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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Caninde. They welcomed us very well here, and made a proposal to our French servant to settle here under the auspices of the uncultured. Many European adventurers, who can boast of unmixed origin, spend their lives carelessly living in the country due to the general demand for those who want to cleanse the blood (as they often say) by intermarrying with a pure white; and perhaps our well-groomed servant would have given due appreciation to the charms of the mesthetic beauty, if not for the isolation of the backlands.

We found it more pleasant on the way from Brejo to the next Royal Farm, the Island, because the vegetation in the alternating fields and hills reminded us more and more of the beautiful fields of Minas. The Catingas, for the most part, consisted of thinning thorny bushes, and in the very humid valleys,

Carnauba palm

the carnauba trees whose charming appearance is so common here gathered in majestic woods. Blue Macaws (Psittacus hyacinthinus, Lath.), which live in the crowns of these palm trees, screeched above us, and the great anu (Crotophagus major, Lath.)

Psittacus hyacinthinus, the blue parrot and family

Crotophagus major

often let out its sizzling flutter on the bank of the Caninde River, which now we were crossing for the last time, keeping it from then on, always to our right.

Rio Caninde

In the vicinity of the Island, as well as in Castelo and Mocambo, the soil exudes amounts of cooking salt and saltpeter. Of the most northerly places that have salt in the backlands are the last ones we visited, but Brazil still has this important product in many other regions.

Salt plains

Incidentally, the salt here is not pure due to many other salt particles, and because it is not processed with the necessary care, it causes many diseases, notably diarrhea. The deeper we traveled through the pleasant closed sarcal valleys along the Caninde River, the more the vegetation of the agreste genre appeared;

isolated tufts of tall grasses, various trees of the genus Qualea, Phaeocarpus, Jacaranda, etc., with twisted branches, as we were used to seeing in Minas,

Qualea ecalcarata

Phaeocarpus campestris

Jacaranda oxyphylla

and finally also some groups of buritis palms appeared to us, as old acquaintances.

Mauritia flexuosa, the buriti palm

The orogenic formation is a reddish grain, crossed by quartz strands, oriented from S. to N., and contains deposits of a compact, rusty liver color.

The terrain rises on many low hills, flat on the summit or featuring slopes covered with thickets. Through this grove, we reach, on May 3, at sunrise, the capital of Piaui, the city of Oeiras,

Oeiras today

whose houses, in unequal lines, present themselves to the traveler's eyes, when they end in the very tortuous trails of the last hill. The excellent chief captain, Mr. Joao Nepomuceno of Castelo Branco, a descendant of the first conquerors of this country, had already arranged for our reception, and a house was ready for us. In the person of the governor, Mr. Colonel Baltasar de

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