Thur 29 Nov 1883, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Trove

Probably there are few portions of the colony so seldom visited, and, therefore, so little known as the extreme southern and south-western districts of Yorke's Peninsula.

Now and again, at long intervals, brief items of information appear in the Adelaide papers having relation to the course of events among the comparatively small and widely-scattered population of that region, from which it is easy to infer that on the whole there is not much excitement of any kind to ruffle and disturb the normal quietness and calm of their life. Recently business engagements led me to the Peninsula, and, having a few days to spare, I determined to spend them in paying a long-promised visit to a few friends in that out-of-the-way corner of the colony. Before doing so I was led to understand that I should have plenty of sport, as kangaroos were numerous, and on many points of the coast there were capital fishing grounds, and in this I was not disappointed. Leaving Adelaide about 8 o'clock in the morning I went to Largs Pier and soon found myself and what little impedimenta I took with me on board the new steamship Warooka. The day was fine and the sea smooth, and in about three and a half hours after leaving Largs Pier we were alongside the jetty at

Edithburgh. This township, although very small, aspires to be a fashionable watering place, and during the summer season is said to be crowded with visitors, most of whom come from Adelaide in quest of health and to get out of the reach of the heated atmosphere and pungent odors of the city. The township consists of a couple of hotels—the Edithburgh, a two-storey well-built place, with a balcony, from which can be had a fair view of the surrounding district, and the Troubridge, a few stores of inferior construction, a couple of blacksmiths' shops, a Wesleyan Church, an institute the grounds of which are in a slovenly condition, a State school only partly finished, the National Bank premises, and a few private dwelling-houses. The civic affairs of the place are managed by a full-blown corporation. The climate of Edithburgh is most salubrious, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to name any other portion of South Australia where the air is so finely moderated by sea breezes and the temperature is so uniform all the year round. Situated on high ground, with the tea on three sides of it, hot winds are almost unknown, and sleepless nights be-cause of the heat are never heard of. The most prevailing wind in summer time is that from the south-east, which generally springs up at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and the remainder of the day is very pleasant. The coast about here is most romantic, and the fine bold cliffs on which the township is built strike the new arrival by steamer at once by their rare beauty. When the tide is out there is plenty of opportunity for the naturalist to acquaint himself with the numerous forms of marine life which abound in every direction. Of Echinoder-mata there is an almost infinite variety, and the little nooks and corners of the many caves under the cliffs close to the township, especially on the northern side of the jetty, are nothing less than perfect marvels of sea-life. Of Echinidea, the psam-mechinus esculentu and Spatsogus purpurens are quite common, while of the Asteridea, the Solaster pap poeus, Astrogonium phrygianum, and Asterias rubens specimens may be picked up anywhere, whilst the tame may be said of the various forms of Holothuridea. There is also plenty of sport for the fisherman, and almost any quantity of schnapper, whiting, mullet, garfish, and tommy rough can be hooked up in a very little time by an expert angler. Scores of baskets of these fish are sent off by the steamer to the Adelaide market three times a week, and yet " there's more to follow." The supply seems inexhaustible. It is no uncommon thing to see as many as a dozen fishing smacks doing business in these waters, and their white and brown sails darting hither and thither, or lazily gliding along with the tide, help to make up a pretty picture. Five miles southeast of the jetty is

Troubridge Island, where the lighthouse is erected. Three keepers with their wives and families reside there, and according to all accounts manage without much difficulty to get through the average amount of quarrelling and social unpleasant-ness incidental to most small communities. A week or two ago nearly all the members of the Marine Board visited the island in the steamer Governor Musgrave, for the purpose of investigating and if possible settling some apparently trifling dispute. The island is connected by telephone with the Edithburgh telegraph-station, and this is found to be of considerable convenience, as all the ship-ping to and from Spencer's Gulf, Wes-tern Australia, and England pass close by ; and as Marion Reef, near the island, has been the scene of one or two shipping disasters the utility of easy and through communication is evident. With care and fore-thought on the part of the

Edithburgh people and their municipal representatives their little town could be rendered very attractive, and would soon become extremely popular among pleasure-seekers. Unfortunately, there is no beach close to the township, and bathing is rendered difficult to most people and dangerous to all, because of the rough nature of the coast and the great depth of water. What is wanted is the clearing and fencing in of one of the many small bays for bathing purposes. The building which at present does duty for a bathing house is not suitable for that purpose. There is absolutely no protection against sharks, octopi, and stingrays, which are known to swarm about here. It is also too near the jetty to be pleasant, and its unsightly shape and size are not suggestive of comfort or convenience. The corporation should also pay some attention to the appearance of their streets, which were certainly not clean at the time I visited the place. The town was more like a huge farmyard than anything else, where horses, pigs, cows, and poultry were allowed to wonder at their own sweet will. This state of affairs by no means adds to the attractiveness of the place ; nor does the present high rate of fares by the steamer, which are simply prohibitive, induce Adelaide people to visit Edithburgh as a place of holiday resort. If the directors of the steam-ship company want to discourage traffic they cannot do better than keep to the present fares all though the summer. In anticipation of a good season this year, Mr. J. Gottschalck has built a large boarding-house of fifty rooms, about a quarter of a mile south of the township, near Sultana beach. The venture is a very risky thing, and Mr. Gottschalck deserves success for his spirited enter-prise. I noticed most of the crops about Edithburgh were promising well for the harvest, and the farmers generally were in good hopes. Hay harvesting was in full swing, and the yield was said to be better than for several years past. Between Edithburgh and Yorketown there is a splendid macadamised road, and along the whole distance, ten miles, on each side of the road the wheat crops were looking first-rate. Most of the farmers to whom I spoke said they expected to reap an average of about ten bushels to the acre all round. Some of the paddocks they said will go over that amount, but others, where the crops are inferior, will yield less. Red rust and take-all have scarcely made their appearance in this part of the district. Some of the paddocks have, however, got very dirty, and in many cases what was sown for wheat has been cut for hay. Yorketown is considerably larger and a much more pretentious place than Edithburgh. The two hotels are well kept, clean, and very comfortable. The stores are large and substantial, and most of the dwelling homes stand in the centre of well-arranged flower gardens. The town is admirably laid out, and its clean and orderly condition reflects credit on the authorities. The courthouse is a handsome building, and so also is the post and telegraph office. Mr. Mathews, the local postmaster, is an intelligent and enthusiastic naturalist and botanist, and devotes most of the little spare time he has not only to storing bis own mind with useful information, but in seeking to cultivate in the minds of others a love of science for its own sake. To judge of the morality of the place, from the number of churches one is led to suppose it must, or ought to be very high. There are six places of worship—Roman Catholic, Anglican, Wesleyan, Baptist, and two Lutheran. The State school is a plain neat building, and has accommodation for about eighty children. The local flour mill is reputed to have beaten Adelaide flour out of the market, and Mr. Nankervis, its owner, has spared no expense so as to produce a good article. The town generally has the appearance of comfort, is compact, and contains the largest population of any place on the peninsula south of Moonta. It is also centrally-situated, and most of the surrounding country is of average quality. A few fruit and vegetable gardens have been started in the immediate neighborhood, and so far have succeeded well. About five miles east of Yorketown lies Penton Vale, an agricultural area, in which is situated the village of Oaklands. Not much of this district has been laid under cultivation, but the few pad-docks to be seen look well, and about ten bushels per acre are expected. Most of the land about here is used for sheep-grazing, and is owned by Messrs. Anstey & Giles, who are old settlers. Leaving Yorketown I started for Warooka, a small but thriving township fifteen miles to the westward. The road is metalled nearly the whole way, and for about half the distance lies through land of fair quality. The farmhouses are for the most part good substantial buildings, and there is an appearance of permanence about them not seen in many districts. A peculiar feature of the country about here is the great number of salt lakes. I saw dozens of them. They vary in size from half an acre to upwards of two hundred acres. They are all shallow, none of them being more than about a couple of feet deep, and in summer time, when the water has evaporated the beds of the lakes are covered with a deposit of salt and gypsum which can be easily utilised for commercial purposes. A singular thing about these lakes is the fact that almost invariably the western banks are comparatively steep and broken, while those on the east are flat and shallow. They cover an aggregate of thousands of acres, and although in most cases the land is cultivated to their very edge they can be put to little practical use. Before reaching Warooka the traveller by making a short detour can pass through Moorowie station. This is the property of Mr. William Fowler, of Yarroo, Kulpara, and was for many years his residence. The home-stead has been long occupied by Mr. Geo. Phillips, the manager of the station, During last winter some new ground on this station was broken up, ploughed, and sown, and the crop was looking splendid, and far better than anything I saw during the whole of my trip. Mr. Phillips expects to reap at least twenty bushels an acre, and rather more than this may be obtained from the best of the ground. The extent of this good soil is, however, limited, and the average of the whole 500 acres sown will probably be about fifteen bushels. The whole country about here when I saw it was well grassed, and all kinds of farm and station stock were looking in first-rate condition. Between Moorowie and Warooka lies the "Big Swamp." This is a flat miserable piece of country, about four miles wide from east to west and six miles from north to south, of rough limestone formation, with patches of saltbush growing about. In winter it is said to be nearly all under water, and crossing it at that time of the year in the face of a gale of wind must be a treat. From the geological appearances there can scarcely be a doubt that at no very remote age what is now known as the "swamp" was simply a narrow strait between Hardwicke Bay on the north and Sturt Bay on the south, through which the sea found its way. All the land here is useless. Getting on to Warooka the aspect of the country changes wonderfully, and I again saw some capital wheat paddocks. The township is well situated on a ridge of the Peasey Ranges, commanding a very ex-tensive view in every direction. There are a public-house, a store, post-office, two village blacksmiths, a State school, a good sized and handsome Roman Catholic Church, a small Wesleyan Chapel, and a police-station. The view of the surrounding country, with the sea, the shipping, and Point Turton jetty is picturesque. The Warookaites are justly proud of their city on the hill, and woe betide the unfortunate visitor who fails to appreciate and express his admiration of the place. A large portion of the farming and about here is the property of Mr. J. Day, of Edithburgh, and the crops about the township will not be less than from 10 to 12 bushels per acre. I saw some self-sown hay crops on the slope of the hill which reached a couple of tons per acre. About 10 miles west of Warooka, in the hundred of Para Wurlie, lies the estate of Mr. H. R. Fuller, tie present Mayor of Adelaide. There is very little cultivated ground on the way thither, but the country is well grasped everywhere. Most of the timber is sheaoak and ti tree, but mostly stunted ; in fact, fine timber is not to be met with on any part of Southern Yorke's Peninsula, Mr. Fuller has spent thousands of pounds on his property, and the homestead, stables, woolshed, and other buildings are all of the most substantial character. Close by is what is spoken of as Ward's Folly, where Mr. Ebenezer Ward spent money very liberally, and reaped for himself and those who assisted him little in return. Not much wheat has been sown here, but what there is is expected to turn out favorably. Proceeding still further westward the country becomes very inferior, and is mostly lime-stone with a thin coating of sandy soil. Small odd patches of cultivated ground are met with, but settlement on an extensive scale is not to be met with. From here to Daly Head, the extreme point on the western coast, no settlement of any kind has taken place, but across the Parawurlie swamp, and through Levens on to Corney Point a few farmers have taken up ground along the northern coast, and some of it looks extremely well. One poor settler, tired of the constant failure of his crops, which had become monotonous and wearisome, has put up a signboard on the roadside to the following effect:—" Notis. —This land is For Sail." As this block is close to Coutts' lake, a ti-tree swamp covering an area of about fifty acres, all that is wanted to make it "sailable" is some one to come along to raise the wind, and the thing is done. At Orrie Cowie is Mr. Hannay's head station. Here there is any quantity of fresh water, but the ground is more suitable for sheep grazing than for agricultural purposes. At Levens the cultivated sections run down to the beach, whence the wheat is shipped in boats and small ketches and sent round to Port Adelaide. Farming here appears to be carried on under great difficulties. The country is "coasty," and sheep and cattle have to be sent away to the Peasey ranges during a portion of the year, as otherwise they would die off. One of the neatest homesteads in this district is that of Mr. H. Glover. Every thing here is in "apple-pie" order, and the little garden in front of the house was quite gay with flowers when I passed through. Mr. Glover has named his farm " Elim," in allusion to Numbers xxxiii. 9, "The children of Israel pitched their camp at Elim, because there were there three-score and ten palm trees and twelve wells of water." This modern Elim has no palm trees about it, but the wells of good clear fresh water are there. Firmly braided with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer Stood on the side of the hill commanding the sea; and a shady Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it. Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow. Further down, on the slope of the hill, was the well, with its moss-grown Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses. Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the farmyard : There stood the broad-wheeled wains, and the antique ploughs and the barrows; Here were the folds for the sheep; and there in his feathered seraglio, Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the self same Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter. Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village: in each one Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase. Under the sheltering eaves led up to the odorous corn loft. There, too, the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates Murmuring ever of love; while above in the variant breezes Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation." From Elim to Corney Point, in the hundred of Carribie, is about ten miles. Most of the country is taken up under the Scrub Lands Act, and there are some good average crops on that which is cultivated. It is expected that the yield will be from eight to ten bushels. Further inland the ground is very inferior and utterly unfit for cultivation. There is a post-office at Corney Point, kept by Mr. J. Y. Barclay, who has a farm of about 400 acres. The wheat crop appeared thin and short, but the hay harvest turned out well. He has a small paddock laid down with lucern, which seemed to be succeeding admirably. Mr. Barclay is a well-read man, and has evidently found time among his many engagements to acquire a considerable amount of information. The mails from Adelaide for Carribie pass through Edithburgh, Yorketown, and Warooka, and arrive at their destination once a week only, on Sunday mornings, and are dispatched the same day at about 2 p.m. Every Sunday afternoon Mr. Barclay conducts a Church of England service in his house, which is attended by most of his neighbors.

At the Point is the lighthouse, a brick and stone erection, in the tower of which is a fixed dioptric light of the third order. The head keeper and his assistant (Messrs. Dagwell and Christie, respectively) have their residences adjoining. Mr. Dagwell was for many years harbormaster at Glenelg. Shortly before my visit to the Point a large whale 50 feet long was found one morning stranded two miles south of the lighthouse. The skeleton was preserved, and has, I believe, been bought by the Government. During the time the whale was lying on the sands a lot of people went down from Yorketown and Warooka to see it, and the place became unusually lively for a few days. The number of empty whisky bottles still lying about at the scene of the "wreck" is uncommonly suggestive. The coast, from the lighthouse as far as Daly Head, is high and bold, and from there to West Cape, and round by Cape Spencer, opposite the Althorpe Islands, to Rhino Point, it is bolder still; in places the scenery is grand. In the hundred of Warrenben there is no settlement of any kind. The country is unsuited for it; there are thousands of acres literally covered with lime- stone, and that district is about as poor as it can well be. Coming round to the hundred of Coonarie, the only piece of settlement is at Point Davenport. Five or six families have taken up ground there, but the soil has a hungry look, and the few paddocks I saw gave but little promise for the harvest. The whole district is most forbidding, and it is surprising that any sane person should have ever dreamed of pitching his tent among such miserable surroundings. With one or two friends I had a capital day's sport among the kangaroos, which are numerous here. Point Davenport was surveyed in allotments for a township some time ago, but few, if any, were sold, and nothing is seen of the proposed town of Nugent but dozens of surveyors' pegs and cuttings. Proceeding by the south coast eastward for about twenty miles Tucockcowie in passed through a small station formerly owned by Mr. W. Gilbert, of Pewsey Vale, but now in the hands of Messrs. C. & J. Day, and Port Moorowie is reached. There is not much farming along the line of road. At Port Moorowie, and from there to Mount Melville, most of the ground is taken up, but the area of good land is extremely limited. The population is small, the farms are poor, and the paddocks are nearly all very dirty. Not more than five or six bushels will be reaped through most of the district, although three or four paddocks looked as if they would yield about eight bushels. There is a good jetty at Port Moorowie, which is used only for shipping wool and wheat. The village of Mount Melville has decayed considerably, and the little public school which was formerly conducted there has been closed. Honiton is about six miles farther to the eastward, and is situated in the middle of the Troubridge agricultural area. The Troubridge State school building does duty for both school and institute purposes, and the library, which was courteously shown me by the secretary, Mr. Wm. Correll, contains more than the average number of volumes of good, wholesome, sound literature. For its size it is certainly the best public library I have seen. The crops about here vary considerably. Some of the ground is poor, other portions have been badly farmed and worked out, and clean healthy crops are the exception. It is estimated that the average of the paddocks from Honiton, round by Troubridge and Wattle Points, and thence to Edithburgh, will not be above seven bushels to the acre, and some of the farmers expressed themselves doubtful of reaping even that quantity, although the rainfall this year has been considerably in excess of that for several years past. After staying a short time near Edithburgh to recuperate after my long ramble round the coast, I determined to return to Adelaide via Stansbury, and so availed myself of the opportunity of driving along the cliffs between those two places. I was advised to do this by several persons, all of whom described the road as one of the finest drives in the colonies. And it is, without exception, quite as pleasant and exhilarating as any I know of. The road lies on the top of the high cliffs all the way, a distance of about fifteen miles, passing through the small villages of Coobowie and Pickering. At the latter place is a small jetty, but it does not seem to be much used. Stansbury is a nice little place, has a beautiful, clean, hard, sandy beach, splendid bathing grounds, and a jetty a thousand feet long. The chief drawback to the place seems to be the want of deep enough water at low tides to allow the steamers to come close in. On the way to and near Stansbury are some good wheat crops, most of which should turn out not less than from twelve to fifteen bushels to the acre. About a couple of miles north of the township, Mr. F, Wurm, a well-known resident of Unley for many years, has a large area of ground laid out as an orchard and flower and vegetable gardens. The trees are young yet, but they appear to be thriving, and the vines are laden with fruit. Vegetables of all kinds are in profusion, and so also are the flowers. I returned to town greatly interested in what I had seen of the Peninsula, and much pleased and benefited by the outing I had. In some respects I was disappointed with the scenery, which away from the coast is rather tame. Of the whole peninsula it may be said there is not a hill worth speaking of, nor is there a permanent stream. I do not think it will carry a larger population than at present, and many people arc of opinion that it has seen its best days; that the farms will get into larger holdings by the small blocks becoming gradually but surely absorbed; and that much of the ground now cultivated will revert to pastoral purposes. When I was in the district westward of Warooka I made it my business to enquire what the people there did in the matter of attending schools and churches, because so far as I could see there were neither schoolhouses nor places of worship of any kind whatever. I was informed that the population was so small and widely-scattered that no place of worship could be erected. I learned, however, that the district is periodically visited by the Rev. Mr. Whitton, Anglican clergyman of Edithburgh, who spends a week at a time going about among the farms and wherever practicable, conducting services in the farmhouses. These labors appear to be highly appreciated by the people, but from the nature of the country travelled through they must necessarily entail a large amount of toil and real hard work on the part of that gentleman. In the way of day-school accommodation the residents are not so well off. They are too far from Warooka to send their children thither; they are too far from each other for them to unite and agitate to have a school built among themselves; there is no central place in which a school could be erected; and they are too poor to engage governesses. This is a serious state of affairs. Here are scores of children growing up without any regular school training, and in fact entirely destitute of education, except what little their parents can give them, which from the circumstances of the case must be of the most meagre and elementary nature. How to cope with this difficulty successfully it is all but impossible to say. Doubtless there are other portions of the colony as unfavorably situated as this one, and it may be regarded as inseparable from newly-settled districts. This fact does not, however, solve the difficulty. Something should be done, if possible, to remedy this un-desirable condition of things, and the educational system of the colony cannot be regarded as complete if it fails to reach large numbers of children. What seems to be the only feasible plan which can be adopted is to appoint travelling schoolmasters, to be paid fixed salaries wholly by the State. These should have charge of certain districts, each containing say about twenty families. On fixed days at regular times the teacher should visit certain houses and give instruction to the children. Before leaving the house lessons might be set for the pupils, to be prepared by the time the teacher again visited that place. This appears to me the only way in which children so circumstanced can be taught. There would be difficulties in settling the details of such a scheme, and some trouble would very likely be experienced in getting suitable teachers; but this should not prevent the making of some effort towards meeting this pressing need. O, for the coming of that glorious time When, prizing knowledge as her noblest wealth And best protection, this imperial realm, While she exacts allegiance, shall admit An obligation on her part to teach Them who are born to serve her and obey; Binding herself by statute to secure For all the children whom her soil maintains The rudiments of letters, and inform The mind with moral and religions truth, Both understood and practised, so that none, However destitute, be left to droop. By timely culture unsustained, or run Into a wild disorder, or be forced To drudge through a weary life without the help Of intellectual implements and tools— A savage horde among the civilised; A servile band among the lordly free.


Sat 12 Feb 1910, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Trove

Yorke Peninsula has been progressing for several years. The southern peninsula especially has shown a great forward movement The port of Edithburgh, which is now the fourth largest shipping port of South Australia, is the outlet for agricultural pastoral, salt, gypsum, lime and dairying industries....

Forty Years Reminiscences on Southern Yorke's Peninsula.

Saturday 15 February 1913, Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove

In the early part of the year 1870 Messrs James Brown, George Hoare, Thomas Correll, James Davey, James Dugan, senr. and jnr , came to Southern Yorke's Peninsula to settle on their selections near what is now known as Seven Roads in the Troubridge Agricultural Area. They had taken up land under the Strangways Land Act.

These pioneers, who have now gone to their rest had a hard time at first, as their selections had been fed off until not a bite of grass was left. It was difficult to get supplies, as their was only a small sailing craft trading about once a fortnight. Stock had to be fed on sheoak. The pioneer farmers received a weekly mail overland from Adelaide through the courtesy of Mr L . H . Giles, the manager of the Pentonvale station. A district council was formed and roads were cleared. A small jetty was built at Point De Mole now called Edithburgh. Steamers trading to Wallaroo called in and storekeepers and tradesmen came and settled in in the village. In a few years the seasons became more dry and red rust made its appearance. The kinds of wheat then grown were not so rust resistant as those now used. The farmers grew wheat year after year on the same land until the land began to grow sick, oats and barley were then tried but low prices and not much demand soon put an end to that. A large industry was worked up with hay and has been maintained till the present. At one time bricks were made near Lake Fowler but the clay turned out to be unsuitable. Before the farmers came the owners of Pentonvale station had had the salt from the many lagoons bagged and carted to the seaboard but as there was no market for it, the salt was left there until the bags rotted away. The salt trade was afterwards taken in hand by Mr Thos. Woods, then followed Henry Berry & Co. who put up refineries at the various lakes. Now, as is well-known, the refining of the salt is all done at Edithburgh where the factories work day and night. The Gypsum (sulphate of lime) which there are thousands of tons round some of the lakes has become a trade of considerable extent and gives constant employment to a number of men and teams. In the eighties we had a run of late and dry seasons, many of the settlers and tradespeople left the district. The farmers tried pig raising, poultry and sheep. At that time very little wheat went to market and at one time sheaved hay had no commercial value, the pick of a yard of horses could be bought for £10 or £12. The run of dry seasons had some redeeming features. In the seasons when the winter rains did not come till about June the salt on the lakes considerably increased in quantity and the cockspur which had overrun many farms, died out, the years were too dry for it to mature its seed. The farmer of to-day owes a good deal of his success to those gentlemen who have spent so much of their time in cultivating and selecting new varieties of wheat of good milling, good yielding and rust resisting qualities. Better kinds of grain in wheat, oats and barley, together with the use of phosphates have made the farmer prosperous in a way he never knew before. For quite a number of years the lambing trade has been good and barley for malting purposes has been largely grown with good profits. At one time the losses of cattle from dry bible was so great that farmers were compelled to turn to the goat for the milk supply. Lime burning is an industry that has been steadily increasing since the early days of the farmers. The first kilos were worked at Edithburgh and now large kilns are in many places along the coast. During the last 20 years we have a had variety of weather conditions. Some years we have had many days of south east winds in the summer months and other years hardly any. Then again we have had some years when thunder storms were frequent and cloudy days and very little rain, and others plenty rain with very little cloud. I have noticed that the years when very little south east wind blew in February and March, were dry years. Much south east wind early in the year, say January, was mostly followed by too early rains and then dry winter. Some years we have had two layers or strata cloud moving in different directions or in the same direction at different speeds—with these conditions we have had thunderstorms and good rain. It does not appear to be the want of cloud, but the want of the necessary electrical conditions to precipitate the moisture, that causes the dry seasons.