The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, July 29, 1805

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Lewis, July 29, 1805

Monday July 29th 1805.

This morning some of the hunters turned out and returned in a few hours with four fat bucks, the venison is now very fine we have killed no mule deer since we lay here, they are all of the longtailed red deer which appear quite as large as those of the United States. the hunters brought in a living young sandhill crane it has nearly obtained it's growth but cannot fly; they had pursued it and caught it in the meadows. it's colour is precisely that of the red deer. we see a number of the old or full grown crams of this species feeding in these meadows. this young animal is very ferce and strikes a severe blow with his beak; after amusing myself with it I had it set at liberty and it moved off apparently much pleased with being releived from his captivity. the men have been busily engaged all day in dising skins and making them into various garments all are leather dressers and taylors. we see a great abundance of fish in the stream some of which we take to be trout but they will not bite at any bate we can offer them. the King fisher is common on the river since we have left the falls of the Missouri. we have not seen the summer duck since we left that place, nor do I beleive that it is an inhabitant of the Rocky mountains. the Duckanmallard were first seen with their young on the 20th inst. and I forgot to note it; they are now abundant with their young but do not breed in the missouri below the mountains. the grasshopers and crickets are abundant in the plains as are also the small birds frequently mentioned. there is also in these plains a large ant with a redish brown body and legs, and a black head and abdomen; they construct little perimids of small gravel in a conic shape, about 10 or 12 inches high without a mixture of sticks and with but little earth. Capt. Clark is much better today, is perfectly clear of fever but still very languid and complains of a general soarness in all his limbs. I prevailed on him to take the barks which he has done and eate tolerably freely of our good venison.