Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 5 August 1916

Surrey, August 3
There is more straw to the wheat and oats on the later lands toward our southern border than appeared a fortnight ago to be possible. The crop has shot upward as it ripened; a narrow path that runs through one wheatfield is now walled almost breast-high, and the growth is so strong that the light breeze sings through the long yellowing stalks without perceptibly bending them. A piece of oats is cut, and brings with it the first sweet scent of harvest. Some young rabbits, playing a little away from their burrow this morning, found more space to scamper in, and a host of sparrows was at work among the laid corn. We have had little dew; the nights have been almost as warm as the days.

Swallows and martins, which had begun to pack, are as busy, each in his own way, as in the earlier summer days, for at evening small winged insects swarm nearly everywhere, but mostly in the hot, low lanes, where the nut bushes droop under the sun, and the flowers dropping from the brambles reveal a promise of much fruit. On the roadsides the mountain ash is hung thickly with berries already red ripe; there is full colour now on the heaths, yellow and cream, and even more down by the side of the stream, where the loosestrife is in the best of its bloom. Many common plants have seeded; the finches were flitting in and out this evening, dropping a wing feather now and then, and one chaffinch, playing in the white dust of a chalk road, was quite disposed to make friends.

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Source: Guardian Environment