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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 336

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a mile distant. Cyprus, sitnated between Asia and Africa, partakes of the production of both; sometimes we noticed the birds and plants of Syria and Caramania ; sometimes those of Egypt. Many of the Gralla? we saw were probably birds of passage. April 12. We made an excursion to the mountain of the Holy Cross. We passed by the aqueduct of Laraaca, and after four hours ride over an uneven plain enlivened with varieties of the Rannncnlns asiaticus, now in Hower, we dined under a carob tree. Several little rivulets crossed the road, skirted with the Oleander. These were frequented by the beautiful Merops apiaster, one of which we shot. Numerous Jack-daws burrowed in the holes of the free-stone rock near the rivulet ; and the Roller, which after short flights pitched frequently before us, rivalled the Merops in the splendour of its colours. After dinner we lost our way in the mountains covered with the Pinus pineaj we arrived late at a hamlet belonging to the convent ; and about one hour distant from it. The ascent was steep and difficult; and the sun set soon «after our arrival. Disappointed at finding the convent quite deserted, and no habitation being near, we resolved upon attempting an entrance by force. The different instruments we had bronght with ns of digging were employed : but withont success. At length a Caloyer arrived with the key, and baring opened the door of the church, we discovered some straw mattresses ; these were drawn before the Altar, and we lay down to repose. The mountain, a bluish grey argillaceous rock thinly covered with earth, furnished but few plants; a species of Astragalns, which I do not find mentioned by Liiinams, called by the Greeks άγριόκιτζος, grew in abundance. 1 saw the Valeriana tuberosa, which is certainly the mountain-nardns of Dioscorides, on the snmiuit, with the Ziziphora capitata, and a species of Cncnbalus and Thymus, neither of which I find described. On the walls of the convent 1 observed the golden Henbane growing plentifully. [Near the convent of the Holy Cross I observed the golden Henbane in abundance : and when we had descended, a peasant brought me a pumpkin with water; it was corked with a bush of Poterium spinosnm, which served both as a coverlid and a strainer, and prevented the entrance of flies and other insects. It preserves in most of the Greek islands its ancient name ~τοιβή. The stools on which we sat were made of the Ferula gneca ; the stems cut into slips and placed crossways were nailed together. This is one of the most important plants of the island in respect to its economical uses. The stalks furnish the poorer Cyprian with a great part of his household furniture, aud the pith is used instead of tinder, for conveying fire from one place to another. It is now called νάρθηκα, the ancient name somewhat corrupted. Memoirs, p. 284.] April 13. At eight we left the convent ; the Pinus pinea was less frequent as we advanced in our descent. 1 observed a new species of Gladiolus, G. montanns, and Thymus tragoriganum, frequent. Arrived at the bottom, we stopped at a village to refresh ourselves; we then passed through a more level country covered with different species of Cistus, the Onosma orientalis and Lithospennum tenuitlornm. I observed among the scarcer plants the Brassica vesicaria aud the Salvia ceratophylloides. Swarms of locusts in their larva state often blackened the road with their number, and threatened destruction to the crops of com now almost ripe. Near the aqueduct we observed several hawks hunting in troops; Falco tinumieulus was the most frequent species in the island, called by the Greeks κντζος. "We shot two other species ; one with a blue tail, named Mavremati, and another, something like a buzzard, called φαλκόνι. April 17. "We set off at eight in the morning for Famagusta. [The reapers were busy hi the harvest, and the tinkling of the bell fixed to their sides expressed their fears of the 326 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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