Greeted by an improbably bright afternoon, I almost forgot the season until I opened the window to cold air. Later, I saw that three small flowers had blossomed on the sourgrass by the front door, and a distinct line of bright red has appeared in one of the camellia buds. The sky was alive with birds flitting from tree to tree. The puffs of white cloud which then decorated the blue have now dissipated, and the clumps of brown needles on the pines are burnished copper in evening rays of sun. The birds now twitter and swoop over the green lawns. After an hour of gusting breezes, the air has fallen still. If it were not for the bare branches and twigs of the oaks traced against the darkening sky, the evening would have the look of spring. But many weeks of anticipation lie ahead before that season arrives, and there could yet be furious winter storms and snowfalls to blight the grass and nip the camellias in the bud. Winter merely toys with us on these milder days it sometimes brings. I'm keeping the extra blankets handy.