July 8

Posted by sydney on Jul 8th, 2009

Beehive, T. Bewick
Beehive by T. Bewick

  • 1792: July 8, 1792 – The Poet of Nature lets few rural incidents escape him. In his Summer he mentions the whetting of a scythe as a pleasing circumstance, not from the real sound, which is harsh, grating, & unmusical; but from the train of summer ideas which it raises in the imagination. No one who loves his garden & lawn but rejoices to hear the sound of the mower on an early, dewy morning.–
    “Echo no more returns the chearful soundOf sharpening scythe.”
    Milton also, as a pleasing summer-morning occurrence, says,
    …”the mower whets his scythe.”
    — L’Allegro
  • 1791: July 8, 1791 – Cut chardon-heads for boiling: artichokes dry, & not well-flavoured.  Roses in high beauty.  My nieces make Rasp jam.  Goose-berries not finely flavoured.
  • 1788: July 8, 1788 – The black-cluster vines from Selborne are in bloom, & smell delicately!
  • 1786: July 8, 1786 – The rick sweats, & fumes, & is in fine order.  The pond at Faringdon is dry; my well is very low, having been much exhausted by long waterings.  Received five gallons, & a pint of brandy from Mr Edmd Woods.
  • 1785: July 8, 1785 – Ricked my hay, which makes but a very small cob.  All the produce of the great mead was carried at two loads; & all that grew on the slip was brought up by the woman & boy on their backs.  My quantity this year seems to be about one third of a good crop.  In a plentiful year I gat about seven good Jobbs.  Thatched the rick.
  • 1784: July 8, 1784 – Gloomy & heavy.  Much hay housed.  Cool gale.  Pitch-darkness.
  • 1782: July 8, 1782 – Bramshot
    Rode to Fir-grove in the parish of Bramshot, & saw the house & garden.  The south wall of the kitchen-garden is covered with a range of vines of the sort called the millers-grape.  Each vine was trained within a very narrow space, & their boughs upright: yet they had fine wood, & promised for much fruit, & were almost in full bloom.  Mr Richardson’s vines, my sort, did not blow then: but Fir-grove is much more sheltered than Bramshot-place.  The soils are the same, a warm sandy loam.  When we came to Evely-corner a hen-partridge came out of a ditch, & ran along shivering with her wings, & crying out as if wounded, & unable to get from us.  While the dam acted this distress, the boy who attended me, saw her brood, that was small & unable to fly, run for shelter into an old fox-earth under the bank.  So wonderful a power is instinct.
  • 1780: July 8, 1780 – The excrement of the tortoise is hard & solid: but when that creature urines, as it often does plentifully, it voids after the water a soft white matter, much like the dung of birds of prey, which dries away into a sort of chalk-like substance.
  • 1777: July 8, 1777 – Rain, rain, rain.  Bees cluster round the mouth of one hive; but cannot swarm.  Bees must be starved soon, having no weather fit for gathering honey no sun, nor dry days.  A swarm of bees, which had waited many days for an opportunity, came-out in a short gleam of sunshine just before an heavy shower, between 3 & 4 in the afternoon, & settled on the balm of Gilead-fir.  When an hive was fixed over them they went into it of themselves.  The young swallows that come out are shivering, & ready to starve.
  • 1776: July 8, 1776 – Second swarm of bees on the same bough of the balm of Gilead fir.  Turned the hay-cocks which are in a bad state.  Cherries delicate, Mr Grimm, my artist, came from London to take some of our finest views.
  • 1774: July 8, 1774 – Bees gather much from the bloom of the buck-thorn, rhanmus catharticus & somewhat from the new shoots of the laurel.
  • 1772: July 8, 1772 – Planted out African & french marigolds.
  • 1771: July 8, 1771 – Ricked the two jobs of hay, and finish’d my rick in delicate order.

The ‘poet of nature’ is James Thomson

July 2009
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