Cloudless southern airs invade, and we bask as in April, though trees remain bare and flowers few. A few roses have emerged, and many camellia buds, their tips bright red, are about to open. The gladiolus near the neighbors' leach line flourishes, of course, suddenly no longer looking out of place. I flung the windows wide all afternoon and listened to cheery birds and watched the dog next door frolic in the bright day. The only thing that spoils the scene is knowing that there's been very little rain so far this season. Not only have I missed its pleasant sound, but should things not return to normal soon there is the prospect of water shortage next summer. This place is not attractive with all its lawns dead, and fields round about when dry are at greater risk for wildfires. So I'm hoping that the pleasant mildness ends soon and we get some nice winter rains to soak the soil and make some music in the downspout that's been silent too long.