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---continuation commentary #22b----

If we contemplate the dominion of the Rio das Velhas, here in the breadth Etching 59 Rough terrain from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by Alberto and C. Miranda Chorof the Ribeirao do Palmital, as if from above in the air (as down from Serra de Cata Branca, Palm Ridge has the appearance of a great ladder, the steps of which descend from the peak of Monte do Palmital, which is made up of schistose and micaceous iron. These steps are made from clayey schist and siliceous rock rising up through it as if from a lower part; they usually call this schistose "Itacolumite". These ladders descend right to the very edge of the Rio das Velhas, where foliaceous granite only rarely rises up more than 30-40 feet above the surface of the river; this formation stretches continuously all the way to the town of Sabara.

On the western side of the Rio das Velhas the ground ascends, not so much in the manner of a ladder as by a continuous, gentle elevation, up to Pico d'Itaubira, the peak of which juts up boldly like a pyramid at a height

Etching 50 from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by Alberto Chor

of 4591 Parisian feet (3) and displays that singular formation, composed of magnetic, micaceous, and metalloid iron rock which is called "Itaubiriti" Etching 22 Waterfall from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by C. Miranda Chorby our friend Eschwege. In that region along the right bank of the Rio das Velhas up to the eastern branching of the waters, there is vegetation characteristic of fields or Campos, which is interspersed with only a few shrubs and scattered small trees in the higher places. The vegetation is often wet with marshes, so that it might be compared with the boggy meadows of alpine mountain-ridges. Numerous streams run down from these elevated fields, wrapped now with scattered bushes and now with that thick vegetation which we described in etching #2 by the name of Capoeira ; the trees that prevail here, however, differ a bit from those in the lower places. Settlements are not yet frequent in this alpine area of the river's realm; rather, these fields usually serve as pasture for flocks. The Ribeirao do Palmital where it forms the waterfall also breaks forth across those rocks of Itacolumite. The waterfall is 50 to 60 feet high straight up, but the whole mass of rock down which it quickly passes stepwise is far taller. Along the bank of this torrent, which fills the mountain solitudes far and wide with its low, hoarse roar, many beautiful and rare shrubs rise up, the ornaments of Brazil's elevated regions, especially from the families of the Rubiaceae, Laurineae, Vochysiaceae, Anonaceae, Malpighiaceae, Scrofularineae, Gramineae and Filices. Some noteworthy species of Fuchsia, Sauvagesia, Lavradia, Myrcia, Cuphea, and Utricularia pleased my friend Dr. Stephanus very much. These last grow out from the sand which the chill, clear waves of the waterfall wash forth.

#22 of 42 expedition commentaries

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