XXIX. — Journal of a mission to California in search of Plants. By Mr. Theodor Hartweg, in the service of the Horticultural Society. Part III. Continued from Vol. II., p. 121
ON July the 2nd I returned to Monterey, on board of an American bark, after a passage of four hours, and found that Commodore Sloat had arrived in the “Svannah,” accompanied by two sloops of war. In consequence of a rupture between the United States forces and the Mexicans, near Matamoros, wherein the latter were defeated, the American Commodore, on the 7th, landed a party of marine and seamen, and hoisted the American flag without opposition.
The few days of absence produced a great change even in the vegetation; the fields and woods, which before we covered with flowers, are now gradually drying up from the total absence of rain during the summer months ; even the bulbous plants had, during that time, shed their flowers and ripened their seeds.
As yet I have not succeeded in procuring horses, Castro having taken all the available horses away, in order to mount the militia, with which he intended to have marched against the Americans. Under these circumstances I cannot venture far away from Monterey, nor is it advisable that I should do so, as I might fall in with a party of country people, who could not be persuaded that a person would come all the way from London to look after weeds, which in their opinion are not worth picking up, but might suppose that I have some political object in view; I therefore, confine my excursions within a few miles of the town.
Crossing the wooded heights near Monterey I arrived at Carmel Bay, after an easy walk of two hours; here I found Diervilla, No. 47; Cupressus macrocarpa, No. 143, attaining the height of 60 feet, and a stem of 9 feet in circumference, with far-spreading branches, flat at the top like a full-grown cedar flat at the top like a full-grown cedar of Lebanon, which it closely resembles at a distance; [...]