Old-growth, tropical forests of Brazil in the early 1900s
The following description of the Amazon rain forest is quoted from a 1920 geography textbook. I don't know if the authors had ever traveled to the Brazilian tropics -- probably not -- but they did write quite vividly about the "feel" of the forest there.
The Amazon forest is a good type of the tropical forest, where plants, encouraged by the heat and dampness, grow luxuriantly in the rich soil. Not only is the rainfall heavy, but evaporation is checked by the dense vegetation, so that the forest reeks with moisture. Therefore, at night, when the temperature falls, such heavy dews collect that the plants are wet, as by a rain.
In these woods, there is an occasional giant tree reaching to a height of from one hundred and eighty to two hundred feet, and with a circumference of from twenty to forty feet. The lower limbs may be as much as a hundred feet from the ground.
Between these giant trees are smaller ones struggling to rise out of the somber shade ito the sunlight. There are also many shrubs, bushes, ferns, and vines, the latter twining about the tree trunks, or hanging over the lower limbs.
The woods present much the same appearance throughout the year. There is no time when all the trees send forth their leaves and blossoms; nor is there a time when all the leaves change color and fall to the ground. Some of the trees blossom throughout the year; others have their blossoms at regular seasons; thus flowers and fruits my be seen at all times of the year.
In such a forest there is dense gloom and silence, broken now and then by the crash of a falling tree, or the sorrowful notes of birds, or the howling of monkeys, or perchance, the shrill scream of an animal which has fallen a prey to the boa.
Some of the trees of the forest produce fruits and nuts, others valuable timber or dyewoods. In fact, the word Brazil comes from the name of a dyewood found in the Amazon forests. Another valuable plant is the vanilla, whose beans are of value in making perfumes and flavoring extracts. Many of the Indians near the rivers make long journeys into the forest to collect the products, both for their own use and for shipment down the Amazon.
Source: World Geographies: Second Book (pp. 267-268) by Ralph S. Tarr and Frank M. McMurry. Copyrighted in 1920 and published by the MacMillan Company, New York, in 1922,