Thursday, November 29, 2007

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 & 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's 'Beagle' Diary, February 29th 1832