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#10 A forest leafless because of the heat, which they call Caatinga,
in the southern desert of the province of Bahia

(Caesalpinia porcina, M.); the carrancuda (Caesalpinia acinaciformis, M.); the pau-ferro (Caesalpinia ferrea, M.), several species of mulungu (Erythrina), one anona (Annona obtusifolia, M.), several capers (Capparideas), the bush (Spondias tuberosa, Arr.), and a large profusion of Euphorbiaceae are the main contributors to the formation of these forests. Alongside the numerous spiny stems of Cereus (Cactus or Cereus tetragonos, C. heptagonus, C. serpentinus, Auct., C. Candelabrum, M.) and Opuncias (Cactus or Opuntia tomentosus, Opuntia brasiliensis, Ficus indica, Auct.etc.) and leafless euphorbia tree-forms found in Brazil (Euphorbia phosphorea) (1).

Caesalpinia ferrea

Erythrinia cristagalli

Anona obtusifolia

Spondias tuberosa

Euphorbiaceae family, Croton pennicilla

Opuntia brasiliensis

Ficus carica, the fig tree

We find jatropha shrubs, caustic aculei, and even many with flowers, but


flawless. I was mainly concerned with collecting mosses, which lined the smooth bark of trees to a great extent. Near Carrapato, an older gneiss (gray, without mineral), which consists of very fine-grained quartz, feldspar and mica,


comes out of the granite formation, and approaches the eurite. Included therein are quartz pebbles which, by mixing with feldspar, stop one hundred from the granite.

Near Olho d'Agua, the nearest place where large quartz blocks of blinding

White quartz

whiteness appear on the surface, we found so little water that it had to be distributed to the animals in a basin, which is why on the following March day, we extended the journey an exceptional seven leagues to Jacare. We had to climb two very high mountains of granite, too painful for our exhausted mules.


Above the granite we find the greenish gray mica schist, which, in layers of three feet thick, follows orientation from N. N. W. to S. S. E., and at angles of 30 ° to 40 °, sloping to the east. But the Jacare Creek we were expecting to find here was completely dry, and we had to settle for the disgusting green water of a pond. In the rainy months, when this stream fills, it seems that it causes fevers, as well as many other small waters of this region, especially those of the Paraguay River neighborhood.

Province of Bahia

Through the basin of this last river, and also north of our road, pass the first paths, which were opened to the backlands of Bahia; These paths are recommended for their watery surface and more juicy vegetation, but are currently very unused because of the malignant dangers. Moreover, the road we traveled on also showed the evidence of its victims, with many wooden crosses

(1) As it is out of the plan of this travel narration to mention here the different plants of the formation called catinga, I simply quote, in passing, this Euphorbia, which I will mention later, because of the wonderful phosphorescence I observed in it.