The tortoise took his usual ramble, & could not be confined within the limits of the garden. His pursuits, which seem to be of the amorous kind, transport him beyond the bounds of his usual gravity at this season. He was missing for some days, but found at last near the upper malt-house.
Timothy the tortoise has been missing for more than a week. He got out of the garden at the wicket, we suppose; & may be in the fields among the grass. Timothy found in the little bean-field short of the pound-field. The nightingale, fern-owl, cuckow, & grass-hopper lark may be heard at the same time in my outlet. Gryllo-talpa curs in the moist meadows.
This hot weather makes the tortoise so alert that he traverses all the garden by six o’clock in the morning. When the sun grows very powerful he retires under a garden-mat, or the shelter of some cabbage; not loving to be about in vehement heat. In such weather, he eats greedily.
Distant clouds, sultry, thunder-clouds. Sulphurous smell in the air. Sweet, even, small shower. Strawberries blow well. Medlar shows much bloom. Honey-suckles blow. Fern-owl chatter: chur-worm jars. The tortoise shuns the intense heat by covering itself with dead grass; & does not eat ’til the afternoon. Terrible storms in the Oxfordshire, & my Wilts.
Tortoise eats all day. In Mrs. Snooke’s ponds are vast spiders, which dive and conceal themselves on the undersides of plants, lying on the water: perhaps aranea aquatica Linn: urinatoria. The swallow seems to be the only bird that washes itself as it flies, by dropping into the water.