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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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In the afternoon we went to the field called Goiabeira, the now abandoned mine where lead chromate was discovered. It is just a league from Mr. Monteiro de Barros's farm, on a low clay hill, which usually goes towards NNW. From SSE then we looked for a deposit in order to find some big piece of this rare mineral, after all. The colonel led us to a small gallery which he had opened. There we had the chance to observe the red lead ore in a friable quartz, grayish white, gritty, between squamous lithomargio, white, somewhat loose, from a few inches to one foot, running towards N. to S. The quartz that forms this kind of shaft is, at one point and another, lemon yellow, or crossed by brown iron oxide. Lead chromate crystals are small and even tiny and have blunt ends. They form quadrilateral prisms, which appear sharpened at a sharp point and are similar in character to those of Siberia. The most rigorous determination of crystals will remain to be made in the future. In the vicinity of the red crystals there is often an earthy layer of yellowish-green lead ore, which we find most abundant in the landslides amid innumerable magnetite octahedra in nest-shaped pieces. Due to the rarity of this mineral, we think it is of interest to collect a good portion of samples; we got it, however at a cost, during the two days of our stay, due to the quartz being brittle and the lithomargio scaly.

Mr. Monteiro de Barros also wanted to accompany us to the Chapel of Matozinhos, near Congonhas do Campo, which the miners admire as a masterpiece of architecture; but he gave up, after all, when we assured him that in Europe we had seen buildings of this kind, and he accompanied us at dawn the next day, on the road back to Vila Rica, where we were sad to say goodbye to this hospitable man. Then we arrived at Chapada, where we had already been on the trip to Sao Joao d'El-Rei and were hoping to reach our well-known lodging in Lana; however, as night fell on the way, we asked for a warm coat on a nearby farm where, even though the front door was already locked, and our knocking awakened them from sleep, we were like foreigners welcomed and treated with the most generous hospitality. The next day, we climbed the high, rugged Serra de Deus Frei or Soledade. The little bits of greenish-gray white mica that lie above the mica schist are very thin, and with the rain and the swirling air they pulverize, and, as with a strong wind, all the surroundings became dusty. We passed

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