On Tuesday afternoon (25th) tremendous rain, much as in the tropics except that it was very cold rain. Everything has flooded feet deep, the earth not yet dry. The Oued Tensift is now quite a considerable stream & low ground all round it has turned into marsh. Today near the Oeud Tensift came upon a large pool where there were° a flight of wild ducks swimming about. Managed to scare them onto the wing & after much circling around they came straight overhead. Sixteen in number, & evidently mallards, same as in England, or very similar. Saw another larger flight in the distance afterwards. Almost the first game birds seen here.
Ordinary sparrows fairly common in the garden here. In Marrakech itself one used not to see them.
Large numbers of black beetles, about 1” long, crawling everywhere, evidently brought out by the rain. Have sowed sunflowers, sweet peas & marigolds. The other seeds not up yet, as it has been much cooler (we are having fires every evening.) The ground here is lumpy & unpleasant to work, but at present not many weeds – more when this rain has taken effect, perhaps. Some weeds as in England, eg. bindweed & twitchgrass, but not growing very strongly. Silver poplar or some very similar tree grows here. Tomatoes here are grown in large patches without sticks. Very poor floppy plants & smallish tomatoes, but plenty of them.
Yesterday on milking the brown goat found her milk had gone sour & came out quite thick. This is because she is only being milked once a day & had not been fully milked for two days owing to her restiveness. Squeezed the bad milk onto the ground & tonight her milk was all right again. Another hen bad in the legs this evening. Examined & found enormous black lice. Hope treatment will be effective as before. The stripey goat’s milk increases, but very slightly, still not much over 1/2 pint a day. She is very thin, though she eats well. The present ration of hard food is 2 handfuls of barley & 2 of bran morning & evening, with a mash of boiled maize & bran about once a week.
The doves readily eat maize if it is broken.
Today saw some doves in an aviary which had eggs.
The fountain in front of the house filled up after the rain & mosquito larvae are multiplying rapidly.
One egg (the first) yesterday, none today.