What becomes of those massy clouds that often incumber the atmosphere in the day, & yet disappear in the evening. Do they melt down into dew? * Some of the store wethers on this down now prove fat, & weigh 15 pounds a quarter. This incident never befals but in long dry seasons; & then the mutton has a delicate flavour.
Nuthatches rap about on the trees. Crocuss begins to sprout. The leaves of the medlar-tree are now turned of a bright yellow. On of the first trees that becomes naked is the wall-nut: the mulberry, & the ash, especially if it bears many keys, and hte Horse-chestnut come next. All lopped trees, while their heads are young, carry their leaves a long while. Apple-trees & peaches remain green ’til very late, often ’til the end of Novr: young beeches never cast their leaves ’til spring, ’til the new leaves sprout & push them off: in the autumn the beechen-leaves turn of a deep chestnut color. Tall beeches cast their leaves towards the end of Octr. Magpies sometimes, I see, perch on the backs of sheep, & pick the lice & ticks out of their wool; nay, mount on their very heads; while those meek quadrupeds seem pleased, & stand perfectly still, little aware that their eyes are in no small danger; & that their assiduous friends would be glad of an opportunity of picking their bones.
A profusion of turneps probably all the kingdom over: on which account lean sheep are very dear. Hops at present lie on hand: were carried to Weyhill, then to Andover: & now are bringing home again. Snow gone except under hedges. Birds do not seem to touch the berries of the tamus cummunis ‘tho they look very red, & inviting: the berries also of the bryonia alba seem not to be meddled with. Perhaps they are too acrid. There is a fine crop of clover of last spring: the frequent showers of last summer occasioned also a vast growth of grass.