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Stratton near Norwich

 Ap. 25. 1788


I beg our pardon for giving you this trouble:  but as i know your boundless curiosity, i think it possible that an imperfect Calendar of some few articles of Spring, many years past, may afford you some amusement.   Above 50 years ago, i begun a slight journal of the Weather; & inserted the first leafing of some Forest Trees, & some early Flowers, & the appearance of some Birds.  My very worthy friend Shillingfleet approved my amusement, & when he staid [stayed] with me in 1755, made his Calendar of Flora, upon a much more extensive plan;  which i conclude Sir, you have seen.  I had in view only a memorandum of the earliness or lateness of the Seasons.  But i find by Shillingfleet's Miscellanious Tracts, that my Calendar [indecipherable] with Barch; when he says, that Trees in their foliation follow in regular succession, & are [indecipherable] confined to this by the Law of Nature.  But i find they vary considerably: e.g. in Shillingfleets Calendar the Oak, leafs Ap.15 & Beech leaf 21,  but in 1782 my Beech leafed Apr 25 & the Oak May 19.  I can mistake but little in my dates, as you Sir must have observed that certain Trees of different sorts, will every Spring be earlier than their neighbours;  & when i expect their breaking bud, i look at them daily 'till i find the leaf.  There is an Oak in the  N.E. part of Norfolk generally a week (& sometimes more) earlier than any others:  yet i found

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