What summer? No danger of heat stroke or sunburn this year so far. The rainy summer has ensured that I do double time weeding and that the biggest stars of the garden are the many and beautifully striped snails who rule! This morning as I sipped coffee in a dreamy haze I had evidence of night visitors who are convinced that fall is coming. Racoons climbed up on my grape arbour, investigated my composting bin and tipped out a couple of orchid pots I had left out. What a mess! Raccoons are heavy animals and years ago I saw five of them up on the grape trellis checking for ripe fruit. “Not yet, guys”. In their search for treats I fear they will bring the whole thing crashing down. I smiled as I wondered what they thought of the taste of pineapple rind laced with coffee grounds. How gourmet are they, anyway? How curious they are! Imagine them scratching at my orchids and discovering that the roots were not tasty after all. Maybe the upset will stimulate the plants to bloom. They were only out there because I had hopes of recreating the damp yet sporadically sunny environment of their natural habitat. Of course, the grapes are not yet ready and the only blessing is that they did not discover my measly tomato plant. Honestly, I have had bunches of tomatoes in suspended animation for weeks…not redder, not bigger than the day I noticed them. Oh well, off to wash the balcony and sweep up the yard. Roll on fall!