19 March

Journal, March 19.

Our stores being completed we proceeded along the course of the little
rivulet of Buree, towards the Lachlan. My first object was to gain Mount
Granard, described by Mr. Oxley as the most elevated pic of a very high
range, and laid down on his map to the westward of where the Lachlan
takes a remarkable turn from its general direction towards the low
country more to the southward. I had long thought that it might be
possible to ascertain from this hill whether any range extended westward
of sufficient magnitude to separate the basins of the Murray and the
Darling. I wished to visit it last year, but the loss of Mr. Cunningham,
the consequent delay of the party, and the adverse nature of my
instructions in regard to my own views, together prevented me. I then saw
that the hills along the line I was now about to follow were favourable
for triangulation; but the greater certainty of finding water in a large
river like the Lachlan was my chief inducement for now moving towards its
banks, as the season was of such unusual drought. On this day’s journey I
took for my guidance the bearing of a line drawn on the map from Buree,
as fixed by my former survey, to the mouth of Byrne’s creek, as laid down
by Mr. Oxley; and which I supposed to be the same as that which descends
from Buree.

HALT ON A DRY CREEK.

The line guided me tolerably well to where I encamped that night. This

was on a fine-looking plain, within sight of the wooded banks of the

creek; but, on examining the bed of the latter, I could find no water,

although I followed it two miles down. There I arrived at a cattle

station named Toogang, where there was water. It was nothing to the old

hands of the Darling to go only TWO miles for water. We suffered no

inconvenience from this; but it was deplorable to see the bed of what

must in some seasons be a fine little stream so completely dry and dusty.

This day we met with a new species of Psoralea.* At the camp I

ascertained the magnetic variation to be 9 degrees 10 minutes 15 seconds

East, by an observation of the star Beta Centauri.

(*Footnote. A genus chiefly inhabiting the Cape of Good Hope, India, the

Levant and North America, of which no species have before been published

from Australia. I was subsequently fortunate enough to discover two more

species of this genus; which with one as yet unpublished, found by Mr.

Allan Cunningham in 1818 in the rocky islands of Dampier’s Archipelago on

the north-west coast, makes the number inhabiting Australia to be 4: all

of which are remarkable for their resemblance to the North American form

of the genus. The species we observed on this occasion was a small

spreading herbaceous plant. P. patens, Lindley manuscripts; herbacea,

pubescens, foliis pinnatim trifoliolatis, foliolis dentatis punctatis

lateralibus oblongis obtusis intermedio ovato obtuso basi cuneato, racemo

pedunculato laxo multifloro foliis multo longiore, bracteis subrotundis

striatis obscure multipunctatis, ramis divaricatis.)