Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/44

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24
Description of the Natives of King George's Sound.

grows upon them. At about twenty miles distance, there is a range of hills called by the natives Borringorrup, which are covered with wood, and the timber is of good quality. The ground is rather rocky, but the soil deep and good, producing grass. About twenty miles beyond the Borringorrup range is another, Corjernurruf, which seems to be of a very rugged character. The country is described by the natives as very barren, and covered with salt-water lagoons.

To the west and north-west the country seems to be of a more undulating character and better wooded. The natives also describe it to be more abundant in kangaroo, and that the Banksia and grass-tree are less prevalent. The soil also is stated to be red, and the surface of the country to be covered with short grass.

Between Princess Royal and Eclipse Harbours, the country is formed by undulating downs, interspersed with occasional clusters of trees. The soil is either shallow and red, but not adhesive, or is composed of black vegetable matter, mixed with pure white sand. Here and there upon it is found a kind of couch-grass, but in general the herbage is rushy or heathy.

In all parts of the country there are stagnant pools of water and some of them are of considerable extent. The water is always of a dark colour, and strongly impregnated with a disagreeable vegetable flavour. Some of these lakes are brackish, but ducks, teal, and swans are found upon them.

The prevailing rock in the neighbourhood of the settlement is granite;—the ranges of hills to the northward—Borringorrup and Corjernurruf—are also supposed to be of the same formation. Calcareous rock is found on the sea-coast; and on the low banks, particularly westward, a hard, rugged, and ferruginous stone predominates, on which, where found, the soil is generally of a red colour, but very shallow. The calcareous district consists chiefly of downs.

It is difficult to give any account of the winds or seasons, for they are by no means uniform. The easterly winds generally commence in December, and continue to prevail through the months of January, February, and March: this may be considered the summer. At the commencement of the easterly winds, they are frequently strong, and the weather is showery: as the season advances, northerly winds or calms with fine warm weather may be expected, the thermometer rising to 98°. This will usually continue through March and April, and then the westerly become the prevailing winds, and during June and July are very constant. In August and September south-east winds are often experienced. The months of October and November are generally fine, with occasional showers.

The hot north wind which prevails at Sydney is also occasion-