That this was the first long evening of the year was barely noticeable, it was so dark and rainy all afternoon. Spring is still going in slow motion. The buds on the mulberry tree remain unopened, and though about a third of the camellias bloomed weeks ago and have already died and fallen from the bush, several are still in bloom and many more buds remain to be opened. More buds give the dogwood across the street a faintly pinkish cast, but the tree looks to be as far from blossoming as it was two weeks ago. All the flowers that bloomed on the peach tree in February have died, but no leaves have yet appeared to conceal their remains. I can't remember ever having seen a more tattered, raggedy spring.