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Smilax sagittaefolia

specimens of the prickly Smilax species, or the filamentous twists of the Cissos,

Cissos incisa


garnished with few leaves at the top, or the imposing Bromeliad panicles among the branches. The bare trunks stood out in their monstrous appearance, with the branches, like arms of giants, extended into the deep blue sky.

Acacia pedicellata

Andira amazon

Ficus dollaria, fig tree

Prickly Acacias, very ragged Andiras, Copaiferas and milky Figs abound here; What pleased us most then were the gigantic trunks of Corisias (Chorisia ventricosa), which, narrowing at the bottom and top, swell in the middle, looking like huge casks, and whose bark is all garnished with formidable glossy brown aculei. From sensible branches hung clumps of agaric, thus arranged by Mother Nature, so that the female plants are below the male ones, to receive from them more easily their fecund pollen.

Chorisia insignis

Chorisia insignis

There the termites had built their labyrinthine houses for a few feet on the

Giant termite nests

branches, and whose profile contrasted, by the black color, with the light gray of the leafless branches. The forest, numb with its autumnal aspect, resonated with the shouting of the innumerable footsteps and, above all, the shriek of macaws

Ara macau, the macaw

Psittaculus passerinus, parakeets

and parakeets. Elusive armadillos and giant anteaters (Dasypus septemcinctus and Myrmecophaga tetradactyla)

Dasypus septemcinctus, armadillo

Myrmecophaga tetradactyla, anteater

bumped into us among the tall houses of the active termites, and the sleepy

Bradypus tridactylus, sloth

sloths (Bradypus tridactylus) hung numbly from the white branches of the embauba (Cecropia peltola), which here and there towered among other trees.

Cecropia peltata

Howling monkeys

Flocks of howling monkeys, with beards, signaled their presence. The tall, dry grass tingled with small ticks that, at the slightest contact, with lightning speed,

Acarus terrestris, the tick

spread over us, producing tremendous commotion. Not infrequently, a snake collided with travelers among the grasses.

Boa cenohria


Vila Rica to Bahia

After we had, two leagues from Sucuriu, cut across the Ribeirao Setubal, and three more streams, including the even less important Gravata Creek, both tributaries of Aracuai, we followed the path out of the depths of the caves, down the hillside above hills, weeds, covered with low grass, where we had a melancholy view of the solitude of the jungles; when, however, we tried descending again into the woods, - the sun was already hiding among the dry branches, and suddenly around us the twilight was beginning to reign, - we noted from the guide's anxiety that he had lost his way. At this juncture, the man recognized in a nearby grotto among the grove, the house of a family well known to him and advised us to stay overnight: "However, gentlemen,” he added, “I had best not come forward, because, if they see me, the son of the house will think that I have come with a warrant, to arrest him, because he just killed his brother. " Horrified, we fell in front of the house; an elder, bent from