The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, February 5, 1806

Lewis, February 5, 1806

Wednesday February 5th 1806. Late this evening one of the hunters fired his gun over the swamp of the Netul opposite to the fort and hooped. I sent sergt. Gass and a party of men over; the tide being in, they took advantage of a little creek which makes up in that direction nearly to the highlands, and in their way fortunately recovered our Indian Canoe, so long lost and much lamented. The Hunter proved to be Reubin Fields, who reported that he had killed six Elk on the East side of the Netul a little above us; and that yesterday he had heard Shannon and Labuishe fire six or seven shots after he had seperated from them and supposed that they had also killed several other Elk. Filds brought with him a phesant which differed but little from those common to the Atlantic states; it's brown is reather brighter and more of a redish tint. it has eighteen feathers in the tale of about six inches in length. this bird is also booted as low as the toes. the two tufts of long black feathers on each side of the neck most conspicuous in the male of those of the Atlantic states is also observable in every particular with this.- Fir No. 2 is next in dignity in point of size. it is much the most common species, it may be sad to constitute at least one half of the timber in this neighbourhood. it appears to be of the spruse kind. it rises to the hight of 160 to 180 feet very commonly and is from 4 to 6 feet in diameter, very streight round and regularly tapering. the bark is thin of a dark colour, and much divided with small longitudinal intersticies; that of the boughs and young trees is somewhat smoth but not so much so as the balsom fir nor that of the white pine of our country. the wood is white throughout and reather soft but very tough, and difficult to rive. The trunk of this tree is a simple branching diffused stem and not proliferous as the pines & firs usially are but like most other trees it puts forth buds from the sides of the small boughs as well as their extremities. the stem usually terminates in a very slender pointed top like the cedar. The leaves are petiolate, the footstalk small short and oppressed; acerose reather more than half a line in width and very unequal in length, the greatest length being little more than half an inch, while others intermixed on every part of the bough are not more than a 1/4 in length. flat with a small longitudinal channel in the upper disk which is of a deep green and glossey, while the uder disk is of a whiteish green only; two ranked, obtusely pointed, soft and flexable. this tree affords but little rosin. the cone is remarkably small not larger than the end of a man's thumb soft, flexable and of an ovate form, produced at the ends of the small twigs.