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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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N. to S., for many leagues. Traces of inhabitants and civilization are rare. In the

Serra do Canjica

first lower valley, open from west to east, is the small settlement of Canjicas, which consists of some twenty-odd mud houses where you will not find any traces of the riches of the gold mines which were in red clay and produced considerable profit. The same orogenic formation we also found the next day, when we took the road in the north-northeast direction of Capão Grosso and

Pindaiba waterfall

Larvas da Pindaíba, very small villages in a plateau valley. Here also, though outside the Diamond District, were diamonds, but rare and small. The vegetation in this uniform plateau presents a feature that we had never observed in such extension. The low trees, with twisted branches and broad foliage, rise at one point and another, and among them closed thickets of the most diverse shrubs alternate, sometimes with bare flat rocks, sometimes with dry pastures, low dunes and watery valleys with higher and more vigorous vegetation. It is also called the undergrowth of the savannah; when low and without trees, it is Carrasco. Not all plants that live there lose their leaves during the dry season; Their appearance, however, participates in the general features of the dry, wilting pastures. Only the shady valley is full of corn and manioc crops, the latter being planted in October, and unfit for humid places. The beans are grown in open and dry places in April and September. In the closed and thick reeds only cassava thrives in the rare stretches that are especially fertile and sandy at the same time.

Mammonea

The wonderful castor bean tree (Mammona ricinella comunas, M. viridis), abundant in the plantations and around the houses, yields from three to four harvests annually in these warm regions, and seems to produce a lot of castor oil, a seed gives twelve bottles.These constitute here the main culture of the farms, and the cotton plantation, that occupies so much activity in the termo of Minas Novas.
  
On June 12, in the direction of Buriti, we arrived at the farm of Captain Bento Dias, of Portuguese origin and whom Ferreira da Camara had recommended to us to show us the pure copper that appears in the vicinity. This man had assembled, in his solitude, three machines for combing and spinning cotton, such as those known in Portugal and which are driven by a single hand-driven wheel. We could not help but express our admiration for the persistence and ability of this man, although it seems to us that in the present state of local civilization and the needs of the country such machines are not implementable
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