The dry, withering winds continue. Some young ash trees growing in a rocky declivity behind the house are drooping their leaves. One looks almost dead, and others are very woebegone. Our strawberry bed is a melancholy sight; half of the roots appear to be dead. To-day I asked a neighbour, whose garden is always specially well cared for, what promise of strawberries they had? None, was the reply. Many of their clumps, too, had withered away.
This afternoon, on going into the garden, I noticed a large bird rise from under a gooseberry bush and fly low in a straight line over the fence. I could scarcely believe it was a cuckooo making so bold, until I heard its familiar cry.
Again, in the evening, I saw it in the same place, and a little later, it perched at the foot of the garden uttering its call, not quite so musically as it did six weeks ago. The drought must press hard on grub-feeding birds and drive some of them to our garden fruits earlier than usual. The cuckoo, I hope, was after caterpillars.