[* E. POPULIFOLIA (Hook. MS.); foliis rhombeo-triangularibus obtusissimis longius petiolatis coriaceis minute punctatis (punctis pallidis) reticulatovenosis. This species is remarkable in the size and shape of its petiolated leaves. The branches bear turbinated woody excrescences (galls), each with two or more, generally three, sharp angles, and as many unequal projecting wings, altogether exactly resembling the fruit of some BEGONIA.]
19TH JUNE.—Another dewy night had providentially refreshed the grass for our thirsty animals. We ascended, at a very favourable point, the sandstone table-land, and travelled for some miles along my horse's track towards Mount Owen, turning round the heads of gullies which broke abruptly in steep rocks both to our right and left. Then, turning to the right, where a branch of the high land projected eastward towards the river, we encamped on its extreme eastern point, overlooking a grassy valley, hemmed in by precipitous cliffs, yet easily accessible to our horses and cattle, from the point on which we had encamped. I had already found a deep hole in a rock on the right, containing water sufficient for the men and horses for several days, and, on riding down the valley while they pitched the tents, I found a large pond only a mile from the camp. The valley contained many still larger, but all, save this one, were dry. Grass grew there in great abundance, and of excellent quality. Pigeons were numerous of that species (GEOPHAPS SCRIPTA) which is so great a luxury; the most delicate food, perhaps, of all the feathered race. The highest of the sandy tableland crossed this day appeared (by Captain King's subsequent calculations) to be 1863 feet. That of the camp over the cliffs, 1840 feet above the sea, the height of these cliffs above the bed of the river being thus about 300 feet. Thermometer, at sunrise, 50 deg.; at 4 P.M., 65 deg.; at 9, 61 deg..
20TH JUNE.—I set out (with two men and Yuranigh) to explore the country beyond Mount Owen. From its base I observed some open forest land, and a less broken country, in a direction much further to the westward than the course I had previously selected, which was N.N.W. I now proceeded W.N.W. towards that open forest land. We found the country open for some miles, then, entering a flat or valley, I descended gradually between sandstone rocks, to a valley in which a chain of deep ponds led to the north-west. On following this down, I found it turned more and more to the westward, and at length to the south-west, whereupon I quitted its bed and cliffy banks, and, following up a ravine from the other side, again endeavoured to pursue my intended course. We crossed, at the head of the ravine, a sandstone range, and descended by another valley which led first northward, but terminated in joining a spacious grassy flat with dry ponds in it. I endeavoured to trace this downwards for several miles in a rainy evening, and found at last, to my disappointment, that this also turned to the S.W. This flat was broad and hemmed in by low rocky points of ground, of very uniform shape. Many marks of natives appeared on the trees, and, in good seasons, it must be one of their favourite spots. I left it, however, when darkness and heavy rain obliged me to look for shelter in a gloomy forest to the westward. By the time we arrived at this, we could see no grassy spot for our horses, nor any sort of cover for ourselves. Douglas found, at length, a fallen tree, and under this, covered with a few boughs, we lay down on the wet earth for the night, being ourselves as wet, yet wanting withal, water for ourselves and horses. Thermometer, at sunrise, 54 deg.; at noon, 69 deg.; at 4 P.M., 67 deg.; at 9, 57 deg..
21ST JUNE.—The rain had abated to my great disappointment, for we should have been amply compensated for wet jackets, by the sight of well filled ponds of water, the want of which was the great impediment to this journey. The sky was still overcast, and the wet bushes were unavoidable. On I travelled north-west, until we approached some fine open forest hills, the bare tops of which, just visible from the foot of Mount Owen, had first drawn me in that direction. One tempting peak induced me to approach it, and to think of an ascent. In a rugged little water-course in its bosom, we found water enough for our horses, the product of last night's rain. The view from the summit, made up for the deviation from my route. A group of the most picturesque hills imaginable lay to the northward, and were connected with this, the whole being branches from the Table Land of Hope. Some appeared of a deep blue colour, where their clothing was evergreen bush. Others were partly of a golden hue, from the rich ripe grass upon them. The sun broke through the heavy clouds and poured rays over them, which perfected the beauty of the landscape. I recognised, from this apex, my station on Mount Owen, and several hills I had intersected from it. Amongst others, the three remarkable cones to the westward of Mount Faraday, apparently a continuation of the line of summits I have already mentioned. This hill consisted of amygdaloidal trap in nodules, the crevices being filled with crystals of sulphate of lime, and there were many round balls of ironstone, like marbles or round shot, strewed about. A red ferruginous crust projected from the highest part, and, on this summit, the magnetic needle was greatly affected by local attraction, and quite useless. Fortunately, I had also my pocket sextant, and with it took some valuable angles. On descending, I heartily enjoyed a breakfast, and named the hill which gave us the water, Mount Aquarius. Returning towards Mount Owen, by a more direct route, I arrived at the head of a gully which led tolerably direct until we found our track, in the creek I had run down on the preceding day. But night was approaching, and we had water enough in a rocky hollow, and also a cavern before which a large fire gave such warmth, that, in passing the night there in my cloak, I was quite insensible to a frost without, which, at the camp, at 4 P. M., had lowered the mercury in Fahrenheit's thermometer to 22 deg., or 10 deg. below the freezing point.
22D JUNE.—Our provisions being out, I hastened back to the camp, determined to explore in a more northerly direction, according to my original intention. Water was only to be found in so dry a season, in the neighbourhood of mountains, or in rocky gullies likely to retain a passing shower. In our way back, I ascended the north-western shoulder of Mount Owen, and was much more inclined to take a northerly route, from the appearance of the mountains on that side. The view from that summit to the northward, was very grand; I saw more plainly the line of the Maranfrom its upper sources. Two mighty masses of table-land seemed the highest of all. One I had already seen and named Buckland's Table Land. I could here distinguish the apex of Mount Aquarius, and fix it in my map. I perceived a hollow part of the range immediately to the northward, and a sort of hiatus amongst the peaks in the broken country beyond, through which I hoped to find a way. I hastened to the camp to prepare for a "raid" of a whole week, if necessary, in that direction. Thermometer, at sunrise, 27 deg.; at noon, 52 deg.; at 4 P. M., 55 deg.; at 9, 59 deg..
23D JUNE.—Returning early by the foot of Mount Owen, I travelled nearly northward through a fine open forest, in which we saw a large kangaroo entirely black. Rocky gullies next came in my way, and, in avoiding those on the left, others falling to the right, or to the Maran, showed me that this was a dividing feature. I knew it was continuous to Mount Clift from my former observations, and therefore followed it by keeping between the heads of gullies breaking to each side, until I found one favourable for a descent to the left. Below, we found a broad, grassy, valley, extending about W.N.W., and in it, deep ponds, which sometimes evidently held much water, although they were then dry. This soon, however, turned to the south-west, evidently to join the channel I had before explored. Quitting it, therefore, much disappointed, I ascended sandstone cliffs and pushed through scrubs, determined to proceed directly north-ward, until I met with valleys falling north-west. We thus passed just under the most easterly part of Hope's Table Land, and came, about sunset, to a hollow containing ponds, in two of which we found water. Here we gladly bivouacked for the night. ZAMIAS grew here, and were numerous higher up the valley. Thermometer, at sunrise, 26 deg.; at noon, 54 deg.; at 4 P. M., 50 deg.; at 9, 40 deg..
24TH JUNE.—The hoar-frost had stiffened the grass, and the water was frozen so that the horses cared not to drink. I proceeded N. N. W., in which direction a beautiful cone rose to a great height, and sharp apex. Stony hills of trap appearing also in that line, I turned northward, and, after crossing a level tract of high ground, much like a dividing feature, (especially as seen from Mount Owen,) I entered a valley descending to the northwest. It fell rapidly, contained large water holes, and in two of these, at length, an abundant supply of water. The course, throughout all its windings, was towards the north-west, and this I, at the time, thought, might be a northern water. I therefore returned, anxious to bring the party thus far, at all events, and resolved to follow this little river down. We arrived, on our way back, in the evening of the same day, in the valley I had quitted in the morning, having followed down a water-course from the end of Hope's Table Land, under which I had passed, in search of a good way for the carts. Although we had seen promising ponds of water in this little channel, we could find none in the lower part, having in the expectation of finding some, rode on until darkness prevented me from going further. We were thus obliged to pass the night (a very cold one) without water, and almost without fuel. I missed the comfortable cavern where I had slept a few nights before, especially when I arose here in the night to mend the fire, and found we had no more wood at hand. I learnt afterwards that at the camp, the thermometer at 4 P. M. had been as low as 17 deg. of Fahrenheit.[*] Thermometer, at sunrise, 21 deg.; at noon, 51 deg.; at 4 P. M. 49 deg.; at 9, 29 deg..
[* This was 15 deg. degrees below the freezing point, and shows how much more easily cold may be endured in a dry atmosphere than where there is moisture, as instanced in the following extract from a despatch of Captain James C. Ross (in command of the Antarctic Expedition), dated 7th April, 1841, and published in the Tasmanian Journal.
"With a temperature of 20 deg. below the freezing point, we found the ice to form so rapidly on the surface, that any further examination of the barrier in so extremely severe a period of the season being impracticable, we stood away to the westward, for the purpose of making another attempt to approach the magnetic pole, and reached its latitude (76 deg. S.) on the 15th February."]
25TH JUNE.—Continuing our ride as soon as day-light permitted, ten minutes brought us to a pond containing plenty of water under a shelving rock, and here we alighted to breakfast, which was pleasant enough, but not so gratifying as the position of this pond, which would enable me to bring the carts through these valleys, to this convenient intermediate stage in the way to the Northern river. The next question was, whether the route to the eastward, descending into these valleys near Mount Clift, or that by my first route, when I discovered this rocky country, should be preferred; and I returned towards our camp this morning by the eastern gullies, in hopes to find an easy descent nearer to Mount Clift than at the point where I before came down. But I found them much more acclivitous and rocky. We at length, with difficulty, got our horses up a rocky point, on which grew a thick scrub of "blackwood," as Yuranigh called it, an acacia having many tough stems growing thickly together from one root, and obstructing the passage, and covering the ground with its half-fallen and fallen timber. Our passage along the range thence towards Mount Owen, having been too much to the eastward, brought us upon the bend of a gully falling to the Maran; a wild and impracticable looking dell as ever was seen. On regaining our track near Mount Owen, and returning along it to the camp, I found that another pond had been discovered in the valley, by Felix Maguire, who on two occasions, had dreamt of water, risen, and walked directly to where he found it! However that might have been, this man had a happy knack in finding water. In the neighbourhood of this camp some interesting plants were collected; viz. NOTHOCHLOENA DISTANS, GRAMMITIS RUTOEFOLIA, CHEILANTHES TENUIFOLIA, ADIANTUM HISPIDULUM and ASSIMILE, all ferns, together with HOVEA LANCEOLATA, the weedy SPHOERANTHUS HIRTUS, GREVILLEA FLORIBUNDA, a low shrub, occupying the ravines. Besides these we observed a small species of SIDA in the sandy soil of forests, the DOODIA CAUDATA Br., a verdant fern, and the SOLANUM FURFURACEUM with lilac flowers, and small red berries. A shrub loaded with succulent drupes, seated in reddish cups, appeared to be a new species of VITEX, but its genus was uncertain, there being no flowers. What is here called GREVILLEA FLORIBUNDA may have been an allied species, for the leaves were more downy, almost tomentose above. In addition to this a new species of the common genus DODONOEA, frequently met with afterwards, was now producing its flowers.[*] Thermometer, at sunrise, 12 deg.; at noon, 50 deg.; at 4 P. M. 51 deg.; at 9, 22 deg..
[* D. MOLLIS (Lindl. MS.); molliter pubescens, ramulis subteretibus, foliis obovatis acutis truncatis rotundatis retusis tridentatisque, capsulis tetragonis trigonisque pubescentibus apteris.]
26TH JUNE. The party moved forward, at length, with the certainty of finding water for at least three days' journey, and of a hopeful water- course being before us. Passing by the foot of Mount Owen, I observed the barometer which gave an elevation of 2083 feet: the summit might be 700 feet higher. My plan of route was, to enter the little river that turned to the south-west (as I had found it did, on the 20th,) and to travel along its valley upwards, until I reached the pond near which I had bivouacked on the 25th. This we accomplished most successfully before sunset, encamping beside the large pond already mentioned, near which were two others. The earth by the margin was so soft that neither the horses nor bullocks could approach the water; they could only be watered out of buckets; but the water was excellent, and water of any quality, in abundance too, was to us rather uncommon good fortune, and quite cheering, even when surrounded by soft mud. Thermometer, at sunrise, 14 deg.; at noon, 48 deg.; at 4 P. M. 47 deg.; at 9, 37 deg..
27TH JUNE. We had next to trace up a grassy valley which seemed to come directly from the vicinity of that in which I had found water and bivouacked on the 24th. It formed an excellent line, and we found it possible to keep this fine firm level surface, until we had approached to within two miles of that spot. Leaving a little hill of trap to the left, and some brigalow scrub on the right, we reached the old ground and encamped. The small ponds had evaporated, but, in the frosty night, the cattle were not likely to require water, as they had been watered on the way, about 3 P. M., at a rocky well in the valley. We had now traced with our wheels, a good way through a country much broken and shut up by sandstone gullies; but which contained also many rich valleys, and extensive hilly tracts of trap rock, on which the grass was very luxuriant, apparently available for either sheep or cattle. Immediately to the westward of this camp (marked XXXVIII.) an extensive valley was bounded by the fine trap range of Hope's Table Land; which range was open along the summit, and contained springs, in various ravines along its sides. In these ravines, we first saw the arborescent Zamia, and various remarkable shrubs; the MYOPORUM CUNNINGHAMII of Swan River, forming a shrub six feet high, with white fragrant flowers. Thermometer, at sunrise, 20 deg.; at 9 P. M., 29 deg.. Height above the sea, 2064 feet.
28TH JUNE.—Severe frost whenever the sky was clear, seemed the ordinary weather of that country, at that season; showing, as the barometer also indicated, that we were at a great height above the sea. I sent the party forward, guided by Yuranigh, along my former track, to the ponds in the newly discovered channel, falling north-west; and I proceeded myself, accompanied by Mr. Stephenson, to the summit of the fine cone already mentioned. From this, I beheld a splendid and extensive view of the mountains further northward. Most of the summits I had previously intersected, and many others, very remarkable, just appeared over an intermediate woody range, through which I was at a loss to discover where our supposed northern river would pass. Far in the north-west, I could just distinguish the tops of curiously broken hills arising from a much lower country; and therein I hoped to find, whatever might be the final course of our river, a passage to the north-west, and water. The most important feature in that scene seemed to me to be a grey misty tint, as if it marked a valley descending from the highest eastern mountains, towards the curiously broken summits in the northwest. Bare crests of similar hills, appeared to arise throughout the whole extent of that valley. Under those lofty mountains, at such elevation, in such a clime, with these romantic hills, that valley must be a paradise if watered well, as I hope it is. So flowed the "spring" of hope at least, as it was fed by the scene then before me. The cone we had ascended consisted of trap rock, much resembling that of Mount Aquarius; but, at its base, and on its sides, I found in large masses, the very compact felspathic rock which characterises the valley of the Darling. This has been considered a very fine-grained sandstone; but it is evidently an altered rock. Here, in contact with trap, it possessed the same tendency to break into irregular polygons, some of the faces of which were curved; and I observed one mass which had been so tossed up, that its lower side lay uppermost, inclined at an angle of about 60 deg.. That this is a hypogene rock, sometimes in contact with granite as well as with trap, is evident at Oxley's Table Land, and other places. I was glad to find it here, as affording a prospect of meeting with better soil than the loose sand we had seen so much of. We here found the grey, prickly SOLANUM ELLIPTICUM. I named this cone Mount P. P. King; and, I have since ascertained, by that officer's register and calculations, the height of this summit above the sea, to be 2646 feet; and the height of this camp, 2159 feet. Thermometer, at sunrise, 25 deg.; at 4 P. M., 55 deg.; at 9, 25 deg.. (XXXIX)
29TH JUNE.—Crossing a small tributary which was full of water (coming from Hope's Table Land), we continued to travel along the left bank of the newly found river. Rocky precipices overhanging it, obliged me to make some detours, and to pass through some scrubs; but still we regained the banks of the river, although our progress was not considerable. Its general course was still north-west, to the spot selected for my second camp on its banks. The channel was now broad; the banks high, rounded, and grassy; in some places, rocky. Water in the channel was rarely to be seen, but at the junction of tributaries, where recent temporary showers seemed to have fallen. By careful observation, I ascertained the variation of the needle to be 8 deg. 4' E. here. Thermometer, at sunrise, 25 deg.; at 4 P. M., 68 deg.; at 9, 53 deg.. Height above the sea, 1914 feet. (XL.)
30TH JUNE.—The course of the river was now found to turn to the southward of west; and, even in that direction, rugged cliffs covered with scrub greatly impeded our progress. I endeavoured to conduct the carts along the bed of the river, soft and sandy as it was; but we did not proceed far in it, before rocks, fallen trees, and driftwood, obliged us to abandon that course as speedily as we could. Then, ascending a projecting eminence, we plunged into the scrubs; but, even in a southwest direction, we came upon the river. Pursuing its course along the bank, southward, I arrived near the base of a fine open forest hill; and, directing the party to encamp, I hastened to its summit. I there obtained a view of most of the mountains of the eastern range formerly observed, and enough of the fixed points, to enable me to determine the position of this. In the south-west, a line of open forest, and a vast column of smoke seemed too plainly to mark the further course of our river; but, towards the north-west, I saw much to reconcile me to this disappointment. Summits of broken and uncommon aspect, beyond an intervening woody range, there indicated a much lower and different kind of country, as if that was, indeed, the basin of a system of northern waters; the woody intervening range appearing to be the division between them. As our last explored river again turned southward, it seemed reasonable to expect, beyond that very continuous range, rivers pursuing a different course. This range was plainly traceable from the high mountains more to the eastward, and was continuous westward to three remarkable conical hills, beyond which, the view did not extend. On the same range, a fine tableshaped mountain appeared nearly north. This I had already intersected from other stations, and named Mount Faraday. The hill on which I stood consisted of trap-rock, and seemed to be almost the western extremity of Hope's Table Land. A copious spring was afterwards found by Mr. Stephenson, in a valley to the eastward of this summit. That ravine was extensive; and in it grew various remarkable trees. The bottle-tree (Delabechea) grew more gregariously than we had ever seen it, in the stony banks of the channel of the torrent from the hills. One thorny tree or shrub (first seen at the base of Mount P. P. King) again appeared here; it was, generally, in a withered state; had a leaf somewhat like the human hand, and a pod containing two peas of a bright scarlet colour, about the shape and size of a French bean. This, sometimes grew to a tree as much as a foot in diameter; and the natives, who, like Nature herself, may be said to do nothing in vain, had cut one down, and carried off the whole of the trunk. The wood was of a leaden colour. This proved to be a new species of ERYTHRINA, or coral tree.[*] By our last day's journey, we had lost two miles of northing, and had thus recrossed the 25th parallel of south latitude. I therefore determined to cross our friendly little river, and look for another beyond the range to the northward. Thermometer, at sunrise, 44 deg.; at noon, 68 deg.; at 4 P. M., 65 deg.; at 9, 38 deg.. Height above the sea, 1732 feet. (XLI.)
[* E. VESPERTILIO (Benth. MS.); glaberrima, caule fruticoso aculeato, foliorum petiolo elongato, foliolis trilobis lobo medio recto acutiusculo lateralibus multo majoribus falcato-divaricatis obtusissimis.—Although no flowers were seen, the genus of this shrub is well indicated by the pod and the general habit. The leaflets are often above four inches broad and not two inches long, not unlike the form of a bat with its wings extended.]
1ST JULY.—With that view, I rode towards Mount Faraday, anxious to look into the valley beyond it. After a two hours' ride, I passed under its western summit, and still pressed forward, in hopes of seeing at length into the valleys beyond. I thus entered a very thick scrub, so impervious that I was obliged to turn westward, until I came upon sandstone gullies into one of which I descended. Following this downwards, I found it fell to the westward, and in a hollow part of its rocky bed I came to some clear water. But this was inaccessible, even to my horse, nor could I take him further down that wildly broken gully; therefore we backed out, and ascended as we could. Then riding southward in search of one more accessible, I at length, descended into a grassy valley, which ran northwest, and gave promise of something still better. I could not follow it then without provisions, having none with me, and I therefore hastened back to the camp, resolved to take with me men and provisions sufficient to enable me to explore this further. In the scrub I passed through on my way back, I found various very remarkable shrubs new and strange to me. One grew on a large stalk, from which leaves radiated without other or any branches. These leaves, hanging gracefully around the stem, gave to this shrub the resemblance of the plume of a staff-officer. The outer side of each leaf was dark and shining, the inner white and woolly. Rarely these tall stems separated into two. Other branches there were none. Some very beautiful new acacias also grew there. One, in particular, with leaves exactly similar to those of the silver-leaved ironbark, was very remarkable, a broad rough-leaved FICUS, with opposite leaves not unlike those of the New Holland Upas. The white-flowered lead- wort (PLUMBAGO ZEYLANICA) and the TRIODIA PUNGENS were abundant among the grasses. A downy Dodonaea, with triangular leaves, was producing its small flowers[*], and a scrubby bush with hard narrow leaves and globular fruit the size of a rifle-ball, proved to be a new CAPPARIS.[**] Thermometer, at daybreak, 35 deg.; at 9 P.M., 38 deg..
[* D. TRIANGULARIS (Lindl. MS.); molliter pubescens, foliis obtriangularibus tridentatis, pedunculis masculis axillaribus subsolitariis.]
[** C. LORANTHIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.) ramosa, inermis, ramulis tomentosis, foliis lineari-oblongis obtusis coriaceis glabris sesqui-pollicaribus aveniis, pedunculis solitariis axillaribus tomentosis foliis brevioribus, stipite duplo longiore, fructu sphaerico tuberculato glabro.]
2D JULY.—Returning with two men and Yuranigh to the valley where I had been yesterday, I followed it downwards, and soon found that it widened very much, and contained large dry ponds, with the traces of a deep current of water at some seasons. At length, the rocky precipices seemed to recede, and formed occasionally bold headlands of most picturesque outline. Two, that towered above the woods before us, resembled pyramids, and I saw an open country beyond them, from which other summits of extraordinary form seemed to emerge. Yet we had found no moisture in the ponds, and lamented that a country, in every other respect so fine, should be without water. Further on, I perceived reeds in the hollow of the valley, and Yuranigh said there must be a spring, upon which he walked in amongst them, but still found the earth dry. The reeds at length covered an extensive flat, and looked, at the lower part of the flat, so green, that I sent Corporal Graham to examine that point. He emerged from the reeds with a face that, at a distance, made Douglas, my other man, say, "He has found water." He had found A RUNNING STREAM, to which he had been guided by its own music, and taking a tin pot, he brought me some of it. The water was clear and sparkling, tasting strongly of sulphur, and Yuranigh said that this was the head of a river that NEVER DRIED UP. In this land of picturesque beauty and pastoral abundance, within eighty miles of the tropics, we had discovered the first running stream seen on this journey. I returned, determined to bring the party thus far, and with the intention of passing that night where we had found water in a rock about six miles back, that we might sooner reach the camp next day. At that spot we had also the benefit of a cavern, before which, a good fire being made, we defied the frost of a very cold night, the thermometer having been registered at the camp, at 3 A.M., as low as 7 deg.. In the scrubs we had passed through in the morning, a variety of the ACACIA PODALYRIIFOLIA, with grey velvety leaves, was scarcely in flower; and I observed a beautiful new species of STENOCHILUS with large tubular flowers.[*] The ACACIA FALCATA appeared also on the sandstone ground above the gullies, and a broad-leaved form of the EREMOPHILA MITCHELLII. The moon shone brightly, and the rock being full of silver mica, the splendour of the scene imparted to my eye and mind then a degree of gratification far beyond any associations of the richest furniture of a palace. We found it impossible to get our horses to the water; but we hit upon an expedient which answered even better than a bucket,—my Mackintosh cloak.
[* S. CURVIPES (Benth. MS.) glaber, foliis lanceolatis integerrimis basi in petiolum angustatis pedicellis recurvis, calycis foliolis latis acuminatis, corollae glabrae ventricosae laciniis acutis inferiore ultra medium soluta.—Flowers large and thick on recurved pedicels 4 to 6 lines long. Calycine leaves broader than in all the other species.]
3D JULY.—In returning, we looked for a good line of approach, and found an easy way for the carts to descend into the valley. On arriving at the camp, I learnt that a large pond had been discovered in a rocky part of the river, about a mile below our camp. Thermometer, at sunrise, 14 deg.; at noon, 60; at 4 P.M., 61 deg.; at 9, 26 deg.. Height of camp above the sea, 1800 feet. (XLII.)
4TH JULY.—The clouds had gathered, and it rained heavily this morning. Nevertheless, the party moved off, crossing the river where the banks had been cut to facilitate the passage. With Yuranigh's assistance we hit upon an excellent line of route, availing ourselves of a grassy valley descending from Mount Faraday, just so far as to avoid the rocky crooked part, and then crossing and cutting through a piece of scrub directly to the point of easy ascent, we thus made a good road into the valley, and arrived in good time, notwithstanding the rain, at the rock of my bivouac. The night-sky cleared up, and I found our latitude (by Arcturus) to be 24 deg. 54' 12" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 43 deg.; at 4 P.M., 49 deg.; at 9, 38 deg.. Height above the sea, 1437 feet. (XLIII.)
5TH JULY.—Another frosty night succeeded the day of rain, and froze our tents into boards, not easily to be packed up this morning. We proceeded along our horses' track, and the beautiful headland which appeared quite isolated, and just such as painters place in middle distance, I named Mount Salvator. We encamped on a slight elevation of the right bank of the reedy rivulet, near the pyramids. Our prospects had suddenly brightened, when instead of following chains of dry ponds, we had before us a running stream, carrying life and nourishment towards the country we were about to explore. The whole aspect of the country seemed new to us. The barometer showed we were rapidly descending, and I expected that our living stream would soon join that greater stream, the basin of which I thought I could trace in the line of mist seen from Mount P. P. King on the 28th June. The course of this river, unlike the others, curved round from N.W. towards north, and having its origin in mountains equidistant between Cape York and Wilson's Promontory, it was reasonable to suppose that we had at length crossed the division between northern and southern waters. That between eastern and western waters was still to be discovered, and in a country so intricate, and where water was so scarce then, the course of rivers afforded the readiest means of determining where that division was. If the general course of this river was found to be to the eastward of north, we might safely conclude that the dividing ground was on the west or to the left of our route; if to the westward of north, it might be to the eastward, or on the right of our route, and this seemed the more probable from the line of a river flowing north- westward, which I had seen the valley of, from Mount P. P. King. Latitude 24 deg. 50' 2". S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 16 deg.; at noon, 50 deg.; at 4 P. M., 49 deg.; at 9, 38 deg.. Height above the sea, according to sixteen observations, 1421 feet. (XLIV.)
6TH JULY.—A number of small bushes of CRYPTANDRA PROPINQUA appeared amongst the rocks; back from the valley, and in the woods below, we found an acacia, apparently, but distinct from, A. DECORA (Reichb.) VAR. MACROPHYLLA; it approached A. AMOENA, but the stem was less angular, and the phyllodia bore but one gland. A large tree with long hoary leaves, and flat round capsules, proved to be a fine new BURSARIA, at a later season found in flower. See October 10th.* A Loranthus also was found here, which Sir William Hooker has since described.[**] Travelling along the bank of this stream, we found it flowing, and full of sparkling water to the margin. The reeds had disappeared, and we could only account for the supply of such a current, in such a country, at such a season, by the support of many springs. We made sure of water now for the rest of our journey; and that we might say of the river "Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum." The hills overhanging it surpassed any I had ever seen in picturesque outline. Some resembled gothic cathedrals in ruins; others forts; other masses were perforated, and being mixed and contrasted with the flowing outlines of evergreen woods, and having a fine stream in the foreground, gave a charming appearance to the whole country. It was a discovery worthy of the toils of a pilgrimage. Those beautiful recesses of unpeopled earth, could no longer remain unknown. The better to mark them out on my map, I gave to the valley the name of Salvator Rosa.[***] The rocks stood out sharply, and sublimely, from the thick woods, just as John Martin's fertile imagination would dash them out in his beautiful sepia landscapes. I never saw anything in nature come so near these creations of genius and imagination. Where we encamped, the river was very deep, the banks steep and muddy, so that the use of a bucket was necessary in watering the cattle. Notwithstanding every precaution, one animal walked into the river, and could not be got out without great difficulty. The only fish we caught in this river were two enormous eels, beautifully spotted. Large shells of the UNIO genus lay abundantly on the banks, about the old fires of the natives. These were larger than either those found on the Darling, or those of the Maran; and although such freshwater mussles seem to have but one shape, a peculiarity in these was pointed out to me by Yuranigh, who said they much resembled the impressions left by a black-fellow's foot, (which is much broader at the toes than at the heel). We here met with a new species of BORONIA, resembling B. ANETHIFOLIA, of which many varieties afterwards occurred. It grows about two feet high, and had solitary pale purple flowers.[****] A new species of ACACIA with straight, oblong, shining leaves, also grew here.[*****] In the valley we found ERECHTITES ARGUTA, a weed resembling European groundsel; on the rocks, a small slender shrub with white flowers; and in the sandy scrub, the LEUCOPOGON CUSPIDATUS formed a small shrub. Thermometer, at sunrise, 16 deg.; at noon, 50 deg.; at 4 P.M., 49 deg.; at 9, 38 deg.. (XLV.) Height above the sea, 1270 feet.
[* B. INCANA (Lindl. MS.); arborea, inermis, foliis oblongo-linearibus supra glabris subtus incanis, panicula terminali tomentosa, floribus distantibus.]
[** L. SUBFALCATUS (Hook. MS.); ramis dichotomis patentibus, foliis oppositis linearibus lineari-lanceolatisve obtusis subfalcatis glabris trinerviis, floribus axillaribus binis arcte pendentibus brevissime pedicellatis, calycis contracti cylindracei ore dilatato, petalis 6 linearibus glaberrimis supra medium coalitis.]
[*** "His soul naturally delighted in scenes of savage magnificence and ruined grandeur; his spirit loved to stray in lonely glens, and gaze on mouldering castles."—ALLAN CUNNINGHAM (THE POET).]
[**** B. BIPINNATA (Lindl. MS.) glabra vel pilosa, foliis bipinnatis pinnatisque, foliolis linearibus subteretibus obtusis, floribus subsolitariis axillaribus foliis brevioribus 8-andris.]
[***** A. EXCELSA (Benth. MS.) glabra, ramulis subangulatis, phyllodiis falcato-oblongis obtusiusculis mucronulatisve basi angustatis subcoriaceis nitidis multinervibus venulosis eglandulosis, pedunculis solitariis geminisve capitulo dense multifloro brevioribus vel brevissimis. Very near A. VENULOSA, Cunn.; but smooth, the phyllodia shining, 2 to 3 inches long, 6-9 lines broad, the flower heads usually almost sessile.]
7TH JULY.—Continuing along the eastern margin of the reeds, we soon found that the river expanded into a lake covered with them, and that in one or two spots there also grew the "Balyan" of the Lachlan, (a bulrush mentioned in my former journals). We listened, and still heard the current of water amongst these reeds. From the margin of this lake the hills, rocks, and woods, on the opposite shore, presented a most charming morceau of picturesque scenery. Our route was through an open forest which skirted the reedy margin, over very firm ground, and in a general direction about north-west. At length we approached the northern limits of the reedy lake, no river being visible flowing out of it, as we had reason to expect. We found there, however, only a dry channel, which bore the marks of a considerable stream at some seasons. Following this dry channel down, I found its course turned to the northward, and even to the north-east. When we were disposed to encamp, I could find no water in the bed, nor were we better off when we had encamped, until Corporal Graham dug between two rocks therein, and, fortunately, found a spring. Thus, in one day vanished the pleasing prospect we had enjoyed in the morning, of a stream flowing in the direction of our intended route. This might be, I then thought, the tributary to a larger river, which I still hoped would be found to flow westward from the coast ranges, and, finally, take the desired north-west direction. Thermometer, at sunrise, 23 deg.; at 4 P.M., 58 deg.; at 9, 25 deg.. (XLVI.) Height above the sea, 1191 feet.
8TH JULY.—Entertaining this opinion, I still should have followed this river down, had I not been impeded by gullies as deep as itself falling into it, and which obliged me to cross to the left bank. There a thick brigalow scrub grew to the very margin, and this was seared by rugged gullies. A deep and continuous channel, entering from the westward, induced me to turn in that direction so far, that I at length determined to penetrate at once, if possible, to the north-west, expecting that there I might intercept our river, if it should turn in that direction, or, if not, cross some range into a more open country. The whole day was lost, however, in toiling through a brigalow scrub. Various water-courses crossed our route, but all descending towards the river we had left. The scrub was so thick that we could only pass where accidental openings admitted us, and by this sort of progress, until within an hour of sunset, I found we had travelled about nine miles, and had gained only half a minute of latitude. Having penetrated, on foot, and with difficulty, about two miles ahead of the party, in pursuing the course of a small watercourse, I found that even this turned south-east, evidently to fall into the reedy basin we had previously explored; therefore, I determined on an immediate retreat out of that labyrinth of scrub, back to our friendly river. It was comparatively easy to return through the opening we had made by cutting down much of the brush as we advanced, so that by twilight we reached a good grassy spot about half way to the river, and near it, found some good ponds of water. A pigeon, flying almost in my face, first drew my attention to the hollow where we afterwards found the water. It was in soft mud, however, in which one of the bullocks got bogged, and could only be taken out by the whole strength of the party dragging him with ropes. Thermometer, at sunrise, 18 deg.; at 4 P.M., 54 deg.; at 9, 25 deg.. Height above the sea, 1241 feet.
9TH JULY.—The cattle were so much exhausted by drawing through the scrub, and I had so much to do at my map, that I gave to the cattle and the party, a day's rest. Latitude, 24 deg. 34' 12" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 14 deg.; (in my tent, 18 deg.;) at 9 P.M., 48 deg..
10TH JULY.—Returning, still along our old track, towards a slight eminence, three miles from our camp, I there set the party to work, to cut a way across the gully, which had first obliged me to turn westward. While the men were so employed, I rode about five miles northward, but met with no opening or water-course admitting of a passage in that direction. On the contrary, I returned, on intercepting one running S. E. towards our river. The party had taken all things across when I rejoined them, and we travelled along the left bank of the gully, chiefly through open forest land, until we approached the river. Scrub, and muddy gullies, obliged us to cross the river soon after we reached its banks. Water appeared more abundant in its bed here, and we encamped on the border of a small plain, hemmed in by brigalow scrub, in latitude 24 deg. 33' 25" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 23 deg.; at noon, 58 deg.; at 4 P.M., 62 deg.; at 9, 29 deg.. Height (XLVII.) above the sea, 1192 feet.
11TH JULY.—We travelled along the right bank of the river, through a fine open forest, until our route, in a N. E. by N. direction, was again impeded by the river. We had now descended from the upper sources of this river, at least 1000 feet according to the barometer. We had seen, in a large pond, a fish called mullet, which abounds in the rivers falling to the eastern coast, but which I had never seen in those falling westward. It was also obvious that there was no coast range between us and the coast, and consequently that a very decided break, at least, occurred in it, about the latitude of 25 deg. S. This was more apparent to me on crossing the river, and sending Yuranigh up a tree, about three miles beyond. He could see no mountains to the northward or north-east, but only the high table land already seen to the eastward, in which direction he could trace the course of the river. I hastened back to the party, directed them to encamp, and proceeded with two men and Yuranigh in a N. W. direction, carrying provisions for a long ride. We plunged into the sea of Brigalow—
"——And we did buffet it, With lusty sinews throwing it aside, And stemming it with JACKETS ALL IN TATTERS."
After working out our way thus, for about ten miles, our toils were rewarded with a scene of surpassing beauty, that gradually opened to us. That long-lost tree, the graceful Acacia pendula, received us in the foreground, and open plains, blended with waving lines of wood, extended far into bluey distance, beyond which an azure coronet of mountains of romantic forms, terminated the charming landscape.
"Far in the west, the long, long vale withdrawn,"
included columns of smoke, marking out the line of a river, which, with its dark and luxuriant woods, pervaded the whole scene; perhaps the finest I ever had the good fortune to discover. I beheld it from a perfectly clear and grassy hill of rich black soil, on which we had emerged, through a fringe of Acacia pendula. I could not advance beyond that spot, until I had taken bearings and angles on the peaks and summits before me. To the north-west, an apparent opening, seen between these masses, seemed to indicate the bed of another river. On completing my observations we rode forward across the plain, towards the woody vale, the sun being then near setting. A solitary emu ran towards us, from a great distance, apparently encouraged by the mere appearance of quadrupeds, which, although new to it, seemed to have no terrors for it. I could not allow the men to fire at it, partly, I believe, from a sense of shame that we should thereby appear to take unfair advantage, and prove ourselves more brutal than the quadrupeds, whom nature had indulgently destined to carry us on their backs. The open down we traversed, consisted of rich black mould, in which there was fossil wood in great abundance, presenting silicified fragments so curiously wooden as to be only distinguishable from wood, by their detached and broken character. Such fossils are not uncommon in Australia, on plains of rich black earth, which is a constant concomitant. Their geological history may be simple, and would probably be very interesting, if philosophy could but find it out. We found, further on, a channel full of water, with reeds about the bed of it. There had been a current in it a short time previously, and, indeed, we had seen the remains of recent rain, in some hollows in the Brigalow scrub. The river came from the westward, and thus might have afforded the means of travelling in that direction, had other directions been found impracticable. We made our fire in a hollow near the water, not wishing either to alarm or attract the natives; and thus we passed the night pleasantly enough, with a large fire before us. Thermometer, at sunrise, 18 deg.; at 4 P.M., 65 deg.; at 9, 30 deg..
12TH JULY.—Returning to the camp, I sought and found, with the assistance of Yuranigh, a more open way through the scrub for our carts, than that by which we had penetrated to the good country. I had directed Mr. Stephenson to examine, during my absence, the western shore of the reedy lake of Salvator, in order to ascertain whether it had any outlet in that direction; but he returned without having reached the base of the remarkable rocky range to the westward; thus leaving it still uncertain, although the direction of the river since discovered, left little reason for supposing that any waters from the valley of the Salvator, could escape to the westward. Thermometer, at sunrise, 11 deg.; in my tent, 15 deg.; at noon, 67 deg. at 4 P.M., 65 deg.; at 9, 35 deg.. Height above the sea, 1107 feet.
13TH JULY.—After marking this camp XLVIII., we quitted the river Salvator, and travelled along our track of yesterday, or nearly N. W., but deviating from this track occasionally, where broken ground or thick scrub was to be avoided. The highest part of the scrubby land we crossed, was 1310 feet above the sea. We arrived in good time at the river, where I had previously slept, and there encamped. On the plains adjacent, the ACACIA PENDULA grew, as on those near the Bogan; and we saw also various new and curious grasses, and some very singular shrubs in the scrub. The banks of the river were steep, and consisted of soft clay. I employed the party to make a bridge across it, and this was well completed before sunset. Thermometer, at sunrise, 23 deg.; at noon, 65 deg.; at 4 P.M. 68 deg.; at 9, 40 deg.. Height above the sea, 951 feet. (XLIX.)
14TH JULY.—Crossing the river, (which I called the Claude), we travelled, first, through an open forest, and then across one of the richest plains I had ever seen, and on which the ANTHISTIRIA AUSTRALIS, and PANICUM LOEVINODE, the two best Australian grasses, grew most abundantly. The soil was black; the surface quite level. There might have been about a thousand acres in the first plain we crossed, ere we arrived at another small river, or water-course, which also contained water. We soon reached the borders of other very extensive plains and open downs, apparently extending far to the eastward. On our left, there was a scrub of Acacia pendula. The undulating parts of the clear land, were not so thickly covered with grass as the plains, not because the soil was bad, but because it was so loose, rich, and black, that a sward did not so easily take root and spread upon it, from its great tendency to crack, after imbibing moisture, on its subsequent evaporation. All this rich land was thickly strewed with small fragments of fossil wood, in silex, agate, and chalcedony. Many of the stones, as already observed, most strikingly resembled decayed wood, and in one place the remains of an entire trunk lay together like a heap of ruins, the DILAPIDATED remains of a tree! I obtained even a portion of petrified bark; but specimens of this were rare. The elevation of the highest part of these downs, was 1512 feet above the sea.
Crossing an open forest hill, which had hitherto bounded our view to the westward, I perceived a deep grassy valley on our right, sloping towards a much lower country, but I still travelled westward, in hopes to find an open country, beyond a low woody range on which we had at length arrived. I soon, however, perceived rocky gullies before me, and having halted the party to examine them, I found they were quite impassable. Such an unexpected obstacle, on the horizon of the fine open country, yet UNDER that smooth horizon, was certainly as singular as it was unexpected, and I returned to descend into the deep grassy valley I had seen on our right, which seemed open and inviting. We therein also found some large ponds of water, and encamped. While the men were pitching the tents I rode down the valley about two miles, and found that the direction of the water-course was about north-east. Such a direction was not very favourable for us, and I resolved to look at the country beyond the limits of this valley to the westward, before we followed it further. Latitude, 24 deg. 17' 42" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 19 deg.; at 4 P. M., 66 deg.; at 9, 49 deg.. (L.) 1279 feet above the sea.
15TH JULY.—Following up a flat which came from the N. W., I proceeded about five miles amid overhanging precipices, until, at length, mighty rocks rendered it quite impossible to push my horse further. Leaving him in a hollow, I ascended a rocky point, which was barely accessible with Yuranigh's assistance, and, on reaching an elevated summit, I saw still worse gullies before us, amongst which I could perceive no feature affording any cue to their final outlet, nor any characteristic of the structure of these labyrinths. I looked in vain for the rugged summits I had seen peeping over the plains when first discovered, and could not then be convinced (as I found long afterwards, on completing my map), that they were then under my feet. The highest parts seemed to extend south-westward. To cross such a region with our carts, was quite impossible, and I could only return, and, however reluctantly, follow down the valley in which we had encamped, until it should afford access to a more open country. The banks of the watercourse were steep, the bottom was sandy. The course was very tortuous, alternately closing on rocky precipices, at each side of the valley. Thus we were obliged to cross at every turning, and the steep banks rendered each crossing a difficult operation, occasioning so much delay, that after crossing ten times, evening obliged us to encamp, although our direct distance from the last camp did not exceed five miles. We had, at each crossing, cut the banks, filled up hollows with logs, etc. The general direction, I ascertained to be N.E. Water was found providentially near the spot, where the approach of night had obliged us to encamp; this having been the first water we had seen during that day's laborious journey. Thermometer, at sunrise, 21 deg.; at 4 P.M., 65 deg.; at 9, 44 deg..
16TH JULY.—After some examination of the valley before us, I considered it best, upon the whole, to travel in the bed of the river itself, and thus avoid the frequent necessity for crossing with so much labour and delay: the sandy bed was heavy for the wheels, and therefore distressing to the animals, and one or two rocky masses obliged us to work out of it, to get round them. The whole day was consumed in proceeding thus about 51/2 miles, and in an easterly direction. The closing in of the valley lower down, seemed to shut us from further progress even so, and I encamped, rather at a loss how to proceed. Just then Mr. Stephenson came to inform me that he had seen, from a rocky point on the left, an opening to the north-west, and level ground beyond it. I therefore determined to accompany him next day, and to reconnoitre the country in that direction. By digging in the bed of the creek, water was again obtained by Corporal Graham. Some extremely fragrant shrubs were discovered in these rocky recesses, especially one, which filled the air with perfume to a great distance around. It seemed to be a EUCALYPTUS without flowers or fruit, but with a powerful odour of balm, and formed a bush five feet high, growing on sandstone rocks, having a narrow leaf, and rather thorny stalk. The lower leaves were also rough.[*] There was another bush, with leaves of the same shape, and glossy, but having a perfume equally strong of the lime.[**] We regretted much, that neither the seed, flower, nor fruit of these interesting shrubs could be obtained at that season. In that valley, we saw also the DAUCUS BRACHIATUS, an inconspicuous weed, and MYOPORUM CUNNINGHAMII. The soft leaved ACACIA PODALYRIOEFOLIA began to indicate its flowering season, and we found a magnificent new crimson CALLISTEMON with its young flowers and leaves wrapped in wool.[***] A new DODONOEA with wingless, 3-cornered, 3-celled fruit[****]; a new species of AOTUS, with narrow hoary leaves[*****], and one of the forest trees was a splendid new GEIGERA, with broad lance-shaped leaves.[******] The PLATYZOMA MICROPHYLLUM, a very singular and little known fern, with narrow leaves and small orbicular leaflets, was also there, with the ACACIA FALCATA, ACACIA EXCELSA, and a shaggy-leaved variety of the AJUGA AUSTRALIS, the Australian bugle. The BRUNONIA SERICEA, with its scabious- like heads of flowers, was common; and the blue flowered HARDENBERGIA MONOPHYLLA was observed among the grass. Thermometer, at sunrise, 25 deg.; at 9 P.M., 41 deg..
[* E. MELISSIODORA (Lindl. MS.); ramis ferrugineo-tomentosis scabris, foliis utrinque papillis rubiginosis scabris ovato-oblongis obtusis supra basim peltatis (floribus fructibusque ignotis).]
[** E. CITRIODORA (Hook. MS.); ramis angulatis fuscis minute tuberculatis, foliis lato-lanceolatis petiolatis pinnulatis patenti- parallelo-venosis viridibus (non glaucis). Sir Wm. Hooker has ventured to name this EUCALYPTUS, though without flower or fruit, from the deliciously fragrant lemon-like odour, which exists in the dry as well as the recent state of the plant.]
[*** C. NERVOSUM (Lindl. MS.); ramis pallidis, foliis ovato-lanceolatis quinque-nerviis mucronatis junioribus tomentosis, rachi calycibusque lanatis.]
[**** D. TRIGONA (Lindl. MS.); ramulis subpilosis, foliis obovato- lanceolatis parum pilosis integerrimis vel utrinque unidentatis, capsulis 3-locularibus trigonis apteris.]
[***** A. MOLLIS (Benth. MS.); undique molliter tomentoso-villosus, ramis crectis-rigidis, foliis sparsis anguste oblongis margine revolutis, calycis vix bilabiati dentibus subaequalibus, ovario breviter stipitato villosissimo.—Near A. PASSERINOIDES Meisn., but differing in the narrow and longer leaves, the calyx and ovary.]
[****** G. LATIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.); foliis ovato-lanceolatis longe petiolatis subtus obscure pubescentibus junioribus convolutis.—This appears to differ from G. SALICIFOLIA in its long-stalked leaves.]
17TH JULY.—Our ride this morning soon led amongst different scenes. By merely turning to the left we came upon a flat, in which another water- course, similar to that we had been tracing (Balmy Creek), came from the west, apparently out of that inaccessible country, across which I had previously looked in vain for a passage. Several other gullies joined this water-course, and seared the flat, which consisted of a deep clay deposit, in almost every direction. After crossing these, we found a fine broad opening between rocky precipices of most picturesque forms. This gap I called Stephenson's Pass; it led into a spacious glen surrounded on all sides but the N.W. by mountains such as I have described, recalling to my memory the most imaginative efforts of Mr. Martin's saepia drawing, and showing how far the painter's fancy may anticipate nature. But, at the gorge of this valley, there stood a sort of watch-tower, as if to guard the entrance, so like a work of art, that even here, where men and kangaroos were equally wild and artless, I was obliged to look very attentively, to be quite convinced that the tower was the work of nature only. A turret with a pointed roof, of a colour corresponding, first appeared through the trees, as if it had been built on the summit of a round hill. On a nearer approach the fine tints of the yellowish grey rocks, and the small pines climbing the sides of a hill abruptly rising out of a forest of common trees, presented still a very remarkable object. I named the valley "Glen Turret," and this feature "Tower Almond," after an ancient castle, the scene of many early associations, and now quite as uninhabited as this. Passing through Glen Turret, we ascended the nearest summit on the right, and from it beheld a prospect most cheering, after our toils amid rocky ravines. On the westward, the rocky range seemed to terminate abruptly towards the north, in an elevated point, which seemed to command an extensive view over the unknown W. and N.W. Out of that region two isolated mountain masses arose from an open country, and were clothed with open forests to their summits. Further eastward, masses of mountain in the extreme distance appeared covered, also, with open forests, and presented finely rounded outlines, not likely to impede our passage, in any direction. But towards the N.W. our view was not so extensive; like the uncertain future, it still lay hid. The retrospect was very extensive, including Mount Faraday in the extreme distance, and which thus afforded me a valuable back angle for the correction of our longitude from any errors of detailed survey. The lofty mass of Buckland's Table Land still overlooked all from the E., and I could here again intersect its three principal points. The view back to the Pass was very fine, for the rocks and wood were so blended on the bold summits, as to present sublime studies for the artist. Far to the westward, an interior line of cliffy range resembled a sea beach, presenting a crescent, concave on that side, apparently the limit to the basin of the Nogoa, and the dividing range between eastern and western waters. Our Pass seemed to be the only outlet through the labyrinths behind us. Even the open plains beyond them were visible in a yellow streak above the precipices. Far beyond these plains, Mount Faraday was distinctly visible, on the horizon of the landscape. Thermometer, at sunrise, 29 deg.; at 9 P.M., 43 deg.. (LI.) 1234 feet above the sea.
18TH JULY.—By retracing our horses' footsteps, the carts were soon brought to the base of the same hill; deep gullies in the clay having obliged us to pass close under it, and, indeed, to cross two of its elevated extremities. We found the country beyond, in a N.W. direction, tolerably open, and we encamped in a valley containing abundance of grass, and near to our camp, water was found in a chain of ponds descending to the eastward. A new SUAEDA, with short leaves, and the habit of a dwarf Tamarisk, was found this day.[*] Latitude, 24 deg. 6' 47" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 31 deg.; at noon, 65 deg.; at 4 P.M., 69 deg.; at 9, 44 deg.. (LII.)
[* S. TAMARISCINA (Lindl. MS.); fruticosa, ramosissima, foliis brevibus cylindraceis imbricatis obtusissimis, axillis lanatis, floribus solitariis sessilibus.]
19TH JULY.—With the intention to lose no opportunity of getting further to the westward, I travelled on towards the base of the most northern summit of the range in the west; but I was, at length, so shut up by gullies and scrubby extremities near its base and all radiating from it, and becoming very deep, that I took the party aside into a grassy ravine near, where I directed the men to encamp, and hastened myself to the summit. From it, the view westward was not so extensive as I expected. Something like precipitous slopes to some channel or water-course, apparently falling either S. W. or N. E., formed the most promising feature; but, although my object was to have travelled in that direction, the scrub seemed too thick to admit of a passage. Open forest land appeared to the N. E., and there, the gently undulating features, although much lower than the range on whose northern extremity I then stood, seemed nevertheless to form a connection between it and some higher ranges of open forest land, that appeared between me and the coast. Through one wide opening in these, about east, I saw some broken hills, at a very great distance, say seventy or eighty miles. The ridgy- connected undulations formed the heads of some valleys sloping to the south-east, whereof the waters would evidently join those of the Balmy Creek, while others, rising on the north-west side, seemed to belong to a separate basin, and to form a river falling to the north-west. This river was indicated only by slopes meeting and interlacing in a valley. To the left or westward of that supposed river channel, a mighty isolated mountain mass shut out any view of the further course of the water of the valley formed between it and these slopes; but, as the very lowest point of the whole horizon, as indicated by the spirit-level of the theodolite, lay in that direction, I determined to pursue that bearing, (10 deg. W. of N.) through the open forest country that intervened. I found that the mountain commanding this view, was elevated 2247 feet above the sea, according to the Syphon barometer, and in using this instrument, I could not forget Colonel Mudge, who had kindly taught me its use; I therefore named that summit Mount Mudge. In the gravel at the base of the hill, were water-worn pebbles of trap and basalt. The rock of which the range itself consisted, seemed to be a calcareous grit, with vegetable impressions, apparently of GLOSSOPTERIS BROWNII. On descending to the camp, I was informed that the cattle-watering party came suddenly upon two natives, one of whom was a placid old man, the other middle-aged. Corporal Graham did all he could to allay their fears, and convince them that they were in no danger from such strangers. The elder at length handed his little bundle to the younger and sat down, on seeing the Corporal's green bough; meanwhile the other walked on. When Graham took the old man's hand, and shook it, also patting him on the back, and expressing a friendly disposition only, the poor helpless man of the woods burst into tears, finding himself incapable of either words or deeds suitable for a meeting so uncommon. They could not relieve him from this state of alarm, so readily as by leaving him sitting, and moving on, which they did. In the scrubs near this camp, Mr. Stephenson discovered a very remarkable tree, apparently a casuarina, having long drooping leaves, hanging like long hair from its upper boughs[*]; and in the stony gullies a DODONAEA allied to D. SALSOLIFOLIA A. CUNN., from Van Diemen's Land, but the leaves slenderer, and three or four times longer[**]. Although we were approaching the tropics, the weather was most cool and pleasant. A delicious breeze played amongst the woods, and welcomed us to the Torrid Zone. Until now, during every clear night the air had been frosty. Latitude, 24 deg. 6' 50" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 34 deg.; at noon, 68 deg.; at 4 P.M., 61 deg.; at 9, 47 deg..
[* See page 285.]
[* D. FILIFOLIA (Hook. MS.); foliis sparsis ramis binis ternisve lineariangustissimis elongatis subrugosis viscosis glabris utrinque canaliculatis falcatis, fructibus trialatis.]
THE PARTY DESCENDS INTO A VALLEY FALLING NORTHWARD.—COMES UPON A CHAIN OF PONDS.—THE HEAD OF THE RIVER BELYANDO.—FOLLOW IT DOWN, THROUGH MUCH WATER SCARCE AT FIRST, IN ITS BED.—RANGE OF HILLS VISIBLE TO THE EASTWARD.—CROSS THE TROPIC OF CAPRICORN.—MOUNT NARRIEN.—OPEN PLAINS, WEST OF THE RIVER.—WATER MORE PLENTIFUL.—NEW PLANTS DISCOVERED.—DRY CHANNEL OF A LARGE RIVER JOINS FROM S.W.—CROSS IT AND PROCEED N.W.—FROM A HEIGHT OBTAIN A VIEW OF THE NORTHERN HORIZON.—MUCH BRIGALOW SCRUB TRAVERSED.—REACH THE RIVER BY MOONLIGHT.—FOLLOW THE CHANNEL MORE CLOSELY.—COME UPON LARGE REACHES OF WATER.—ANOTHER DRY CHANNEL JOINS FROM W.S.W.—RIDE OF RECONNAISSANCE BEYOND IT, TO THE NORTH-WEST.—CROSS FINE DOWNS.—LIMESTONE IN A THICK SCRUB.—ENTER THICK BRIGALOW.—NIGHT WITHOUT WATER.—NEXT DAY MEET WITH THE RIVER.—ITS COURSE BEING EASTWARD OF NORTH, DETERMINE TO RETURN.—NATIVES.—RETRACE OUR TRACK TO THE PYRAMIDS, IN ORDER TO EXPLORE MORE TO THE WESTWARD.—PREPARE TO DEPART, WITH TWO MEN AND YURANIGH.—WRITE DESPATCH TO THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT.
20TH JULY.—AFTER a little trouble with the gullies and brigalow scrub, on first setting off, we came upon fine undulating open forest land, and crossed many a gully and small water-course, all declining towards the N.E. A very remarkable flat-topped hill appeared on our right, resembling a wart, on one of these ridges; to the northward it was precipitous, and seemed to consist of a very red rock. At length, after crossing a ridge rather broader than the rest, with some brigalow scrub upon it, and one or two specimens of that tree of solitary places, the bottle tree, (DELABECHEA) we arrived at valleys and water-courses descending to the southward of west, into a valley turning to the N.W. One, at length, on our right, taking the direction in which I was proceeding, viz., 10 deg. W. of N., I followed it down, and thus entered a broader valley leading N.W. Following this, on a wide flat of open forest, we found at length a fine pond of water in it, and encamped beside it, after a journey of about twelve miles. This valley seemed to continue to the base of the lofty isolated mountain already mentioned, where a lower valley crossed it, falling either to the northward or southward. This I left in pleasing uncertainty until next morning, for I had remarked in that locality, when I stood on Mount Mudge, a long line of grey mist running north and south. I named the large mountain beyond that valley, Mount Beaufort, in honour of my scientific friend at the Admiralty. Thermometer, at sunrise, 40 deg.; at noon, 66 deg.; at 4 P.M., 73 deg.; at 9, 62 deg.. (LIII.)
21ST JULY.—On following downwards the chain of ponds and broad valley, we came upon the bed of a river, running to the N.N.E. We gladly turned in that direction, and after it had received various tributaries from the south, I found it took the course I had foreseen it must from Mount Mudge. We saw water in the channel, and now again I believed that we had at length discovered the head of a northwestern river. The soil consisted of firm clay, and tributaries occasionally impeded our journey. We got amongst brigalow scrub, and could find no water in looking for the channel of the river, which we knew must still have been on our left. Ponds in the scrub could not easily be identified as channels. I met with no better success on turning to the left, and encamped amongst the brigalow, where I found some grass. On riding westward I came upon arid stony ground, on which many of the trees were dead, apparently from drought, and so near the Tropic such a scene was by no means encouraging. On turning my horse, he trod on an old heap of fresh watermussles, at an old fireplace of the natives. This was a cheering proof that water was not distant, which was further indicated by the flight of two native companions, from the N.W. We had encamped on a flat of clay, on which salsolaceous bushes, such as grew on similar plains on the Bogan, had been growing, but were then all withered from drought. The very grass seemed parched and useless. I never saw vegetation so checked by drought. A longer continuance was likely to kill all the trees, and convert the country into open downs. I determined, before I ventured further, to send the cattle to a pond four miles back, next morning, and to examine the country before us. Latitude, 23 deg. 48' 36". Thermometer, at sunrise, 57 deg.; at noon, 69 deg.; at 4 P.M., 75 deg.; at 9, 48 deg..
22D JULY.—Having sent bullocks, horses, and sheep back to the water, I went forward on the bearing of 30 deg. W. of N. I soon fell in with the united channel of the river, and found in it abundant ponds of water, the direction of the course being as favourable as could be wished. From these ponds I perceived a clear hill to the westward, which I hastened to ascend, and from its summit I beheld some fine mountains to the northward, although an easterly wind and sea air brought a haze over them, which soon obscured some of my points. But I saw enough to relieve me of all anxiety at that time about the want of water. A promising valley from the mountains in the eastward, came due west, and from it arose the smoke of many natives' fires. Lines of other rivers, from other ranges, were partly visible beyond, until the haze obscured the outlines of mountains still more remote. The bright prospects of this morning were a pleasing contrast to the temporary difficulties of yesterday. Such is human life in travelling, and so it was in war at Salamanca this day thirty-four years back. We encamped after a short journey on the bank of the river. Latitude, 24 deg. 46' 46". Thermometer, at sunrise, 49 deg., at noon, 74 deg.; at 4 P.M., 73 deg.; at 9, 64 deg.. (LIV.)
23D JULY.—The water in the adjacent pond was trodden into mud, so that none remained for the horses and bullocks this morning. Accordingly, on arriving at a pond about two miles on, we gave water to all, that they might better bear the privation in the afternoon, should we not fortunately find more. The river had a singular tendency to spread into little channels within a belt of brigalow scrub. The little holes formed by these channels were almost all dry, while the withered state of the grass, and even of the forest trees, showed that rain had long been due, and we therefore hoped some would fall before our return. When we had travelled about twelve miles, keeping as close to the river line as the scrub would permit, and crossing one or two fine rising grounds covered with a very open forest, and consisting of large gravel, I found a pond, and encamped near it, on a plain of almost naked clay. Amongst the water- worn pebbles, of which the rising ground consisted, there were, besides the ingredients of the Barwan gravel, many of trap and basalt. Very old and dry grass only, could be had for the cattle. In the pond were small fishes of a different form from any we had seen, having a large forked tail, only two or three spikes in the dorsal fin, and a large jet-black eye within a broad silvery ring. Mr. Stephenson found three crabs, apparently identical with those about the inlets near Sydney. Latitude, 23 deg. 37' 51". S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 46 deg.; at noon, 73 deg.; at 4 P.M. 80; at 9, 55 deg.. (LV.)
24TH JULY.—The morning was overcast by heavy clouds, and the air was balmy and mild, reminding us of the spring season near Sydney. Lightning had been seen to the northward during the night. In following the little wayward channel downward, we met with much brigalow scrub, and crossed two apparently important tributaries. In one of them was a good large pond. We had some trouble with an ana-branch, resembling the main channel, which we had twice to cross at a distance of two miles. With the last tributaries, plains and an open forest country became neighbours to the river; and where we encamped beside it, no scrub was to be seen, and the water lay in a deep broad reach, nearly half a mile in length, with ducks upon it. Towards evening, the unwonted sound of thunder was heard in the west, reminding us, at this season of the year, that we were near the Tropic. In the same direction, two distant storms exhausted themselves, and most likely giving birth to young grass where they fell. During the night, much thunder was heard, and also early next morning, to the northward. Latitude, 23 deg. 31' S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 56 deg.; at noon, 75 deg.; at 4, P.M., 82 deg.; at 9, 66 deg.. (LVI.)
25TH JULY.—There was no hill or other geographical feature near our route, whereby it might have been possible to mark there the limit of Tropical Australia. We were the first to enter the interior beyond that line. Three large kangaroos hopping across a small plain, were visible, just as we entered these regions of the sun. The air was extremely fragrant; the shrubs and grass being still moist with the thunder-shower. The course of the river continued favourable, and the country seemed to improve as we advanced, opening into plains skirted by scrubs of rosewood, and drooping shrubs whose verdure was most refreshing to the eye, after just having passed through dry and withered brigalow. At eight miles a large lagoon appeared on our left, on which we saw many ducks, and at nine miles we encamped where the grass seemed good, finding that water was at hand now, in the river bed, wherever we required it. Latitude, 23 deg. 25' 26" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 45 deg.; at noon, 77 deg.; at 4 P.M., 85 deg.; at 9, 53 deg.. (LVII.)
26TH JULY.—The river appearing to pursue a W. N.W. course, I set out in that direction, attracted there, also, by some open plain separated by scrub from the river. We travelled on, a good many miles, when, instead of the firm clay, we found, under foot soft, red sand, and trees of the genus callitris growing in close thickets. I turned to the northward, and travelled many miles to the eastward of north, without seeing any indications of the river, whose general course had been previously straight. Scrubs of almost every description lay in our way. Brigalow, rosewood, casuarina, a thick light-green scrub of a close-growing bush, new to us, and some scrubs of the tree as yet undescribed for want of flowers or fruit, although well known to us as a graceful, and, indeed; useful bush; of which, as an impediment, we could not much complain; and useful, as forming excellent whip-shafts. This is the tree of unknown fruit figured in my former journal. At length, when it was growing late, I travelled eastward to make sure of the river, and, at length, regained its banks, where we found in its bed plenty of water. The surface looked bare, and the grass dry; but this day I discovered green shoots amongst it, evidently the product of recent rain, and indicating the approach of spring. On sandstone rocks, we found a plant which Sir William Hooker terms "a singular Euphorbiaceous (?) plant[*]," destitute of flower and fruit. Branches very thick, and they, as well as the long petioles and underside of the leaves clothed with dense white wool. Leaves a span long, cordato acuminate; the laminae all pointing downwards, glossy green and glabrous above. Also a new DODONOEA, with very narrow, linear, pinnated leaves. The only hills visible, from a tree ascended by Yuranigh, during this day's journey were those to the eastward, already seen. None appeared above the horizon in any other direction. Thermometer, at sunrise, 39 deg.; at noon, 79 deg.; at 4 P.M., 89 deg.; at 9, 75 deg.. (LVIII,)
[* D. TENUIFOLIA (Lindl. MS.); glaberrima, viscosa, ramulis angulatis, foliis impari pinnatis: foliolis 3-5-jugis linearibus obtusis subalternis.]
27TH JULY.—The same characteristic, still distinguished our river; a variety of channels, so concatenated amongst brigalow scrub, much whereof lay dead, that it was scarcely possible to ascertain whether there was any main channel. Hitherto, I had not detected one; but this was of little consequence to us, so long as these ponds contained abundance of water. This we saw in many parts of our route this day; for I kept as close as possible to the river's course, to avoid such detours as that of yesterday, and being very anxious about the river's general direction, I was glad to find it turn somewhat westward of north. After travelling thus about nine miles, I perceived a blue pic nearly due north, which I named Mount Narrien; and Yuranigh saw from a tree, that there was a range in the same direction, but very distant. This seemed likely not only to send down some additional waters to our river, but also to turn it westward. Entering, soon after, upon a plain of good grass, I looked for water; and, on finding some, encamped after a journey of about eleven miles. Latitude, 23 deg. 9'S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 43 deg.; at noon, 83 deg.; at 4 P.M., 90 deg.; at 9, 53 deg.. (LIX.)
28TH JULY.—The brigalow scrub, still a concomitant of our river, so hemmed in the patch of plain, that I was obliged to move out of it, in a southerly direction. Even thus, however, the scrub was not to be avoided, and we were obliged to force a way through, where the still more formidable impediment of much fallen timber, rendered it almost impossible that our vehicles could pass. This dead wood seemed peculiar to that sort of brigalow, and appeared to remain unburnt, chiefly from the usually naked surface of the ground where brigalow grows. I left the party, when brought almost to a stand, and sought for a more open part, by riding northward. This rather singular river seemed to have spread over a considerable extent of surface, and much of the brigalow, however fond of water, appeared to have died of too much, on spots which had been flooded. I traversed a plain, beyond which I found, what seemed there, the main chain of ponds or channel. There was a fine reach of water, and beside it, were the still smoking fires, water-vessels, etc., of a tribe of natives, who had disappeared. On the plain, the remains of decayed stumps of brigalow showed that there also, this tree had once grown, and that the openings were caused only by such trees perishing; as if, according to seasons, the half-dead scrub might either give place to open downs, or, that the plains might, by long succession of regular seasons, become again covered with scrub. I returned to the party halted in the scrub, and conducted it through an opening I had found, to the plain, and across it, in a N.W. direction; where, after passing through some open forest, we had again to contend with brigalow. One of the many dry channels assisted us much in seeking openings, as the bottom then consisted of smooth, firm, clay. A pond, however, obliged us to quit it, and seek our way through the wood. We arrived next at slightly undulating ground, and finally entered an open forest, where I saw the LORANTHUS SUBFALCATUS of Sir William Hooker. I made Yuranigh climb a tree, from whence he again saw the pic seen yesterday, (the bearing of which I ascertained), and also a gap appeared in the range beside it, through which, as he thought, a river was likely to come down. The extreme westerly escarp of these hills bore 17 deg. E. of N., so that nothing was likely to impede the continued course of our friendly river in the direction we wished. The scrub we met with on the rising ground, consisted of the verdant bushes in rosewood scrubs, and we next found brigalow all dead, with a rich crop of grass growing amongst the dead stems. I had never seen grass, amongst brigalow, when in a healthy state. On turning northward, we next entered upon an open plain covered with good grass mixed with verdant polygonum. I selected a corner of this plain, nearest to the river, for my camp; and, on approaching its bed, found water as usual, near some old huts of the natives. Latitude, 23 deg. 5' 20" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 44 deg.; at noon, 82 deg.; at 4 P.M., 88 deg.; at 9, 58 deg.. (XL.)
29TH JULY.—The scrub between our camp and the river, admitted of easy access from it to open forest ground, over which we travelled in a N.W. direction for several miles. Belts of scrub, consisting of rosewood and other acacias intervened, and, in some parts, TRIODIA PUNGENS grew in the place of grass. But, upon the whole, the country was fine, open, park- like, and with much anthistiria, and other grasses in which a greenness was observed quite novel to us, and unexpected in these tropical regions. Amongst the shrubs, we recognised the CASSIA HETEROLOBA, a small yellow- flowered shrub; also a glutinous Baccharislike plant, and a form of Eremophila Mitchellii, intermediate between the two other varieties. This was a shrub ten feet high. Another new species of the genus GEIJERA formed a tree twenty feet high, with long slender weeping branches. It was otherwise much like the GEIJERA PARVIFLORA, except that its flowers were larger.[*] A dwarf shrub belonging to the genus STENOCHILUS, but new, was found here[**]; and we met also with a large spreading tree, from which we could bring away nothing that would enable botanists to describe it, except as to the texture and nervation of the leaves, which, Sir William Hooker observes, resemble CAPPARIDEOE; but the fruit appeared to be sessile, and was too young and too imperfect to lead to any satisfactory conclusion. The very crows cawed differently from those near Sydney, or, (as Yuranigh observed) "talked another language." This river was not the least unique of our recent discoveries. It still consisted of a great breadth of concatenated hollows without any one continuous channel, and this character seemed to be preserved by various trees growing in the banks. When their large roots became denuded by the floods, or were washed out, or partially gave way, so that the tree fell over the stream, they presented impediments, first to the floating-wreck, and, next, to the water itself: when that collection of floating wreck became consolidated with muddy deposit, new banks so formed forced the river into new currents, working out new courses; and this appeared to give the peculiar character so uniformly observed. It seems extremely favourable for the retention of water in a country where it may be scarce; for the many ponds so formed and shaded from the sun, preserve it much better and longer, than if one continuous unobstructed channel alone, received and carried off, the water of the surface. I found the hollows we saw this day drier than usual; but we at length succeeded in discovering three good ponds. The foliage of the trees, with dry and naked water-worn roots, presented all the hues of an English autumn, although none of these were deciduous. This effect I was disposed to attribute to unseasonable drought, or past heat. The weather we had was delightful; for, although the thermometer in the shade rose sometimes to 90 deg. about 4 P.M., the heat of the Bogan was still fresh in our recollection; and the frosts which, not above three weeks before, had disturbed our sleep, made this degree of heat as welcome as the flowers in May. Latitude, 22 deg. 55' 35" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 38 deg.; at noon, 80 deg.; at 4 P.M., 85 deg.; at 9, 51 deg.. (LXI.)
[* G. PENDULA (Lindl. MS.); ramis gracilibus pendulis, foliis linearibus in petiolum sensim angustatis 5 uncias longis cum ramo parallelis.]
[** S. SALICINUS (Benth. MS.); foliis lanceolato-linearibus integerrimis apice subuncinato ramulisque canescentibus, calycis foliolis brevibus lanceolatis, corollae puberulae inferne attenuatae laciniis obtusis infima retusa vix caeteris magis soluta.—Very near S. PUBIFLORUS, but much whiter, the flowers smaller with the lobes much more equal, the lower one much broader.]
30TH JULY.—The scrub of the river being likely to surround us, I endeavoured to pass it, and cross the river, but on examination I found the brigalow belt beyond, so serious an obstruction, that I adhered to the left bank still, and proceeded N. N. W. The woods opened into extensive plains covered with wild Indigo, as high as a horse's head, and that was skirted by a plain covered with rich grass. Beyond these, we entered an open forest where the anthistiria grew luxuriantly. I saw, from the skirts of the plain, the mass of mountains partly seen in the east for several days past, and I was able to intersect various points. We seemed to be descending to a very low country. A fine large lagoon, covered with ducks, appeared on our right. The whole country was improved both as to grass and trees. The MYOPORUM DULCE, a shrub about five feet high, was perhaps a distinct species intermediate between M. DULCE and M. DESERTI. It had the habit of the latter, but the leaves nearly of M. DULCE. A hollow at length indicated the river bed near us. It contained abundance of transparent water, a continuous channel, rocky bed, and, instead of brigalow, there grew on its banks a thick crop of strong grass, and much verdure. A tributary from the west cost us some trouble to cross, and soon after crossing it, I encamped. The course this day had run well to the westward. We had crossed the 147 deg. of E. longitude, and I was very anxious to learn more of the further course of this river. I crossed it, and hastened to some rising ground, whence I perceived a flat-topped cliffy range extending from S. W. to the N. of west. It was low; the middle part, appearing highest, was probably the nearest to our camp. It was likely to turn our river too far to the northward for our purpose. Latitude, 22 deg. 51' 55". Thermometer, at sunrise, 54 deg.; at noon, 82 deg.; at 4 P.M., 83 deg.; at 9, 45 deg.. (LXII.)
31ST JULY.—We travelled over a rather different sort of country from that recently seen upon the river. It was still on our right, and ran in a deep, well-marked channel. I pursued a N.W. course, although the range I had seen yesterday lay across it. I thus came upon the bed of a large river from the south, very near where our little river joined it. This new river was there fully 100 yards broad, with a sandy bed. I hastened across it, and proceeded still N.W. In the bed, just above the junction of the two rivers, I found a large podded pea, the seed both in green pods and dry pods, was very sweet and edible. The pods were larger than those of Turkey beans, and contained each ten or eleven peas (Dr. L.?) Beyond the last found river, we travelled over open forest land, occasionally passing patches of rosewood scrub on the left. When we might again see water was rather a desperate thought, for we had witnessed our abundant little river, wholly absorbed in a deep mass of dry sand, for such was the bed of the larger. At length we came upon a very spacious dry lagoon. Following this, as it appeared to be the channel of large floods from the river, we arrived at a part containing water, and, still continuing along the hard dry bank, another and another pond appeared, and I finally encamped near the last, where I saw some good grass. The course and character of the river below the junction last mentioned, remained to be ascertained. Parts of the surface in the scrub, which, before the rain, had been quite bare, now presented a crop of lichen, which bore some resemblance to the orchilla. It might have been gathered in any quantity. The ant-hills in this region, presented a different form from any to be seen in the south, consisting of slender cones of hard clay about the size and shape of sugar-loaves on an average, many being larger, or as much as 31/2 feet high, others smaller. In some places they were so numerous, as to be rather inconvenient to ride amongst, especially where the grass was long. Latitude of this camp, 22 deg. 44' 45". Thermometer, at sunrise, 52 deg.; at noon, 70 deg.; at 4 P.M., 69 deg.; at 9, 43 deg.. (LXIII.)
1ST AUGUST.—Supposing that this line of lagoons led to the river, I followed that direction westward, until it disappeared where we came upon the water brigalow. Then, turning northward, I travelled many miles in that direction, through rosewood scrubs, and over ground where the very coarse hard grass grew on red sand. The callitris and casuarina appeared amongst the trees. On a spot rather clear of wood, Yuranigh went to the top of a callitris tree, and saw a lofty mountain somewhat to the eastward of north, and he thought he could trace the trees marking the course of the river to the westward of it. Further westward, the low range already mentioned, was still visible, and he saw that the country between the two ranges was very "deep," as he termed it, meaning very low. Upon the whole, there was reason to believe that the river pursued a course, somewhat to the westward of north. I turned in that direction, and forced our way through scrub and brush, until, after cutting through much fallen brigalow, I entered upon good grassy land, and saw the large Yarra trees before me. These grew by the river, which here looked very important, having a bed wider than that of the Barwan, with sloping grassy banks at least sixty feet high, and Yarra trees growing from the lower margin. Continuing along its banks, we soon found various large ponds of water, and in the short course of it we had to trace before we encamped, the direction was S. W. Many curious plants and trees now appeared about the banks. A rough-leaved fig tree with well-formed woolly, globular fruit; an ALTERANTHERA, with very large balls of satiny white flowers, resembling A. NODIFLORA; the ACACIA FARNESIANA, a prickly tree; the narrow-leaved smooth variety of ACACIA HOLOSERICEA; and in the bed of the river, the ACACIA SIMSII (Cunn.) A broad-leaved form of LORANTHUS NUTANS was parasitical on trees, and the EURYBIA SUBSPICATA of Sir W. Hooker also grew on the upper bank. A very extraordinary CAPPARIS was here observed in fruit. Its leaves were as much as eight inches long, although not more than three quarters of an inch wide, and their hard leathery texture gave them the appearance of straps. It did not afterwards occur.[*] The water in the river was excellent. Thermometer, at sunrise, 23 deg.; at noon, 65 deg.; at 4 P.M., 69 deg.; at 9, 44 deg.. Latitude, 22 deg. 38' 40". (LXIV.)
[* C. UMBONATA (Lindl. MSS.); inermis, glaberrima, foliis coriaceis longissimis loratis obtusis in petiolum sensim angustatis, pedunculis solitariis (2 poll.) stipite brevioribus, fructu ovoideo umbonato.]
2D AUGUST.—We had approached this fine river over a park-like plain, but lower down we found the banks lined with scrub. I pursued a N.W. course in passing through it, and emerged on plains and open forests alternating with scrubs. The scrubs were remarkable, as always involving dry hollows where water had lodged. The clay was then hard; but, in all these hollows, the deep impressions of naked feet of men, women, and children, remained since the bottom had consisted of mud. These numerous receptacles for water, when it is sent, attest the wisdom with which even the clods of the valley have been disposed for the benefit of the animal world. The day's journey was long, and chiefly through that sort of scrub. I was disappointed in my hope of falling in with the river, by travelling N.W. Yuranigh descried from a tree, the continuation, far to the westward, of the low range that had been already seen from a former camp. Its direction had then appeared to be nearly N. and S. The turn the river had taken westward was, therefore, favourable to my hopes, that it would continue in that direction. Its general course was found to be nearly northward. On the other hand, the high ranges in the E. seemed to terminate abruptly towards the N., so that a very low country appeared to be to the northward of our position then, stretching from 40 deg. N. of W. to 40 deg. E. of N., a full quarter circle which the course of the river almost bisected. After travelling twelve miles without seeing any thing of the river, I reluctantly turned N.E., and then E., and in the last-mentioned direction, I hit the river where it contained a fine reach of water. In the dry part of the bed, grew various curious plants in flower, all quite new to me; a species closely allied to the ACACIA DELIBERATA (Cunn.), and a very fine silky leaved TRICHODESMA.[*] A new VELLEYA was also found near this camp.[**] In the scrubs back from the river, the STENOCHILUS CURVIPES was loaded with its long tubular flowers. A small species of Acacia was perhaps a variety of A. LEUCADENDRON Cunn.; and we found also a curious scrubby species of JACKSONIA.[***] Latitude, 22 deg. 30' 10" S. Thermometer, at sunrise, 29 deg.; at noon, 61 deg.; at 4 P.M., 69 deg.; at 9, 40 deg.. (LXV.)
[* T. SERICEUM (Lindl. MSS.); caule erecto sericeo setis nullis, foliis oppositis lineari-lanceolatis basi angustatis sericeopilosis, pedicellis pilosis lateralibus longis, calycis lobis lanceolatis pubescentibus basi pilosis, nucis dorso polito maculato.—Near T. ZEYLANICUM, but quite distinct.]
[** V. MACROCALYX (De Vriese MSS.); foliis omnibus radicalibus, oblongospathulatis acutis, integris, membranaceis, remote, minute et obsolete dentatis, uninerviis, glabris, subdecurrentibus, glabris; scapis radicalibus elongatis, folia vix exaequantibus; bracteis dichotomiarum vel trichotomiarum binis ternisve lanceolatis acutis vel lineari- lanceolatis, floribus 2-3nis; calycibus (involucris) ternis, magnis, membranaceis, ovatis, ellipticisque, acuminatis, basi cordatis, petiolatisque; antherae liberae, stigmatis indusium maximum ciliatum, labiis compressis, cochleariforme.—Folia sunt 6-12 cent. longa, 3 cent. lata, crassinervia; scapi adscendentes, inferne tenuiores, sursum parum elongati.]
[*** J. RAMOSISSIMA (Benth. MSS.) inermis, ramis angulatis ramosissimis glabriusculis, floribus subsessilibus, calycis colorati profunde divisi laciniis duabus supremis diu vel omnino cohaerentibus, legumine subsessili ovato-acuto ventricoso.]
3D AUGUST.—Our carts had been so much jolted about and shaken, in crossing the dead timber yesterday, that I resolved to keep along the river bank this day, if the ground and woods permitted. To a certain distance from the banks, there was less fallen timber, as the natives had been accustomed there to make their fires, and roast the mussles of the river, and other food. The river was found to spread into separate channels, in which I did not readily recognise it, until I found them again united in a splendid reach of water under steep banks. The general course was by no means promising, being somewhat to the E. of N.; it was much to be apprehended that this river, too, would run to the E. coast, and become another instance of the utter want of any knowledge of the interior country, that still may prevail, long after complete surveys have been made of the lines of coast. Again we came upon wide fields of polygonum, and tracks of open forest with large lagoons. Then scrubs of brigalow obliged us to travel in the river bed, as the only open part where we could pass. That surface consisted of clay iron-stone, denuded by torrents, and the "DISJECTA MEMBRA," of a river. Ponds, water-worn banks, and timber, alive and dead, were there intermixed. Emerging from these obstructions, as from a feverish dream, we entered upon park-like scenery and good grass. The latter had been a desideratum during the last two days. We next came upon a river containing plenty of water, and coming from the N.W. I expected this would terminate our journey along the other, and I encamped on discovering it, after a journey of ten miles. The Australian rivers have all distinguishing characteristics, which they seem to possess from their sources to their termination. That we had just quitted, had a great affection, like its upper tributary, for brigalow scrubs, and spreading into ana-branches. This last discovered river seemed quite the reverse of all this. Its channel was very uniform; the banks being covered with open forests and good grass. The bed was sandy, but contained water in abundance, so that I hoped it would lead us to higher regions, by following it upwards, to where other waters might fall in the direction of the Gulf. This river contained the Harlequin fish of the Maranin great abundance. Yet we had found none of these in the river to which this was a tributary, but, on the contrary, two other sorts. There was much novelty in the trees and plants. One tree in particular, growing in the bed of the river, had the thin white shining bark of the tea-tree (mimosa), and drooping leaves shaped like those of the eucalyptus; a HIBISCUS allied to, if not the same, with II. LINDLEYI, but not in flower; a CASSIA, perhaps C. CORONILLOIDES in ripe fruit, or at least closely allied to it, occupied the dry sandy ground with MONENTELES REDOLENS, a silveryheaded weed; and some Cinchonad allied to Coffea, with young fruit, the size of small olives. Latitude, 22 deg. 23' 10". Thermometer, at sunrise, 21 deg.; at noon, 59 deg.; at 4 P.M., 64 deg.; at 9, 37 deg.; with wet bulb, 28 deg.. (LXVI.)