28 SEPTEMBER 1929, Page 15


The queer effects of the drought, that has persisted in most of the more southerly parts of Britain, are legion. One is the belated production of some far from agreeable insects. Gar- deners rejoiced that their roses and plums—usually the most obvious victims—were singularly free from blight, the abstract word that most of us use for the aphis. But its peculiar capa- city for multiplication has finally triumphed weeks or even months after its due and proper date. You meet clouds of them even over the roadways. In my garden one sallow tree and one plum are foul with infinite numbers. The butterfly population has varied oddly in many direc- tions. The quaint Comma has appeared in quantity in many haunts that have been void for a good many years. Swallow- tails have been fairly numerous. On the other hand, I have never seen so few peacocks. Indeed, in my experience almost all the ordinary butterflies have been few in numbers, except the lesser tortoiseshell, which abounds to-day and has abounded pretty well throughout the summer, observing no particular month.

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