The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Clark, February 9, 1806

Sunday February 9th 1806

This morning Collins & Wiser Set out on a hunting excurtion; in the evening Drewyer returned; had Killed nothing but one Beaver. he Saw one black Bear, which is the only one which has been seen in the neighbourhood Since our arrival. the Indians inform us that they are abundant but are now in their holes.

In the marshey grounds frequently overflown by the tides there grows a Species of fir which I took to be the Same of No. 5. from examonation I find it a distinct species of fir. it is more perfusely branched. This tree Seldom rises to a greater hight than 35 or 40 feet and is from 2 to 4 feet in Diamieter; the Bark the Same with that of No. 1. only reather more rugid. the leaf is acerose, 2/10 of an inch in width and 3/4 in length, they are firm Stiff and Somewhat accuminated, ending in a Short pointed hard tendril, gibbous thickly scattered on all Sides of the bough as respects the 3 upper Sides only; those which have their insertion on the underside incline side- wise with their points upwards giveing the leaf the Shape of a Sythe. the others are perpindicular or pointing upwards, growing as in No. 1 from Small triangular pedestals of a Soft Spungy elastic bark. the under disk of these leaves or that which grows nearest to the Base of the bough is of a dark glossy green, while the upper or opposit side is of a whiteish pale green; in this respect differing from almost all leaves. The boughs retain their leaves as far back as almost to the Sixth year's groth. the peculiarity of the budscales observed in No. 1 is obsd. in this Species. The Cone is 31/2 Inches in length, and 3 in circumfranse, of an ovale figure being thickest in the middle and tapering and terminateing in two obtuce points. it composes several flexable, thin, obtusely jointed Smoth and redish brown imbricated scales. each scale Covering two small winged Seed and being itself Covered in the center by a small thin inferior scale accutely pointed. The Cone is Some what of this figure. they proceed from the sides as well as the extremities of the bough, but in the former case allways at or near the Commencement of Some one years groth which in Some instances are as far back as the third year

The Stem of the Black Alder of this countrey before mentioned as ariveing at great Size, is Simple branching and defuse. the bark is Smoth of a light Colour with white Coloured Spredding Spots or blotches, resembling much that of beech. the leaf is procisely that of the Common alder of the United States or Virginia. those trees grow Seperately from different roots and not in Clusters or Clumps, as those of the atlantic States, casts its folage about the 1st of December.

Fearing that our meat would Spoil we Set Six men to jurking it to day, which they are obliged to perform in a house under shelter from the repeated rains.