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A Naturalist in Brazil: The Record Of a Year's Observation by Konrad Guenther

By Konrad Guenther

Boston 1931 Houghton Mifflin. Translated by way of B. Miall. Hardcover. 8vo, 400pp., picture illustrations, index, textile. VG, disguise flippantly dirty and shelf worn, no DJ.

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Extra resources for A Naturalist in Brazil: The Record Of a Year's Observation of Her Flora, Her Fauna, and Her People

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As the wind upon its surface it changes to a vivid ultramarine, while breathes streaks of a lighter blue traverse the darker colour, now close inshore, now farther out to sea. The surface of the water is like smooth silk and satin. Above the city the horizon is flooded with green, while rounded cumuli, touched with rosy light, tower up into the heavens. Now the sun sinks, and all at once light flashes from a thousand the green of the hillside changes to a sinister, poisonous windows ; The boats surrounding the steamer speed away from it, ploughing long black furrows in the water.

And yet this riven chain of mountains is the result not of volcanic forces, but, as we shall read in the tenth chapter, of alluvial deposits, and subsidences, and erosion. If the philosopher Hegel had stood before the mountains of Rio he could not have turned away from them with the words "They have nothing to say to me except that they exist," as he is said to have turned away from the Swiss Alps. I have seen few landscapes which so insistently preach the gospel of becoming as the mountains of Guanabara Bay.

Fancy the lion and the tiger have been almost as much mahgned as the shark. As a general thing these beasts of prey avoid human I beings ; but now and again it happens that an old animal whose teeth are defective, and who can no longer capture wild animals, sinks to the degenerate practice of lying in wait for human beings. But it sharks, cannot be disputed that there have been fatalities due to and here again it seems to be always the solitary and outcast shark which becomes a man-eater. Jack London, writing of the South Seas, calls such man-eaters tiger-sharks ; but the great majority are content with fish.

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