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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition paddles only a few miles so that they can hunt on Deer Island. Lewis compares the Columbian black-tailed and white-tailed deer. They encounter hundreds of snakes and Lewis describes a new species, the ring-necked duck.

the Indians call this large Island E-lal-lar or deer island
these birds had devoured 4 deer in the course of a few hours.

Meriwether Lewis

California condor, Gymnogyps californianus

large black bird with red head

Photo ©2006 Chuck Szmurlo. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

the Indians call this large Island E-lal-lar or deer island which is a very appropriate name. The hunters informed us that they had seen upwards of a hundred deer this morning on this island. the interior part of the island is praries and ponds, with a heavy growth of Cottonwood ash and willow near the river.

Meriwether Lewis

Deer Island morning

Deer Island from the opposite shore on a cloudy morning

we saw a great number of snakes on this island they were about the size and much the form of the common garter snake of the Atlantic coast and like that snake are not poisonous.
a narrow stripe of a light yellow runs along the center of the back, on each side of this stripe there is a range of small transverse oblong spots of a pale brick ret which gradually deminish as they receede from the head and disappear at the commencement of the tail.

Meriwether Lewis

Red-sided garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis

Large snake with black and red markings

Photo ©2007 Steve Jurvetson. Permission via the Creative Commons 2.0 License.

one of the hunters killed a duck which appeared to be the male…the back tail and covert of the wings were of a find black with a small addmixture of perple about the head and neck.

Meriwether Lewis

Male ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris

Ring-necked Duck: black duck with white wings

Photo ©2005 Walter Siegmund Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

Drewyer also killed a tiger cat.

Meriwether Lewis

Oregon bobcat, Lynx rufus

Wild-cat walking away through the grass

Photo ©2006 Mila Zinkova. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.