- Category: Edward John Eyre - Vol 2 - Ch 4
- Written by Edward John Eyre
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June 23. — Our horses having rambled some distance back upon our yesterday’s tracks, it was late when they were recovered, and we did not get away until eleven. After travelling a mile and a half, we crossed a stream of most excellent water running over a bed of granite, in which were some large deep pools with reeds growing around their margins. A branch of this watercourse was crossed a little further on, but was quite dry where we passed it.
Nine miles from our last night’s camp a view of the “Rocky Islets” was obtained from a hill, and set at due south. Immediately on descending from the hill we crossed a salt chain of ponds in a bed of sandstone and ironstone, and nine miles beyond this we came to another, also of salt water; here we halted for the night as there was tolerable grass for the horses, and we were fortunate enough to discover fresh water in a granite rock.
In the course of the afternoon I obtained a view of a very distant hill bearing from us W.8 degrees S. This I took to be the east Mount Barren of Flinders; but it was still very far away, and the intervening country looked barren and unpromising. During the day our route had still been over the same character of country as before, with this exception, that it was more stony and barren, with breccia or iron-stone grit covering the surface. The streams were less frequently met with, and were of a greatly inferior character, consisting now principally of only chains of small stagnant ponds of salt water, destitute of grass, and without any good soil in the hollows through which they took their course. Many of these, and especially those we crossed in the latter part of the day, were quite dry, and appeared to be nothing more than deep gutters washed by heavy rains between the undulations of the country.
The rock formation, where it was developed, was exclusively sandstone or ironstone, with inferior granite; and even the higher levels, which had heretofore been of a sandy nature, were now rugged and stony, and more sterile than before; the grasstrees, which generally accommodate themselves to any soil, were stunted and diminutive, and by no means so abundant as before. The general elevation of the country still appeared to be the same. I estimated it at about three hundred feet.
One circumstance, which struck me as rather singular, with regard to the last forty miles of country we had traversed, was, that it did not appear to have experienced the same weather as there had been to the eastward. The little water we found deposited in the rocks, plainly indicated that the late rains had either not fallen here at all, or in a much less degree than they had, in the direction we had come from; whilst the dry and withered state of any little grass that we found, convinced me that the earlier rains had still been more partial, so great was the contrast between the rich luxuriance of the long green grass we had met with before, and the few dry withered bunches of last year’s growth, which we fell in with now.