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Etching 37 Ancient Forest  from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by C. Miranda Chor

#37 An ancient forest between Ubatuba and Jundicuara, on the borders of two provinces, today the States of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Latin translation by Ben Hennelly

From the illustrations which the "Maryana" people generously put at our disposal, we had etching #37 published because it presents to our view the singular character of the wooded ridge of Serra do Mar ; this character both makes manifest the peculiar nature of the whole region and, to no small extent, determines and governs the agriculture of that tract.

Serra do Mar, unknown photographer. Thanks to www.gazetadascidades.com.br

Deep defiles are seen here, cut into the steep sides of the forested mountains. The soil, which has been laid bare by the torrent of the waters, consists of reddish, silicose clay; to judge from the lowest part of the chasm, which is full of stagnant waters, it seems likely that the defiles were opened up through erosion by the force of the rains, and that the water still remaining there, since it lacks river plants, is not permanent but gradually slips away through the soil and rocks into the depths. These chasms are frequent throughout the Serra do Mar : at the beginning of the rainy season they are full of water throughout their deepest parts, and in time of drought, to the contrary, are covered only with sparse, thin grasses. The fact that a great part of the moisture which falls from the air does not flow down into the depths across the surface, but instead settles into the solid bottom, brings it about in a special way that the soil and plant life appear in that extraordinary state in which we see it.

Evidently the entire ridge of the Serra do Mar is made up of granite or brown quartz, thanks to mindat.orgfoliaceous granite; above this kind of living rock lies, through different steps of 2, 3, or 6-9 feet, red, sandy mud containing very little clay; this sandy mud in its uppermost strata contains clay, a lot of quartz (and sharp, pointed fragments of it not yet worn smooth by friction), and a few thin layers of mica.

Etching commentary 37