Several of my neighbours went up the Hill (this being the day of the great review at Bagshot heath) whence they heard distinctly the discharges from the ordnance, & small arms, & saw the clouds of smoke from the guns. The wind being N.E. they smelled, or seemed to smell, the scent of the gunpowder. Wickham bushes, the scene of action, is more than 20 miles from hence. The crouds of people assembled upon this occasion were great beyond anything seen at such meetings!
The late pliant sort of Honeysuckles, that do not make good standards, begin to show their yellow bloom: the more early are on the decline. Hung the net over the cherry-trees at the end of the house to keep off the magpies, which come to our very windows at three & four in the morning. The daws also from the church have invaded my neighbours cherries. Pies, & daws are very impudent!
Grass grows very fast. Honey-suckles very fragrant, & most beautiful objects! Columbines make a figure. My white thorn, which hangs over the earth-house, is now one sheet of bloom, & has pendulous boughs down to the ground. One of my low balm of Gilead firs begins to throw out a profusion of cones; a token this that it will be a short-lived, stunted tree. One that I planted in my shrubbery began to decay at 20 years of age. Miller in his gardener’s Dictionary mentions the short continuance of this species of fir, & cautions people against depending on them as a permanent tree for ornamental plantations.
My well is very low, & the water foul! Timothy eats voraciously. Winged female ants migrate from their nests, & fill the air. These afford a dainty feast for the hirundines, all save the swifts; they being gone before these emigrations, which never take place till sultry weather in August, & September.
Tyed-up about 30 endives. A swift still hovers about the brew-house at Fyfield. About a week ago, one young swift, not half-fledged, was found, under the eaves of that building! The dam no doubt is detained to this very late period by her attendance on this late-hatched, callow young! The roof of my nephew’s brew-house abounds with swifts all the summer.