6th May (1918)

For the first time heard a Cuckoo.  The note is soft and mysterious, well represented (without the mystery) by the cuckoo clock.  I may remark that the Argentine Songster, of whom I gushed one fine morning, looks to be a species of linnet and his note is only a cheerful whistle, but in that period before dawn when “The casement slowly grows a glimmering square”, (N.B. No casement in our bivvy) it seemed a subtler thing.

To show you the extraordinary chances of war – you will remember how a solitary shell casualtied between 20 and 30 horses; today a shell burst right in front of a wagon team.  The underneath part of the wagon itself was much damaged and the pole almost severed; the shell-splinters must have passed between the legs of all six animals, 24 legs, without touching one of them, their drivers, or the men aboard the vehicle.

The woods are clothing themselves in foliage, copper beaches are noticeable, the fruit blossoms are commencing to fall.

nzlimage 1-4 009514-G exploding 5.9 shell causes a large cloud, NZ reserve line near Courcelles, 4 May 1918

[Image: A 5.9 shell bursts close to the New Zealand reserve line, during World War I, causing a large cloud. Photograph taken near Courcelles, France, 4 May 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Ref: 1/4-009515-G]

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