There are patches of high altitude haze today which haven't quite become clouds. They diffuse the sunlight just enough to soften the afternoon, rather in the way a bit of petroleum jelly spread on a camera lens can glamorize the subject of a photograph. A breeze sets the leaves fluttering, and their shadows dance. I have seen butterflies -- more of them in a few minutes than I saw all last spring. The flower beds are buzzing with bees, and I hear a thrush singing. Leaves are beginning to displace the blossoms of the dogwoods, though the shower of pink and white petals has not yet begun. All but a few of the lilies have bloomed, and they cup the light in their voluptuous folds and distill it into brilliant white. The lilacs are past their prime, but still add their soft, cool color to the day. Amid all this exuberance, only the few surviving camellias are sombre, hanging their withering faces toward those already fallen which litter the ground. Despite the splendor of the day, it is the fading camellias which repeatedly draw my eye.