A vast stir of clouds catches the rising moon's light, and strews luminous folds of drapery, carried by a wind unfelt below, veiling and unveiling star-flecked patches of darkness. Hours pass, and the moon emerges from the tattering veils, filling the world with objects and their shadows. The deep-throated hoot of an owl sounds again and again, then moves southward swiftly, to sound from another stand of pines. I hear two frogs croaking in different pitches, alternating, as though in conversation. This reminds me that the first sound I heard on awakening yesterday was a chorus of frogs. Emerging from sleep, at first I thought I was hearing the echo of a dream, but opening the window to the cold, bright day, I realized that there were indeed frogs, in January. They too, like the camellia bushes, must believe that spring has arrived. I hope they are mistaken. Not yet through with winter, I would regret the early arrival of my favorite season. Best that it creep in at the end of March, to fill the lengthening afternoons with color and fragrance, softness and filtered light, and not displace the chill and harsher days from their due and proper time. Whatever discomfort might thereby befall the over-anxious frogs as a result of their premature emergence, I desire this iciness, and that the air should continue to bite my ears and make my skin pleasantly shiver, while I brood and anticipate the glories to come. Let the frogs burrow back into the muddy banks and wait until it is their time. I like their song, but better now I like the owl's hoot, so suited to the bare and raw nights of stark moonlight or tumbling wrack of storms.