Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/199

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a?& 0? Strait of Ma?al?a?s. ? 6? e?ern ?mct? which ?s ve? &?e?ut ?rom ? of ?e ceutm,?ure No ]e? ?markab?e, howeve? aud equ?H? iutems?ug? ?s ?be characer of the vege?tion; not so mu? in the variety of plants, u in ?eir stun?d ?owth to the westwa?, ?eir luxuriate in ?e centre, and the total absence of ?s.to the e?tward. For &is m? dilation ?e following masons ?em to me to account sufficiently: ?o &e westward the decom?sit?n of g?nite, and ?e other pri- mitive ? which am found them, fo?s but a p?r, unpr?uctive ?ii; ? that, alth?gh the l?d is thickly covered with shrubs, they am all small and stunted: the torren? of wa?r also ?at ?ur do? ?e steep sides of the hills, w?h a?y the pa? accumu- lations of soil that ?e ?asionally deposited; con?quently, few ?e? am to be found, excepting in cle? and recesses of the r?k, whe? decompo? vegetable mater collects and nou?hes &eir ?wth; but even the? they are low and stunted, for the most luxuriant ?!dom attain a ia?er diameter ?an ni? ? ?n inches. From the regularity of the direction of the strata in ?e slate &s?icts the valleys am ve? extensive, and, being bounded on eider side by precipitous mountaihs much inte?ected by deep m?nes, receive large streams of water, which, uniting together m their coupe to the sea, fo? no i?onsiderable five?. During �e winter mont? &ese rivers become swollen and ove?ow their ban?, and debit a quantity of alluvium, which, blending with the f?len ieavos and other putmscent substances, pr?u?s a g? su?ciai rail, in which tr?s gro? to a large size, and the shrubs and smaile?lants become particularly luxuriant and productive. At PoR Famine, and in i? neighbourh?, the evergrin beech (Fa? ?d?) ?ows in the greatest abundance, and reaches a ? large size. Trees of this s?cies, of &?e feet in diameter, ?e abundant; of four feet them are many; and the? is one ? (?rhaps ?e v?y ?me ?fi? by Commaore Byron*), w?ch measures ?ven feet in diameter for seventeen feet above �e r-?, and &en divides into three large bronzes, each of which is &? feet &rough. This venerable tree seemed to .? ?und, but ?om our expe?en? of several others that were cut down, might ? ex? to prove rott? in the centre. ?is ?ndency w decaying in the he? may ? att?but? to the cold- ? of the sc?sto? sub-soil upon which the ?s are r?ted, as well as to the ?rpetual moisture ? the dimate above alluded to. ?e sla? forma?on ce?s at PoR St. Ma?, but there is no decided change in the vegetation until we come to Cape Negro, wh? ?e clay commences; and from thence onwards ?ere is not a t? W ? found. The nature of the soil is not favomable to