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Majestic and beautiful panorama also presents inanimate nature in the forms of its extensive mountain ranges, covered with vegetation to the summits. The Serra dos Orgaos and all the members of this same branch, which branches in

Serra dos Orgaos, on the road to Teresopolis

various ways, running along the sea, to the north, through the Cantagalo district, towards Porto Seguro and Bahia, and to the south to Santos, etc., are made of granite. In the forests of Mandiocca, near the mountain, there are blocks of unusual size of this kind of rock, which rolled down from the summits above, and in their crevices, they offer shelter to coatis and Mustela barbara, as well in their shadows abound a number of Begonias, Heliconias and Dorstencia. At first glance, we thought that the granite of Rio's neighborhoods was the same as the Passau mountain range in our homeland, along the Bohemian border, so surprising to find the same in the new world. Among the few granite variants we have had occasion to observe, one consists of a lot of reddish or gray feldspar, of course, a bit of gray quartz and a rather large amount of finely clad mica. The second is a coarse-grained granite, with a predominance of gray and reddish white feldspar, smoky gray and white quartz and little black mica and dark copper color. It is closer to the granite called graphico, because in the feldspar appears in many places also a glow of mother of pearl. The most beautiful variant is a rich reddish-gray, fine-grained, feldspar granite, smoke-gray quartz, and included, equiangular, hexaedric prisms of light copper-colored mica and medium-sized granules. Granite around Rio de Janeiro, as well as everywhere in similar mountains, is not uncommonly composed of earthy gray-white feldspar, sometimes with patches of brownish-yellow iron oxide, and quartz-gray. It is smoky and only with little black mica, and which, at the slightest touch, crumbles to gravel. The structure of the granite gradually becomes corrupted because it joins smoky-gray quartz and paucifoliated black mica, less smoky-gray feldspar, and the stone becomes gneiss. In this granitic gneiss are usually included thin, more or less large round stones, which give it beautiful appearance. It is mostly near the city, for example in the Saco do Alferes, but largely, according to observations of our friend and compatriot Mr Eschwege, at many points along the sea coast, and seems, for example, to alternate even with granulated granite in Ilha Grande; finally, in Rio de Janeiro and especially in Catete and Botafogo, where lie large blocks in sight, prepared for stonework.

Stone-cutters in Catete


Botafogo bay