Yesterday went to the Oued Tensift, about 2Km. from here, the principal river of these parts. About 5 yards wide & 1 – 3’ deep, but lies in a considerable valley & probably rises at some times of the year. Poor water, but said to have small fish in it. Muddy banks & bottom. Fresh water mussels, very similar to those in the Thames, moving to & fro in the mud leaving deep track behind them. Red shank & ringed plover, or extremely similar birds, live on the mud. Feathery shrub which in England is used for making hedges, arbutus¹ I think, growing everywhere. Patches of grass almost like English grass.
Still very hot. Last night unbearably so till quite late at night.
The water here is almost undrinkable, not only tasting of mud but also distinctly salty.
The bitter oranges grown here as grafting stock said to be good for marmalade, so presumably the same as Seville oranges. Some of the goats round here a bright silvery-grey colour. First class Spanish goat said to cost Frs. 500.
¹ It is not certain what Orwell is describing, since arbutus has leathery, rather than feathery, leaves. The most likely possibility is tamarisk, which could grow in the situation Orwell describes. Peter Davison