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[Lewis and Clark] 
[Weather, May 1805]  [1]
 

        



Day of
the Month
State of
the ther-
mometer at
Sun symbol rise



Weather


Wind at
Sun symbol rise
State of
the ther-
mometer at
4 P. M.



Weather


Wind at
4 P. M.
State
raised
or
fallen
of the


Feet
river

Inches
& parts
1st
36 a
c
E
46 a
c a f
N. E.
f
 
1 ½
2cd
28 a
s.
N E
34 a
c a s.
N. W.
f
  1
3rd
26 a
f
W.
46 a
c
W.
f
     ¼
4th
38 a
c
W.
48 a
f a c
W.
     
5th
38 a
f
N W
62 a
f a r
S. E.
r
  1
6th
48 a
f
E
61 a
c a r
S E
r
  2
7th
42 a
c
S.
60 a
f
N. E.
r
  1 ½
8th
41 a
c
E.
52 a
c.a.r
E
f
     ¼
9th
38 a
f
E.
58 a
f
W.
r
     ¾
10th
38 a
f a c
W N W
62 a
c.a.r
N W
f
     ¾
11th
44 a
f
N E
60 a
c
S. W.
     
12th
52 a
f
S. E.
54 a
c.a.r.
N W
r
  2
13th
52 a
c.a.r
N. W.
54 a
f a c
N. W.
f
  2 ¼
14th
32 a
f
S. W.
52 a
c
S W
f
  1 ¾
15th
48
c a r
S W
54 a
c
N W
f
     ¾
16th
48
c
S W.
67 a
f
S. W
     
17th
60 a
f
N E
68 a
f
S W
     
18th
58 a
f
W.
46 a
c a r
N. W.
f
  1
19th
38 a
fair
E.
68 a
f. a. c
S. W.
     
20th
52 a
f
N. E.
76 a
f
E
f
  1
21st
50 a
f
S. W.
76 a
f
N W
     
22cd
46 a
c
N W
48 a
c.
N. W.
f
     ½
23rd
32 a
f
S W
54 a
f
S W
f
     ½
24th
32 a
f
N. W.
68 a
f
S. E.
r
  3 ½
25th
46 a
f
S W
82 a
f
S.W.
r
  2
26th
58 a
f
S W
80 a
f
S. W.
r
     ½
27th
62 a
f
S. W.
82 a
f
S. W.
     
28th
62 a
c
S W
72 a
c & r
S W
r
     ½
29th
62 a
c a r
S. W.
67 a
r
S. W.
r
  1
30th
56 a
c a r
S W.
50 a
r
S W
r
  5
31st
48 a
c a r
W
53 a
c a r
S W
r
  1 ½

 

        

[Remarks]  [2]

1st wind violent from 12 oC. to 6 P. M.
2cd snow 1 inch deep    the wind continued so high from 12 oClock
yesterday, untill 5 this evening that we were unable to proceed.
the snow which fell last night and this morning one inch deep
has not yet disappeared.—    it forms a singular contrast with the
trees which are now in leaf.—
3rd hard frost last night.    at four P. M. the snow has not yet entirely
disappeared.—    the new horns of the Elk begin to appear.
4th the black martin makes it's appearance.    the snow has disap-
peared.    saw the first grasshoppers today.—  [3]    there are great
quantities of a small blue beatle feeding on the willows.—
5th a few drops of rain only
6th rain very inconsiderable as usual
8th rain inconsiderable    a mear spinkle    the bald Eagle, of which
there are great numbers, now have their young.    the turtledove  [4]
appears.
9th The choke Cherry is now in blume.
10th rain but slight    a few drops.
11th frost this morning
12th rain but slight.
13th do.    do.    do.
14th white frost this morning
15th slight shower
17th the Gees have their young; the Elk begin to produce their young,
the Antelope and deer as yet have not.—    the small species of
Goatsucker or whiperwill  [5]
begin to cry—    the blackbirds both
small and large have appeared.  [6]
   we have had scarcely any thun-
der and lightning.    the clouds are generally white and accom-
panyed with wind only
18th a good shower    saw the wild rose in blume.    the brown thrush
or mocking bird  [7]
has appeared.—    had a good shower of rain
today, it continued about 2 hours; this is the first shower that
deserves the appellation of rain, which we have seen since we left
Fort Mandan.—    no thunder or lightning
19th heavy fog this morning on the river
22cd the wind excessively hard all night—    saw some particles of snow
fall today it did not lye in sufficient quantity on the ground to be
perceptible.—
23rd hard frost last night; ice in the eddy water along the shore, and the
water friezed on the oars this morning. Strawburies in bloom.  [8]
saw the first king fisher.
24th frost last night    ice ⅛ of an inch thick
25th saw the kingbird, or bee martin;  [9] the grouse disappear.    killed
three of the bighorned antelopes.
26th The last night was much the warmest we have experienced, found
the covering of one blanket sufficient.    the air is extreemly dry
and pure.
27th wind so hard we are unable to proceed in the early part of the
day
28th a slight thundershower; the air was turbid in the forenoon and
appeared to be filled with smoke; we supposed it to proceed
from the burning of the plains, which we are informed are fre-
quently set on fire by the Snake Indians to compell the antelopes
to resort to the woody and mountanous country which they in-
habit.—    saw a small white and black woodpecker with a red
head;  [10] the same which is common to the Atlantic states.—
29th rained but little, some dew this morning.
30th the rain commenced about 4 Oclock in the evening, and con-
tinued moderately through the course of the night; more rain
has now fallen than we have experienced since the 15th of Sep-
tember last.
31st but little rain    The Antelope now bring forth their young.    from
the size of the young of the bighorned Antelope I suppose they
bring forth their young as early at least as the Elk.




 

1. This weather table follows Lewis's in his Codex Fe, with discrepancies between it and Clark's table in Codex I being noted. The tables are accompanied in each case by remarks in both the margins of the tables and separately. (Return to text.)

 

2. The remarks are found in the margins of the weather tables and in separate sections following the tables of Lewis's Codex Fe and Clark's Codex I. We follow Lewis, with notes to significant differences with Clark's remarks. (Return to text.)

 

3. Perhaps Eritettix simplex. (Return to text.)

 

4. The English name for a similar Eurasian species was given to the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura [AOU, 316], long before Lewis and Clark's time. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 234. (Return to text.)

 

5. The common poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii [AOU, 418], described by Lewis on October 16, 1804. (Return to text.)

 

6. The large blackbird is probably the common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula [AOU, 511], while the small blackbird could be the rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus [AOU, 509], and/or Brewer's blackbird, E. cyanocephalus [AOU, 510]. If the latter, then Lewis was its discoverer. Holmgren, 28; Cutright (LCPN), 167–68. (Return to text.)

 

7. Brown thrush and brown mockingbird are old names for the brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum [AOU, 705]. Holmgren, 34. (Return to text.)

 

8. Either Fragaria virginiana Duchn. var. glauca Wats., wild strawberry, or F. vesca L. var. americana Porter, woodland strawberry, although the former is more common in the area. Barkley, 140–41; Booth & Wright, 112. (Return to text.)

 

9. Perhaps the eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus [AOU, 444]. Holmgren, 28. See also June 10, 1805. (Return to text.)

 

10. The red-headed woodpecker, Malanerpes erythrocephalus [AOU, 406]. Holmgren, 34. (Return to text.)












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