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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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chilled. Our luggage, made up of natural collections, mostly insects and plants, suffered greatly from the sudden penetrating moisture, covered with a yellow mold (1), the formation of which cannot be prevented despite all care. We had hoped, in fact, that after we climbed the second mountain range, which extends in the direction N.W. towards S.E. towards the sea, we would find more favorable weather, but we were disillusioned, because the constant rainy weather then chased us for a few weeks. The roads, generally open on clayey terrain, were impassable, and the growth of little streams of water through which luggage often had to be carried on the workers’ backs greatly slowed the journey.

This second mountain range, from whose valleys to the north run two main sources of Paraiba, Piratininga and small Turvo, consists, like the first one, entirely of granite, which in some points becomes gneiss through a lamelliform fracture. In many places, in front of the parish of Bananal, leaning against a hill, the mountain indicated a layer orientation between 3 ° and 4 °, with an angle of about 30 °. The granite here consisted of much silver and gray mica, white quartz and white or reddish feldspar. These regions, although sparsely populated, seem, however, more actively cultivated than the ones we have traveled. Extensive maize crops can be seen at one point and another, the most important proof that sowing produces fifty to sixty by one. Several European immigrants have tried flax cultivation to very good effect in the colder areas of this mountain; However, the cultivation of these plants has not made much progress, given the demand for cotton and the low output of flax fabrics, which among Brazilians has been less used so far and, therefore, has not progressed. At a considerable altitude behind Bananal, there is a distinct transition from gneiss, which moves to mycachist with 3rd degree orientation. As erratic blocks, there appeared to us on the road an abundance of compact brown limonite, which turns into red hematite, in the form of clustered crystals.

To the south of Bananal, some mountains, almost parallel to each other and all covered with dense woods, run west to the ocean. The first of these mountains, with more rounded contours and pleasant features, among which tear some bright valleys with ponds and pastures, and we climbed them in two days of march. The same kind of mountain is everywhere, a very coarse grain granite with a lot of gray and silver-white mica.

Plantation house in Bananal

(1) It was the same Eurotium herbarium, Link., who also attacked our herbarium during wet weather.

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