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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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path in the same northern direction, sometimes over sand dunes, where the rare forms of the Surubean stalks, large-flowered Kielmeyeras and Balsameiras (Kielmeyera corymbosa and K. Humirium, Nov floribundum) flourished,

Kielmeyera corymbosa

sometimes through dense coconut groves of the beach, whose coconuts, mature at this time, attracted macaws and other birds.

Etching 41

Psittacidae

On the shore, we found numerous shells (Murex trapezium and M. maria, Donax cuneata, D. denticulata, Mactra striatula, Voluta hispidula and V. olivia, Lam.,

Seashells

Voluta ondola

Etc.) and rolled quartz pebbles of such great transparency that, at first glance, we took them for topaz. We were even more amazed, however, by the appearance of strands of a charcoal-black, friable substance, which, clenched between the fingers, blackened them, and, upon closer examination, was revealed to consist of coals and quartz granules. For naturalists, who admit the independent formation of coal in the antediluvian sea, this occurrence, examined in isolation, would be of the utmost interest; However, as we have observed, the existence of coals of different woody texture below sea level in Bahia, it was easy to explain what this substance was; They were layers of coal, broken by the sea and conglomerated with the sand of the beach. (Note IV).

As we continued our journey late into the afternoon, after sunset, although we were once again surrounded by all the splendor of clear tropical moonlight, we were so overwhelmed by the march on the loose sand that, regardless of these charms, we finally arrived at Tejuipe Farm where we spent the rest of the night, tortured by the scourge of mosquitoes.

The third day of travel, which took place in environments exactly identical to the previous ones, took us to Vila das Barra das Rio das Contas, usually called Vila do Rio das Contas.

Vila do Rio das Contas today

This settlement is one of the youngest of the settlements on the coast;

The municipality clerk, in whose house we found a lovely lodging, showed us the founding document, dated January 27, 1732, signed by Mrs. Ana Maria de Ataide, the donor of the still remaining Ilheus captaincy.

Despite the good situation in the great golden harbor, with its docks for schooners, sumacas and other small ships, and the fertility of the soil in its surroundings, however, the population and wealth of the village grow slowly. Our host, who, as a clerk of the district (1), thought himself competent in matters of public administration, complained of the lack of foresight in being able

(I) In the villages of Brazil, and in general, the clerk is the only magistrate who has legal knowledge; hence the reason why he also performs the duties of notary and judge of orphans, and commonly remains in office for many years or a lifetime, while the other officials - the treasurer, the prosecutor of the chamber, the three councilors. and the ordinary judge, - are chosen annually. When there are two ordinary judges, they alternate monthly in office.

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