Page:The Visit of Charles Fraser to the Swan River in 1827.djvu/15

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while Anthocercis littorea is seen to attain a height of 10 feet. The shores are covered with rushes of great height and thickness, concealing many beautiful syngenesious plants, but they are occasionally flooded. Here I observed the common Casuarina[1] of Port Jackson, though with a stunted habit. These beds of rushes are probably the rendezvous of the dugong, mentioned by Mons. Péron, but of which we saw none[2].

"On examining the shoal water of Pelican Point, I observed an aquatic stoloniferous species of Goodenia, with which the sandy bottom is covered.

"The soil between the above points resembles, in its surface, the sandy soil of the shores of Port Jackson more than any hitherto seen; but, on digging a few inches, it is found to contain a considerable proportion of loam. The valleys and headlands furnish an excellent soil, more particularly that of Garden Point[3]. Here we planted several bananas, and seeds of all sorts of culinary vegetables. This point produces an immense quantity of herbaceous plants, amongst which I observed a pulverulent species of Goodenia and a species of Centaurea.

"The botany of Point Heathcote[4] is splendid, consisting of magnificent Banksias and Dryandras, a remarkable species of Hakea,

  1. Casuarina. If the same shrubby species as that common at Port Jackson, it would be Casuarina distyla.
  2. On the return of the French boating expedition from exploring the Swan River, the party was for 13 hours up to the waist in slime and water, dragging the boat over the mud-flats at Heirisson's Islands, in cold and rain. The following graphic account was given by Mons. Bailly :— "In the midst of all these troubles and dangers, which had come upon us without ceasing, night descended. We were preparing to get ashore to dry ourselves and restore our spent vigor, when all of a sudden a terrible howl freezed us with terror. It resembled the bellowing of an ox, but much louder, and appeared to come out of the neighboring reeds." This occurred at what is now the foot of Plain or Bennett streets, and was not ascribed by name to any animal. May it have been the sea lion or sea bear, Arctocephalus (or Otaria) Forsteri, which has been known to frequent reeds for a lair? Probably the animal was as much frightened as the French.
  3. Garden Point. This is now known as Point Lewis on the maps, and is the present termination of the Mount's Bay-road tramline. The banana groves existing in this locality are the product of the plants placed there by Fraser. A second garden was also planted, probably at the site of the present gardens, which Stirling named, after himself, Stirling Square. These take the place of botanic gardens elsewhere.
  4. Point Heathcote is the Eastern Cape of Frenchman's Bay, about a quarter of a mile north-west of what is known now as Coffee Point.