The dryness continues, and we wait in vain for rain. The weather makes us doubly appreciate the small square of cool water just in front of the dining-room window, and the pleasure it seems to bring to bird and insect. Great fat thrushes splash themselves in the shallow edges specially prepared for them with big stones, as they seem much afraid of deep water. Two of us were sitting at early breakfast when my companion said to me in a subdued voice, 'Look there!' I saw, perched on a hanging branch of the rose growing on the Pergola, the most beautiful Kingfisher. His blue wings flashed in the sunshine, and, turning his red breast, it glowed like that of a tropical bird. In a few seconds he flew away. I have never before seen a Kingfisher in this dry garden, and I can only account for it, as we are more than a mile from the river, by something peculiar in the season and his being attracted, in his search for food, by the gold-fish in my little fountain. A friend told me that the same thing happened in her garden, and that the Kingfisher, never seen before, beat himself against the glass window.

One of the few things that looked really well in the garden when I came home was the Cape annual, Nemesia strumosa. The dryness apparently had suited the flowering capabilities of the annual, but, finding that it was forming no seed, I watered it daily, as it is one of the plants from which it is well worth while to save the seed, selecting it from the best-coloured flowers. The seed wants a good deal of care in the gathering, as it is so very ephemeral - unripe one day and gone the next. For a person of my age it means groping on the ground each morning with one's spectacles on. I certainly must add it to the list of annuals worth growing in a small garden. We sow it in place the middle of May.