The slow passage of the season is marked by gradual changes. Each day, a bit more color in the leaves, a bit less in the late flowers, a few more leaves on the ground, a bit more sky to be seen through the trees. In the warmest part of the day, the bees fly among the flowers, gathering a bit more winter food. The birds have picked most of the berries from the dogwood trees, and have moved on to the pyrocantha bushes. No longer is the quiet disturbed by the falling of acorns from the oaks; their shiny dark brown shells lie in abundance along the verges of the roads. In the light of late afternoons, the trees brighten, the remaining greenness of the oaks perceptibly yellowing. Here and there, a small maple tree flames crimson or salmon pink. The air is warm and dry, for the moment, and the sky an empty blue, a tabula rasa for anticipated clouds. Soon, now, any day, now, the rain.