Weather, April 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

Weather, April 1806


Date of
the month

State of
weather at

Wind at

State of
the weather
at 4 P.M.

Wind at
4 P.M.
State of
Columbia River [2]
     raised                     Inches &
or fallen       Feet       parts
April 1st c a f S E c a f S E      r                1
2cd c S E c a f S E      f  
3rd c a r S W c a r W      f   3 ½
4th c a r S W c a r S W      f   4 ½
5th c a r S W c a f & c S W      f   2 ½
6th f a c S. W. f S W      f   1
7th f S W f S W      r   ½
8th f E f E      r   1 ½
9th f W f W      
10th c a r W c a r S W      r   1
11th r a r W c a r S. W.      r   2
12th c a r W r a c & r W      r   2
13th r a c & r W c a r & f W      r   2 ½
14th f W f W      r   1
15th f W f W      
16th f a c S W f S W      f   2
17th f N E c a f S. W.      f   2
18th f a c S W f S W      f   1
19th c a r S W c S. W.      f   3
20th f a r [3] S W c a r S. W.      f   2 ½
21s   f N. E. f E.      f   2
22nd f N. W. f W.      f   1
23rd f a c E f N. E.      f   4
24th f N W f N. W.      f   2
25th f N E f N. E.      f   2
26th f a c N W f N E      f   2 ½
27th f a r S E f N W      f   1 ½
28th f a T S W f N E      f   2
29th f a c N W f N W      f   1
30th c a r N. W. f a c N W      f   2
[Remarks] [4]
1st at 6 P. M. last evening it became cloudy. Cottonwood in blume.
From the best opinion I could form of the State of the Columbia
on the 1st of April it was about 9 feet higher than when we de-
cended it in the begining of November last. [5]    the rising and fall-
ing of the river as set down in the diary is that only which took
place from sunseting to sunrise or thereabouts it being the time
that we usually remain at our encampments.—
2nd heavy dew last night.    cloudy all night.
3rd a slight rain about day light this morng.
4th the rains have been very slight.
5th rain but slight, air colder than usual this morning—
6th this is the most perfectly fair day that we have seen for a Some
time    musquetoes troublesome this evening [6]    the cottonwood
has put fourth its leaves and begin to assume a green appear-
ance at a distance.    the sweet willow has not yet generaly birst
it's budscales while the leaves of the red and broad leafed willow
are of some size; it appears to be me to be the most backward in
vegetating of all the willows.    the narrow leafed willow is not
found below tide water on this river.— [7]
7th the air temperate, birds singing, the pizmire, [8] flies, beetles, in
8th wind commenced at 5 A M [9] and continued to blow most violently
all day.    air temperate    the male flowers of the cottonwood are
falling.    the goosburry has cast the petals of it's flowers, and it's
leaves obtained their full size.    the Elder which is remarkably
large has began to blume.    some of it's flowerets have expanded
their corollas.    the serviceburries, chokecherries, the growth
which resembles the beach, the small birch and grey willow have
put fourth their leaves. [10]
9th the wind lulled a little before day, and became high at 11 A.M.
continued til dark    the vining honeysuckle, has put forth shoots
of several inches    the dogtoothed violet [11] is in blume as is also
both the speceis of the mountain holley, the strawburry, the
bears claw, the cowslip, [12] the violet, common striped; [13] and the
wild cress or tongue grass. [14]
10th some snow fell on the river hills last night.    morning cold, slight
sowers through the day.
11th cold raining night    the geese are yet in large flocks and do not yet
appear to have mated.    what I have heretofore termed the broad
leafed ash is now in blume.    the fringetree [15] has cast the corolla
and it's leaves have nearly obtained their full size.    the sac a com-
mis is in blume.—.—
12th cold.    snowed on the mountains through which the river passes
at the rapids.    the duckinmallard which bread in this neigh-
bourhood, is now laying it's eggs,—    vegetation is rapidly pro-
gressing in the bottoms tho' the snow of yesterday and today
reaches within a mile of the base of the mountains at the rapids
of the Columbia
13th cold rainy night.    rained by showers through the day.    wind
14th wind arrose at 8 A. M. and contined hard all day.    service bury
in blume.
15th wind blew tolerably hard today after 10 A. M.    observed the
Curloo and prarie lark. [16]
16th morning unusually warm. vegitation rapidly progressing.— at
the rock fort camp saw the prarie lark, a speceis of the peawee, [17]
the blue crested fisher, the partycoloured corvus, and the black
pheasant.    a speceis of hiasinth native of this place blumed to-
day, it was not in blume yesterday.
17th weather warm; the sweet willow & white oak begin to put forth
their leaves
18th rain but slight.    wind very hard all day—
19th raind, moderate showers, very cold    snow on the tops of the low
20th weather cold.    rain slight    snow on the hills adjacent—    wind
violent.    some frost this morning.
21st heavy white frost this morning.    remarkably cold last night
22nd night cold the day warm. [18]
26th the sweet willow has put fourth its leaves. [19]    the last evening was
cloudy it continued to threaten rain all night but without rain-
ing.    the wind blew hard all night.    the air cold as it is invari-
ably when it sets from the westerly quarter.—
27th had a shower of rain last night
30th rain slight.
1. Weather tables and remarks for April 1806 appear in Lewis's Codex K and Clark's Voorhis No. 3. This table follows Lewis, with any significant difference in Clark's table noted. (back)
2. Clark has no columns for the state of the Columbia River. (back)
3. Clark has "c. a. r." (back)
4. Both captains have remarks in the margins of their weather tables and separately; Lewis's are in Codex K, Clark's in Voorhis No. 3. The remarks here follow Lewis with a few differences by Clark noted. (back)
5. Clark entry ends here. (back)
6. Clark adds "in the bottoms." (back)
7. Lewis's "sweet willow" is again possibly Pacific willow, while his red willow is red osier dogwood (see March 25 and 27, 1806). The broad-leaved willow may be either northwest willow or yellow willow, both of which commonly occur in the riparian communities of the Columbia Gorge (see March 25, 1806). The "narrow leafed willow" here is not the sandbar willow, Salix exigua Nutt., of previous entries east of the Cascades, but the Columbia River willow, S. fluviatilis Nutt., an endemic species of the lower Columbia. Hitchcock et al., 2:53. (back)
8. A pismire is usually a large ant, in this case from the family Formicidae, perhaps the carpenter ant. (back)
9. Clark has "p.m." (back)
10. Probably scrub, or swamp, birch, Betula glandulosa Michx., and northwest willow. The term grey willow may refer to the characteristic long hairs on the leaves and twigs of the northwest willow, which colors the plant silvery or gray. Hitchcock et al., 2:76–77. (back)
11. Probably Erythronium oregonum Applegate, or possibly E. revolutum Smith, both called fawn, or trout, lily, while the genus is known generally as dogtooth violet. The former is more common and widespread along the Columbia River in the Cascades; the latter is more frequent near the coast. Hitchcock et al., 1:788–90. (back)
12. Almost certainly bluebells, Mertensia platyphylla Heller, a species of moist streambanks at low elevations, from the western Cascades to the coast. Lewis compares it to the Virginia cowslip, M. virginica Pers., a species of the borage family. Hitchcock et al., 4:227; Bailey, 404, 780, 833. (back)
13. Any one of a number of native violet (Viola) species. The stripes refer to the marked lines on the lower three petals of the violet flower. (back)
14. Probably winter cress, Barbarea orthoceras Ledeb., a native cress which grows in meadows, streambanks, and moist woods. Lewis may have been familiar with the cultivated, European species, Belle Isle, or early winter, cress, B. verna (Mill.) Asch. Hitchcock et al., 2:458–59; Bailey, 446. (back)
15. The fringe-tree of the eastern U.S. is Chionanthus virginica L.; it is unclear which western plant is referred to here. Bailey, 800. It may be Indian plum, osoberry, Osmaronia cerasiformis (T. & G.) Greene. Thwaites (LC), 6:213 n. 3; Hitchcock et al., 3:123. (back)
16. Western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta [AOU, 501.1]; see August 25, 1804. Or possibly the horned lark, Eremophila alpestris AOU, 474]; see Weather Diary for April 1805. Holmgren, 31. (back)
17. Probably Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya [AOU, 457]. Holmgren, 32. It is not mentioned in Clark's remarks. (back)
18. Clark has ditto marks for remarks on the twenty-third through the twenty-fifth. (back)
19. Clark has the remainder of remarks under the twenty-eighth. (back)