The Rapids Are Caused By Rocks Of Dark Brown Trap, Or Of Hardened Sandstone,
Stretching Across The Stream.
In some places they form
miles of flat rocky bottom, with islets covered with trees.
At the cataracts noted
In the map, the fall is from four to six feet,
and, in guiding up the canoe, the stem goes under the water,
and takes in a quantity before it can attain the higher level.
We lost many of our biscuits in the ascent through this.
These rocks are covered with a small, hard aquatic plant, which,
when the surface is exposed, becomes dry and crisp, crackling under the foot
as if it contained much stony matter in its tissue. It probably assists
in disintegrating the rocks; for, in parts so high as not to be much exposed
to the action of the water or the influence of the plant,
the rocks are covered with a thin black glaze.
In passing along under the overhanging trees of the banks,
we often saw the pretty turtle-doves sitting peacefully on their nests
above the roaring torrent. An ibis* had perched her home
on the end of a stump. Her loud, harsh scream of "Wa-wa-wa",
and the piping of the fish-hawk, are sounds which can never be forgotten
by any one who has sailed on the rivers north of 20 Deg. south.
If we step on shore, the `Charadrius caruncula', a species of plover,
a most plaguy sort of "public-spirited individual", follows you,
flying overhead, and is most persevering in its attempts to give fair warning
to all the animals within hearing to flee from the approaching danger.
The alarm-note, "tinc-tinc-tinc", of another variety of the same family
(`Pluvianus armatus' of Burchell) has so much of a metallic ring,
that this bird is called "setula-tsipi", or hammering-iron.
It is furnished with a sharp spur on its shoulder, much like that
on the heel of a cock, but scarcely half an inch in length.
Conscious of power, it may be seen chasing the white-necked raven
with great fury, and making even that comparatively large bird
call out from fear.
Enter page number
Page 370 of 1070
Words from 106053 to 106415