Birds etc

There's a dead branch shooting up from a tree--a citrus?--in a neighbour's garden, and I used to wonder why they didn't cut it off. However, I've discovered that all kinds of small birds--or maybe it is always the same small bird?--a finch, I think--use it as a perch, and now I'd be sad if they cut it down.

Really hot today. I can feel it's going to be a scorcher, though since we face north and west, it won't really blaze in until the end of the day. It always amazes me how, right after sunset, the temperature drops, and the nights are always cool. Growing up in Vancouver, it was never very hot or very cold. In France when it gets hot it stay impossible-to-sleep hot all night--no cooling breezes like here. 

When I was a student I went as part of a Canadian study group to Algeria one July, We travelled by bus into the Sahara and stayed in guest houses on oases. One particularly hot night I remember a lot of us soaked our sheets in cold water and then wrapped ourselves in them on the flat roof of the house. The stars were amazing--did we sleep? I doubt it.