn't want to be warm and dry? Snug as a bug in a rug. Probably where that expression comes from.

Anyway, this all got me to thinking about the story in the Oregonian about the beavers gnawing on the trees planted along the Willamette. And how some nights last summer while we were sleeping with the windows open we got serenaded by yipping coyotes. And how the raccoons in our neighborhood are sometimes so brazen as to rifle through your garbage cans in the middle of the day if you give them half a chance. Forgive me, as my brain is still addled with congestion. But there seems to be some message here about talking with kids about how we live in balance with nature. Or we should. Or we could... You decide.


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