Camellias have begun to bloom, soft red folds of petals peeking from the hard, green buds. Aside from the pale purple flowers of the crazy mutant iris which has been blooming all winter, it is the first color to emerge this year. There was no blue in the sky, the tangled twigs of bare trees cast no shadows, and the gray hours passed quietly, undisturbed by any rain. Dusk brought the chorus of frogs to life, and filled the smoke-scented air with soft, cold mist. Days of drizzle lie ahead. The world has gone mild but dim. I watch the leaves molder, and think of old books. The camellias as yet leave me unstirred.