Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 205
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 205
 
seemed advisable to wait until the weather became better before attempting to go forward. Moreover, there had been no chance to take the desired astronomical observations. There was very little grass for the mules; but there was abundance of a small-leaved plant eight or ten inches high—unfortunately, not very nourishing—on which they fed greedily. In such weather and over such muddy trails oxen travel better than mules.
  In spite of the weather Cherrie and Miller, whom, together with Father Zahm and Sigg, we had found awaiting us, made good collections of birds and mammals. Among the latter were opossums and mice that were new to them. The birds included various forms so unlike our home birds that the enumeration of their names would mean nothing. One of the most interesting was a large black-and-white woodpecker, the white predominating in the plumage. Several of these woodpeckers were usually found together. They were showy, noisy, and restless, and perched on twigs, in ordinary bird fashion, at least as often as they clung to the trunks in orthodox wood-pecker style. The prettiest bird was a tiny manakin, coal-black, with a red-and-orange head.
  On February 2 the rain let up, although the sky remained overcast and there were occasional showers. I walked off with my rifle for a couple of leagues; at that distance, from a slight hillock, the mist columns of the falls were conspicuous in the landscape. The only mammal I saw on the walk was a rather hairy armadillo, with a flexible tail, which I picked up and brought back to Miller—it showed none of the speed of the nine-banded armadillos we met on our jaguar-hunt. Judging by its

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