When I was on the back porch about eleven o'clock last night I heard the distinctive cracking of walnut shells. As squirrels are not nocturnal, and cats do not eat walnuts (though they do love to bat them about and chase them), I suspected that it might be a raccoon. Shining my flashlight on the lawn I saw that I was correct. A large raccoon was sitting in the corner of the yard munching the nut he had just pried from its shell. The raccoon growled at me and ran off, but he must have gotten quite a few nuts before I interrupted his feast. I hadn't gotten around to harvesting any nuts yesterday, and today I saw that the lawn was littered with broken shells. I gathered today's windfalls late this afternoon. If the raccoon returns tonight he'll find the pickings considerably slimmer.
The wind has died down after kicking up quite a bit of dust earlier today. I had to sweep more pine needles from the driveway. There is quite a pile now. I really hate to put them into the wheelie bin to be hauled off, even though the company that hauls them off now burns them and other dry yard waste to produce electricity. I keep thinking how nice it is to walk through the forest with a thick layer of pine needles under my feet. They keep the mud from your shoes even when there has been a heavy rainfall. Unfortunately most of the pine needles that fall on my yard land on either pavement or lawn, neither of which can benefit from them, and the smallish amount of bare dirt where they would be of use has enough from the nearby trees. So I guess they'll have to go into the bin. I'm going to keep them around for a while, though, simply because I enjoy seeing the heap.
I hope I remember to lower the thermostat before I go to sleep tonight. Today I woke up with desert mouth and a stuffy head because I was inhaling furnace air in my sleep. I'd like to have some sort of remote device that monitors my breathing so that when I go to sleep it will signal the thermostat to lower itself. The fact is that I seldom have any idea when I go to sleep anymore. It justs sort of happens, even when I don't feel tired. In fact I'd better get this entry posted before I nod off unaware. It's getting to be that time of night.