24 March

Journal, March 24.

Our guide was now joined by some older natives, and one of them had been
examining the country ahead, being anxious about the safe passage of our
carts. His reconnaissance had not been made in vain, for he led us to an
easy, open pass through a range of which we had heard much from stockmen
as likely to trouble us because, as they said, its rocky extremities
overhung the creek. We crossed it with ease however, guided by the
native. It consisted of granite and evidently belonged geologically to
the ridge traversed by us on the second day after leaving Buree during
our last journey. On the range, green pine trees (callitris) and a
luxuriant crop of grass covering the adjacent country, multitudes of fat
cattle were to be seen on all sides. I had heard that, after crossing the
burnt up surface of the colony, I should see green pastures here, beyond
its limits.

CROSS BYRNE’S CREEK.

We crossed Byrne’s creek, near a cattle station called Lagoura, and after

keeping its banks for four miles further (having for that distance

granitic hills on our right) we finally quitted it, and passed over a

grassy plain of the same kind of soil and character as those extensive

level tracts seen during our last journey but having, what seemed

singular to our unaccustomed sight, a coating of green herbage upon it.

NEW PLANTS.

In our progress I found no fewer than three new species of the pretty

genus Trichinium;* a small species of Sida before undiscovered, with

minute yellow flowers,** and also a fine-looking acacia with falcate

leaves, singularly white or rather silvery, and with drooping graceful

branches.***

(*Footnote.

1. Tr. alopecuroideum, Lindley manuscripts; caule ramoso glabro, foliis

lanceolatis glabris subtus scabriusculis, spicis cylindraceis elongatis,

bracteis rotundatis, calycibus herbaceis sursum calvis acutis, rachi

pilosa, cyatho staminum dentato.

2. Tr. parviflorum, Lindley manuscripts; foliis ovatis acutis petiolatis

subtus et caule furfuraceo-tomentosis, spicis gracilibus elongatis,

bracteis acuminatis scariosis, calycibus lanatis, rachi lanata,

staminibus inaequalibus distinctis.

3. Tr. sessilifolium, Lindley manuscripts; foliis oblongis obtusis

sessilibus et caule furfuraceo-tomentosis, spicis oblongis, bracteis

rotundatis lanatis, calycibus longe tubulosis lanatis sursum pilosis,

rachi tomentosa, staminibus inaequalibus distinctis.)

(**Footnote. S. corrugata, Lindley manuscripts; incana, prostrata,

pusilla, foliis subrotundis angulatis cordatis palminerviis serratis,

pedunculis 2-3 filiformibus petiolis longioribus, fructu disciformi

corrugato, coccis monospermis commissuris muricatis.)

(***Footnote. This proved to be a very distinct, undescribed species. A.

leucophylla, Lindley manuscripts; gracilis, ramulis filiformibus

angulatis albido-sericeis, phyllodiis lineari-lanceolatis falcatis apice

uncinatis obscure 2-nerviis appresse et densissime sericeis: margine

superiore basi subglanduloso, racemis umbellatis axillaribus phyllodio

multo brevioribus.)

REACH THE LACHLAN.

Travelling four miles more across level forest land, we reached the banks

of the Lachlan at Waagan,* a cattle station a mile and a half below the

junction of Byrne’s creek of Oxley, which we had just traced in its

course from Buree.

(*Footnote. Waagan means a crow in the native language.)

FIND ITS CHANNEL DRY.

I beheld in the Lachlan all the features of the Darling, but on a

somewhat smaller scale. The same sort of large gumtrees, similar steep,

soft, muddy banks; and, even in this place, a margin with an outer bank.

But its waters were gone, except in a few small ponds in the very deepest

parts of its bed. Such was now the state of that river down which my

predecessor’s boats had floated. I had during the last winter drawn my

whaleboats 1600 miles overland without finding a river where I could use

them; whereas Mr. Oxley had twice retired by nearly the same routes, and

in the same season of the year, from supposed inland seas!