SOIL OF THE COUNTRY—ALLUVIAL FLATS—VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS—THE GRASS TREE—QUADRUPEDS—BIRDS AND FISH—CLIMATE—INSECTS—RAPIDITY OF PRODUCTION AND DECAY—REPTILES—THE NATIVES—THE SETTLERS—JURISDICTION OF THE GOVERNOR—CATTLE—THE AUTHOR'S HOUSE DESCRIBED.
March 5th, 1831.
It would be impossible to give you such a description of this country as would apply to all parts of it. The general character is that of an interesting landscape, rather than of sublime or grand scenery. There is every variety of soil from white sand, to the deep black vegetable alluvial mould, every variety, general speaking, having something of peculiar production, either of tree, shrub, herb, or flower. On the white sand, the Australian mahogany is found in great abundance, and of excellent quality; on the clay grounds, the red and blue gum trees appear; and sandy soils produce the Banksia and Protea.
For the first fifteen miles up the river, white sands present themselves on either side with some mixture of vegetable mould. In this district, white limestone is tolerably abundant. About three miles above Perth, alluvial flats begin to appear close to the river, and as you ascend, these become more frequent and extensive; the rising grounds change to a brown or red clay, and you lose sight of the sand, which, however, still continue to run parallel to the river, at some distance back, and thus to accompany it almost to its source; on the left bank, ascending the river behind the alluvial flats, is a