Blackcaps eat the berries of the honey-suckles. Mrs J. White, after long & severe campaign carried on against the Blattae molendinariae, which have of late invaded my house, & of which she has destroyed many thousands, finds that at intervals a fresh detachment of old ones arrives; & particularly during the hot season: for the windows being left open in the evenings, the males come flying in at the casements from the neighbouring houses, which swarm with them. How the females, that seem to have no perfect wings that they can use, can contrive to get form house to house, does not so readily appear. These, like many insects, when they find their present abodes over-stocked, have powers of migrating to fresh quarters. Since the Blattae have been so much kept under, the Crickets have greatly encreased in number.
When the servants are gone to bed, the kitchen-hearth swarms with minute crickets not so big as fleas. The Blattae are almost subdued by the persevering assiduity of Mrs J. W. who waged war with them for many months, & destroyed thousands: at first she killed some hundreds every night. The thermometer at George’s fields Surrey 82: on the 21, — 51. St foin fly, sphynx filipendulae, appears.
Went, & dined with my Brother Benjamin White at Mareland, to which he & his wife were come down for two or three days. We found the house roomy, & good, & abounding with conveniences: the out-door accommodations are also in great abundance, such as a larder, pantry, dairy, laundry, pigeon-house, & good stables. The view from the back front is elegant, commanding sloping meadows thro’ which runs the Wey (the stream from Alton to Farnham) meandering in beautiful curves, & shewing a rippling fall occasioned by a tumbling bay formed by Mr. Sainesbury, who also widened the current. The murmur of this water-fall is heard from the windows. Behind the house next the turnpike are three good ponds, & round the extensive outlet a variety of pleasant gravel walks. Across the meadows the view is bounded by the Holt: but up & down the valley the prospect is diversifyed, & engaging. In short Mareland is a very fine situation, & a very pleasing Gentleman’s seat. I was much amused with the number of Hirundines to be seen from the windows: for besides the several martins and swallows belonging to the house, many Swifts from Farnham range up & down the vale; & what struck me most were forty or firty bank-martins, from the heaths, & sand-hills below, which follow the stream up the meadows, & were the whole day long busied in catching the several sorts of Ephemerae which at this season swarm in the neighbourhood of the waters. The stream below the house abounds with trouts. Nine fine coach-horses were burnt in a stable at Alresford.
Received from Farnham, well packed in a box, a picture of a mule pheasant, painted by Mr Elmer, & given me by Lord Stawell. I have fixed it in a gilt, burnished frame, & hung it in my great parlor, where it makes an elegant piece of furniture. The first broods of swallows, & house-martins, which congregate on roofs, & trees, are very numerous, & yet I have not this year one nest about my buildings.
Male glow-worms, attracted by the light of the candles, come into the parlor. The distant hills look very blue. There was rain on Sunday on many sides of us, to the S. the S.E. & the N.W. at Alton & Odiham a fine shower, & at Emsworth, & at Newbury: & as near us as Kingsley. No may chafers this year with us.
After the servants are gone to bed the kitchen-hearth swarms with minute crickets not so large as fleas, which must have been lately hatched. So that these domestic insects, cherished by the influence of a constant large fire, regard not the season of the year; but produce their young at a time when their congeners are either dead, or laid up for the winter, to pass away the uncomfortable months in the profoundest slumbers, & a state of torpidity.
Timothy Turner’s brew-house on fire: but much help coming in & pulling off the thatch, the fire was extinguished, without any farther damage than the loss of the roofing. The flames burst thro’ the thatch in many places. We are this day annoyed in the brown parlor by multitudes of flying ants, which come forth, as usual, from under the stairs.