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
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.
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
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
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!