At Home With Nature

Prompts: Know Your Neighbors

Hi there!

I hope everyone reading this is staying healthy, or recovering. I was sick for a month myself and am just regaining my normal rhythm, routine, and (mostly) energy.

This is not a good time to be sick, my friends! Take your vitamins, get some exercise, turn the news off, and do what you can to stay healthy and sane.

Since many people are confined to their homes at this time, I thought I would offer some prompts for those who find themselves with a bit of extra time on their hands. My hopes are that these exercises will help us take the focus off of ourselves and our anxieties.

Here’s my first lockdown prompt. Have your kids join in if you wish!

Lockdown Prompt #1:

Know Your Neighbors:

Make a list of ALL THE SPECIES living on your property (if you live in a house) or on your block (if you live in an apartment or condo) – including those inside your home.

In this case your “neighbors” are all the species you live with!

Since this is the first prompt and I don’t want you to get frustrated, I’ll give you a  hint. Think of all the animals (mammals, insects, reptiles), plants, and other species that are your regular neighbors, or reappear with any regularity.

I’ll post my personal list at the end of the week. I’d love to see YOUR list, so share yours in the comments if you like – or if you prefer, just keep it for yourself and compare yours to mine.

Let’s see what we can learn from each other!

If you know your neighbor’s name, he/she/it becomes more real, more valuable to you.

Ok – go!

Here are my answers – instead of listing all the species living on our farm, I’m just doing the ones that live inside the house for now – which I think is pretty interesting in itself!

And there happen to be a lot of different plants in my house right now.

Here are all the species that I can think of – both welcome and not – that dwell full or part time in our house:


  • humans (Homo sapiens)
  • dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)
  • cats (Felis catus)
  • house mouse (Mus musculuss) or deer mouse (Peromyscus species)


  • Honduran milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis)


  • cricket
  • black beetle (species unknown)
  • grey beetle (species unknown)
  • flies (species unknown)
  • varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci)
  • moths (species unknown)


  • western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus)
  • jumping spider (Salticidae species)
  • wolf spider (Lycosidae species)
  • dust mites (probably Dermatophagoides farinae)


  • staghorn fern (Platycerium species)
  • aloe vera (Aloe vera)
  • christmas cactus (Schlumbergera species)
  • norfolk island pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
  • tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)
  • eggplant (Solanum melongena)
  • peppers (Capsicum annuum)
  • ground cherries (Physalis pruinosa)
  • tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa)
  • arugula (Eruca sativa)
  • cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
  • basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  • french marigolds (Tagetes patula)
  • cosmos (Cosmos species)
  • zinnias (Zinnia species)


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae – in sourdough starter
  • mold (unknown species)
  • yeast (unknown species)


  • lactic acid bacteria – on human bodies, in fermented vegetables, in sourdough starter
  • unknown species

That just goes to show that we humans are greatly out numbered in our very own home!

There’s a whole lot of life going on under our roof. And if I could name all of the smallest species – we vertebrates would be greatly outnumbered.

Puts things into perspective, perhaps?

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