Caught a water-tortoise, about 8” long, outside the small zoological gardens here (evidently it had not escaped from within, though of the same kind as those kept inside.) It was in an irrigation ditch, swimming against the current & only succeeding in remaining about stationary. When turned onto its back it was unable to turn over. It smelt abominably, though active and apparently in good condition.
No ordinary sparrows here, but a small bird of the finch family, with brown body, bluish head & long tail, very common.
A few michaelmas daisies in flower in the Z[oological]. Gardens, which surprised me. Olives almost ripe. Some turning bluish-red, which is perhaps their ripe colour. Oranges still green. These trees evidently need a lot of manure. Runner beans in pod, much as at home. Grapes here are poor, rather dry & tasteless.
Large ants here, half red & half black, enlarging their hole in the ground. One carrying out a bean-shaped stone about 1/4 “ long by 1/2 “ thick. Flies here very trying, mosquitoes fairly numerous, but as yet no plagues of flying insects.
Tonight dark by 7pm.