Martins congregate on the weather-cock, & vane of the may-pole. The boys brought me their first wasps nest from Kimber’s; it was near as big as a gallon. When there is no fruit, as is remarkably the case this year, wasps eat flies, & suck the honey from flowers, from ivy blossoms, & umbellated plants: they carry-off also flesh from butcher’s shambles.
Nailed-up a Greek, & an Italian inscription on the front of the alcove on ye hanger. Boys took a large round wasps nest in the Ewel, nearly as large as a gallon measure. Several martins round the church. Many flies on the tower, which come out from the belfry to sun themselves.
Many wasps at Lydon in Rutland, tho’ none in the great heats of autumn 1781. So there is some mystery in their breeding that we do not understand. * At the autumnal aequinox, the evenings are remarkably dark, because the sun at that time sets more in a right angle to the horizon, than at any other season. But of late these uncomfortable glooms have been much softened by frequent N. Auroras. This circumstance of autumnal darkness did not escape the poet of nature: who says,
“Now black, & deep the night begins to fall,/
A shade immense. Sunk in the quenching gloom/
Magnificent & vast are heaven & earth/
Order confounded lies; all beauty void;/
Distinction lost; & gay variety/
One universal blot: such the fair power
Of light, to kindle, & create the whole.”
Ring-ouzels appear on the common on their autumnal migration. * The large female wasps begin to come in at a door, & seem as if they were just going to hide, & lay themselves up for the winter. The common wasps are much abated in number. On wednesday the 20 there was a violent storm of thunder & lightening at Fyfield between ten & eleven at night.