Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beagle Diary, February 29th 1832


The day has passed delightfully: delight is however a weak term for such transports of pleasure: I have been wandering by myself in a Brazilian forest: amongst the multitude it is hard to say what set of objects is most striking; the general luxuriance of the vegetation bears the victory, the elegance of the grasses, the novelty of the parasitical plants, the beauty of the flowers. ...the glossy green of the foliage, all tend to this end. ... A most paradoxical mixture of sound and silence pervades the shady parts of the wood, ... the noise from the insects is so loud that in the evening it can be heard even in a vessel anchored several hundred yards from the shore. ... Yet within the recesses of the forest when in the midst of it a universal stillness appears to reign. ... To a person fond of natural history such a day as this brings with it pleasure more acute than he ever may again experience.
~ Charles Darwin