29th Feb & 1st Mar 1832

Bahia, Brazil
February 29th
The day has passed delightfully: delight is however a weak term for such transports of pleasure: I have been wandering by myself in a Brazilian forest: amongst the multitude it is hard to say what set of objects is most striking; the general luxuriance of the vegetation bears the victory, the elegance of the grasses, the novelty of the parasitical plants, the beauty of the flowers — the glossy green of the foliage, all tend to this end. — A most paradoxical mixture of sound and silence pervades the shady parts of the wood, the noise from the insects is so loud that in the evening it can be heard even in a vessel anchored several hundred yards from the shore. Yet within the recesses of the forest when in the midst of it a universal stillness appears to reign. To a person fond of natural history such a day as this brings with it pleasure more acute than he ever may again experience. After wandering about for some hours, I returned to the landing place. Before reaching it I was overtaken by a Tropical storm. I tried to find shelter under a tree so thick that it would never have been penetrated by common English rain, yet here in a couple of minutes, a little torrent flowed down the trunk. It is to this violence we must attribute the verdure in the bottom of the wood, if the showers were like those of a colder clime, the moisture would be absorbed or evaporated before reaching the ground.

March 1st
I can only add raptures to the former raptures. I walked with the two Mids a few miles into the interior. The country is composed of small hills & each new valley is more beautiful than the last. — I collected a great number of brilliantly coloured flowers, enough to make a florist go wild. — Brazilian scenery is nothing more nor less than a view in the Arabian Nights, with the advantage of reality. — The air is deliriously cool & soft; full of enjoyment one fervently desires to live in retirement in this new & grander world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came across your website and would like to ask if I can have permission to use two or three of your images? I work for a publication that includes articles, photography, poetry on a voluntary basis. I currently have a book review on Brazil's slavery and found that some of your images would compliment the article. If you do allow me to use your photography, please let me know at mochoa@depaul.edu. Also provide me with your full name and contact if you'd like me to include it in the credit. I can also mail you a copy of the publication once it's printed. Send me your address.
Gracias! Maria Isabel Ochoa