Page:The Visit of Charles Fraser to the Swan River in 1827.djvu/44

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I had procured some specimens of a most curious plant that flourishes in this part of the globe only. It is called the pitcherplant, and grows in the marshy ground here; it consists of thin stalks about 2 feet high, which produce at the top small wild flowers, similar to the lily in form, only much smaller and possessing no smell. On the stalk, just above the soil, grow several (three to seven) small bulbous flowers, shaped similar to a pitcher, with a cover or top to them. When there is rain, or heavy dew, these covers lift up, and receive all the moisture that falls into them ; on its leaving off raining, the covers shut down, and thus prevent the water escaping. The pitchers thus contain sufficient to supply the plant with nourishment the whole of the dry season, each pitcher containing from one to three spoonsful of water.

On the 4th of April we stood to sea, with a strong breeze from the S.W., and at 10 p.m. on the 15th we anchored within the heads of the heads of Port Jackson, and found that the cutter had reached this place a week before us, having, while off King George Sound, carried away her rudder in a gale of wind, which obliged her to bear up. On the[1] King's Birthday (April 23) the Governor[2] gave a splendid ball and supper, to which we were all invited, but I have no room left for particulars.

On Saturday, the 28th of April, the first regatta witnessed took place. It was got up on board us by Captain Stirling and Captain Ross, of the "Rainbow," and on that day we had all the beauty and flower of Sydney on board, together with the 57th Band, and between the races quadrilles were the order of the day. Captain Ross' boat won the pulling match, and our cutter the sailing. Captain Stirling gave an excellent cold collation, and the party did not break up till late in the evening. The river[3] presented one of the gayest scenes possible, and everybody was delighted.

  1. George IV. was born August 12, 1762, but on his accession to the throne, in 1820, directed St. George's Day to be observed as his birthday.
  2. General Sir Ralph Darling.
  3. Parramatta River.