The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, February 4, 1806

Clark, February 4, 1806

Tuesday February 4th 1806

Serjt. Pryor with a party of 5 men Set out again in quest of the Elk which Drewyer had Killed. Drewyer also returned to continue the Chase in the Same quarter. the Elk are in much better order in the point near the praries than they are in the woodey Country around us or up the Netul. in the praries they feed on grass and rushes, which are yet green. in the woddey Countrey their food is huckleberry bushes, fern, and the Shal-lon an evergreen Shrub, which resembles the Lorel in Some measure; the last constitutes the greater part of their food and grows abundant through all the timbered Country, particularly the hill Sides and more broken parts of it. There are Several Species of Fir in this neighbourhood which I shall discribe as well as my botanicale Skill will enable me, and for the Convenience of Comparrison with each other Shall number them. (No. i,) a Species which grows to an emence size; verry commonly 27 feet in Surcumferonce at 6 feet above the surface of the earth, and in Several instances we have found them as much as 36 feet in the Girth, or 12 feet Diameter perfectly Solid & entire. they frequently rise to the hight of 230 feet, and 120 or 30 of that hight without a limb. this timber is white and Soft throughout and rives better than any other Species we have tried the bark Shales off in arregular rounded flakes and is of a redish brown Colour, particularly of the younger growth, the Stem of this tree is simple branching, assending, not very defuse, and proliferous, the leaf of this tree is accerose 1/2 a line in width, and 3/4 of an inch in length; is firm Stiff and accuminate; they are triangular, little declineing, thickly scattered on all Sides of the Bough, but respect the three upper Sides only Growing from little triangular pedistals of Soft Spungy Elastic bark. at the junction of these bough's, the bud-scales continue to incircle the respective twigs for several years; at least 3 years is common and I have counted as maney as the groth of 4 years beyond these Scales. this tree affords but little rozin. it's cone I have not yet had an oppertunity to discover altho I have Sought it frequently; the trees of this kind which we have fell'd have had no cones on them.