In the gray morning, I watched an otter swimming in the clear water by the mermaid statue on my way to work. Sleek and playful in the small, lapping waves, it made me wish for summer beach days. On my way home, in the sunny afternoon heat (yes!) I watched an otter climbing and sliding on rocks below some people who were lounging in the sun. The otter kept creeping closer to them, then scuttling back and rolling happily in camas and tall grass. At home, the garden is my new favorite place. We stayed out there, planting, weeding and watering until the last rays of sunlight disappeared over the fence. Some of our salad greens are starting to come up, and the onions, and the raspberry transplants are sprouting new canes. Tomorrow we'll be planting beets and again battling the buttercups. Ranunculus, that rascal, is my least favorite plant. If it were safe for rabbits to nibble I'd feel quite differently about its adventitiously sprawling growth.