Weather, March 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

Weather, March 1806


Day of
the Month
Aspect of
the weather
at sun Rise

Wind at
☉ rise
Aspect of
weather at
4 O'Ck P. M.

Wind at
4 OCk. P. M.
1st f. a. r & c. S. W. r. a c & r S. W
2cd r. a. c. & r. S. r a c & r S
3rd c. a. r S. c a r S
4th r a c & r S. r a r S
5th c a r N. E. c a r S
6th f a r S E c a f S E
7th r a r & h S E r a f r h c & f S E
8th h & r a h r & s S. r a r & h S E
9th s & h a r s & h S W r a h & r S W
10th s & r a h r & s S W f a r h & s S W
11th f a r h & s S E f a r & h S E
12th f a. c. N E. c a f N E
13th f. a. r. N E. f N E
14th c. a. f. N. E. c N E
15th c a c N E. f N. E.
16th r a f & c S W c a f c r S W
17th c a r S. W. r a f h a s & r [2] S W
18th r a c & r S W r a f r & h S. W.
19th r & h a c r & h S W. r a f r & h S. W.
20th r a r & h S W. r S. W.
21st r a r S W. c a r N. E.
22ed r a r S. W. r a c & r S W. & N E
23rd r a r S. W. f a c & r S W
24th r a c & r S W f a c N W. & S W.
25th c a f S. E. r a c & r S. E.
26th c a r N. W. c a f & c S. E
27th r a c S. E. r a c & r S. E.
28th c a r N. f a f & r S. W
29th c a f & f S. c a r S W
30th c S. f a c S W
31st f S. E. f [3] S. E. [4]
[Remarks] [5]
1st The clouds interfered in such manner that no observations
could be made this morning.—    a great part of this day was
so warm that fire was unnecessary, notwithstanding it's being
cloudy and raining.
3d rained and the wind blew hard all night. air perfectly temperate.
4th rained constantly most of the night.    saw a Snail, [6] this morning,
they are very large.
5th the air is considerably colder this morng but nothing like
6th altho' it is stated to be fair this morning the sun is so dim that no
observations can be made    Saw a spider [7] this morning, tho' the
air is perceptably colder than it has been since the 1st inst.—
at 9 A. M. it clouded up and continued so the ballance of the
day.    even the Easterly winds which have heretofore given us
the only fair weather which we have enjoyed seem now to have
lost their influence in this rispect.—
7th Sudden changes & frequent, during the day, scarcly any two
hours of the same discription.    the Elk now being to shed their
horns.    a bird of a scarlet colour as large as a common pheasant
with a long tail has returned, [8] one of them was seen today near
the fort by Capt. Clark's black man, I could not obtain a view of
it myself.
8th the ground covered with hail and snow this morning, air cool
but not freizing.—
9th Snow and hail 1 inch deep this morning    air Still cold more so
than yesterday but not freizing.
10th Snow nearly disappeared by this morning.    the air consider-
ably warmer.
11th snow 1 inch deep this morning air cold but no ice.    some insects
seen in the evening in motion    I attemted to make an obser-
vation for Equal Altitudes but the P. M. Obsevtn. was lost in con-
sequence of clouds. it became cloudy at 10 A. M. and rained
attended with some hail    at six it P. M. it became fair and the
wind changing to N. E.    it continued fair during the night.
the snow had all disappeared by 4 P. M. this evening.—
12th white frost this morning and ice on the pools of standing water.—
it being fair in the morning I again attempted Equal Altitudes
but it be came cloudy at 3 P. M. and continued so during the
day. [9]
13th slight frost this morning.    a little rain fell in the latter part of
the night.    saw a number of insects in motion; among others
saw for the fist time this spring and winter a downey black fly
about the size of the common house fly. [10]    the plants begin to
appear above the ground, among others the rush of which the
natives eat the root. [11]    and the plant, the root of which resem-
bles in flavor the sweet potato also eaten by the natives. [12]
14th yesterday and last night were the most perfectly fair wether we
have seen at this place
15th the temperature of the air is perfectly pleasent without fire.—
became fair at 8 A. M.—    the sorrel with an oval, obtuse and
ternate leaf has now put forth it's leaves. [13]    some of them have
nearly obtained their growth already.    the birds were singing
very agreably this morning particularly the common robin.— [14]
16th wind hard greater part of the day. The Anchovey has ceased to
run; the white salmon trout have succeeded them. [15]    the weather
so warm that the insects of various speceis are every day in mo-
17th rained all night.    air somewhat colder this morning.—frequent
and sudden changes [16] in the course of the day.—
18th frequent showers through the day
19th frequent and suddon changes during the day    wind not so hard
as usual.
20th rained all day without intermission.
21st rained all night    at 9 A. M. wind changed to N E. and the rain
ceased. [17]    cloudy the ballance of the day.
22ed rain continued without intermission greater part of the night.
air temperate.—    the leaves and petals of the flowers of the
green Huckleburry have appeared. [18]    some of the leaves have
already obtained ¼ of their size.—
23d it became fair at 12 OCk. and continued cloudy and fair by in-
tervales without rain till night
24th at 9 A. M. it became fair and continued fair all day and greater
pt. of the night.    the brown bryery shrub with a broad pinnate
leaf has began to put fourth it's leaves. [19]    the pole-cat Colwort,
is in blume. [20] Saw the blue crested fisher.    birds are singing this
morning.    the black Alder is in blume.
25th cold this morning, but no ice nor frost.    the Elder, Gooseberry,
& honeysuckle are now putting fourth their leaves. [21]    the net-
tle [22]    and a variety of other plants are now springing up.    the
flower of the broad leafed thorn is nearly blown.    several small
plants in blume.
26th cold and rainy last night.    wind hard this morning    fair at
9 A. M. Cloudy at 1 P. M. [23] The humming bird has appeared. [24]
killed one of them and found it the same with those common to
the United States.
27th blew hard about noon.    rained greater part of the day.    the
small or bank martin [25] appeared today, saw one large flock of
them. waterfowl very scarce, a few Comorant, geese, and the
redheaded fishing duck are all that are to be seen. [26]    the red
flowering currant are in blume, this I take to be the same speceis
I first saw in the 〈waters of the columbia,〉 Rocky Mountains; [27]
the fruit is a deep purple berry covered with a gummy sub-
stance and not agreeably flavoured.    there is another speceis [28]
uncovered with gum which I first found on the waters of the
Columbia about the 12th of August last.
28th rained by showers greater part of last night    frequent showers
in the course of the day.    this evening we saw many swan pass-
ing to the North as if on a long flight.    vegitation is not by sev-
eral days as forward here as at Fort Clatsop when we left that
place.    the river rising fast, the water is turbed; the tide only
swells the water a little, it does not stop the current.    it is now
within 2 feet of it's greatest hight. [29]
29th frequent showers through the night.    very cold this morning.—
30th at 10 A. M. [30] it became fair and continued so    weather moder-
ately warm. Saw a leather winged bat [31]    the grass is about 16
Inches high in the river bottoms.    the frogs are now abundant
and are crying in the swamps and marshes.— [32]
31st [33] The Summer or wood duck has returned.    butterflies and Sev-
eral Species of insects appear. Musquitoes are troublesome this
evening [34] Encamp opposit quick Sand river The Summer Duck
has returned    I saw Several to day in a small pond. This eve-
ning the Musquetors were verry troublesom this evening, it is
the first time they have been so this Spring. The waterfowls are
much plentyer about the enterance of quick Sand river than
they were below.    observed a species of small wild onion grow-
ing among the moss of the rocks, they resemble the Shives of
our gardins and grow remarkably close together forming a per-
fect tuft; they are quite as agreeably flavoured as the Shives.
1. Lewis's weather observations for March 1806 appear in Codex J; Clark's are in Voorhis No. 2. The table here follows Lewis, with differences in Clark's table being noted. (back)
2. Clark has only "r a f h s & r." (back)
3. The letter "f" appears only in Clark's table; Lewis's is blank. (back)
4. "S. E." appears only in Clark's table; Lewis's is blank. (back)
5. Both captains have remarks for March in the margins of their weather tables and separately. Significant differences are noted. (back)
6. Perhaps Monadenia fidelis, but more likely Allogona townsendiana; see March 11, 1806. (back)
7. Clark adds, "and an insect resembling a Musquetoe." The spider is unknown, but Clark's insect may be a midge, family Chironomidae. (back)
8. Probably the red color phase of the ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus [AOU, 300]. See March 3, 1806, for a discussion of "pheasants." Holmgren, 32–33. (back)
9. Clark adds, "without any rain." (back)
10. The black fly may be a March fly, family Bibionidae, while the house fly used for comparison is Musca domestica. (back)
11. Probably giant horsetail, Equisetum telmateia Ehrh. Hitchcock et al., 1:47. (back)
12. Probably the same unidentified root as mentioned on January 20, 1806. It is interesting that this and the giant horsetail are mentioned together for both dates; they were probably found growing in similar ecological situations. (back)
13. Oregon oxalis, Oxalis oregana Nutt. ex T. & G. This wood sorrel is common in moist habitats of the region. Hitchcock et al., 3:385–87; Cutright (LCPN), 412. (back)
14. American robin, Turdus migratorius [AOU, 761]. (back)
15. The anchovy is the eulachon or candle fish, and the trout is the coho (or silver) salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. (back)
16. Clark says, "Showers" for "changes." (back)
17. Clark adds, "a short time" and ends the entry with that comment. (back)
18. The evergreen huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum Pursh. See Lewis's description at January 26, 1806. Hitchcock et al., 4:34. (back)
19. Probably the salmonberry as noted earlier, but it could be either a wild rose, Rosa sp., or one of several species of Rubus. The more advanced state of development of the "broad leafed thorn" observed the next day may indicate that more than one species was seen. See April 8, 1806. (back)
20. Skunk cabbage, Lysichitum americanum Hultén & St. John. Hitchcock et al., 1:733; Cutright (LCPN), 260. Polecat designates skunk, while colewort is another term for cabbage. (back)
21. The elder is red elderberry, Sambucus racemosa L. var. arborescens (T. & G.) Gray. Hitchcock et al., 4:462–63; Franklin & Dyrness, 60–61; Thwaites (LC), 4:49. The gooseberry is probably straggly gooseberry. The honeysuckle is either common snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus (L.) Blake, or one of several species of Lonicera. Hitchcock et al., 4:464–65, 456–60. (back)
22. Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica L. ssp. gracilis (Ait.) Seland. Hitchcock et al., 2:91–93. (back)
23. Clark has, "and cleared off at 1 P. M." (back)
24. Holmgren, 31, believes this to be one of three species: rufous hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus [AOU, 433]; black-chinned hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri [AOU, 429]; or calliope hummingbirg, Stellula calliope [AOU, 436]. See also Burroughs, 236–37; Jollie, 5. (back)
25. Perhaps the bank swallow, Riparia riparia [AOU, 616]. Holmgren, 32. (back)
26. Either the female red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator [AOU, 130], or the female common merganser, M. merganser [AOU, 129]. Holmgren, 29; Burroughs, 189–90. (back)
27. The red flowering, or blood, currant, Ribes sanguineum Pursh, was new to science. Seeds brought back by the expedition may be the source of its widespread ornamental plantings. Lewis could not have seen this species in the Rocky Mountains, but probably did see and later collect sticky currant, R. viscossisimum Pursh, a common species that is almost identical in appearance after flowering. Hitchcock et al., 3:81, 84–85; Cutright (LCPN), 289–90, 373, 375, 418. (back)
28. The species of August 1805 was Hudson gooseberry, Ribes hudsonianum Rich. It is unlikely that the currant noted here, a plant without glandular or gummy fruits, is that species, nor is its identification possible. (back)
29. Clark adds, "which appears to increas as we assend." (back)
30. Clark gives it as "P.M." (back)
31. The bat could be any of a number of species. (back)
32. Again, the Pacific tree frog. (back)
33. The weather remarks for this day are found only in Clark's Voorhis No. 2. (back)
34. The butterflies and mosquitoes could be any of a number of species. (back)