The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 45
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Life of General Don Manuel de Mier y Terdn
attention, even in a region which was supposed to be unin-
habited, and there were Indians both before and behind the
expedition all the way. Some of them even camped at night
near the sites chosen by the scientific party. A number of
drovers taking sheep and calves to market at B6xar attached
themselves to the party. These were a welcome addition, and
the walking commissary was utilized on more than one occasion
by the members of the commission, whose regular fare con-
sisted of corn cakes, pinole (a preparation of toasted ground
corn and anise seed), and dry salt beef. On one occasion a wild
turkey killed by a member of the party and a lamb purchased
from one of the shepherds provided what SAnchez regarded as
a "feast in the desert."2
A few miles from Laredo the members of the expedition
began noticing specimens of petrified vegetable matter and be-
fore they reached the Nueces found petrified trunks of trees.
These trunks were found all along the way to Bexar. On the
rivers of Texas they, for the first time, heard bullfrogs, which
are still plentiful along these streams. In speaking of one of
them, SAnchez called it a frog "whose astounding call resembles
the bellowing of a bull." Berlandier and Mier y TerAn went
out from camp several times to listen to the modulations in the
call of this frog. Berlandier records having heard one with four
distinct variations in its "horrible" cry.
Difficulty was encountered in crossing the Nueces, as a pro-
visional bridge erected by the soldiers could not stand the
weight of the loaded wagons. It was necessary for the members
of the party to wade across and carry the instruments, baggage,
and supplies by hand. At that time, the Nueces was the boundary
between Tamaulipas and Texas.
Six leagues south of the Nueces a decided improvement in
the fertility of the soil was noted. As the expedition approached
the interior of Texas a decided increase in vegetation accounted
for vast herds of wild deer, wild cattle, wild horses and mares.
Voluminous notes on the flora and fauna, minute observations
on the weather, winds, and stars are of more interest to the
natural and physical scientist. It is sufficient to remark that
as the party neared the interior the men were more favorably
impressed with the country's general possibilities. An interest-
29C. E. Castafieda, "A Trip to Texas in 1828," in The Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, XXIX, 252. The scientific account of the journey
from Laredo to B6xar is found in Diario de Viage, 99-119.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/49/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.