May 20, 1833
20 May: Early in the morning, nice, clear weather, no wind. At 7:30, 63°F [17.2°C]. This morning the Assiniboine came to the spot near the bluffs of the other bank where we recently lay aground. After eight o’clock we could see its boat taking soundings; and since the water had risen somewhat, ours, too, was launched for the same purpose. We had hoped we [might] perhaps leave this place today. Nothing came of this hope.
I undertook a long walk into the prairie hills, which I found completely colored in many places by the beautiful violet-red [— —]. I saw many large burrows, probably of the prairie wolf, where only a small bush in the prairie provided some protection; also many small holes and flat earth mounds. In the ravines, where there were some trees, doves (Columba carolinensis) sent out their gentle melancholy call consisting of four or five tones, and everywhere in the prairie were big larks (Sturnella) and Fringilla melodia.M68 Far above the hills, I found a pair of the beautiful Tetrao, which is known in the systems by the name Tympanuchus phasianellus. I shot one at very long range and was pleased to have this beautiful species, which is called prairie hen along the Missouri. In the afernoon someone brought me an owl, believed to be Strix otus, which certainly is a member of a different species.
In the afternoon
Mr. Bodmer went out the woodcutters went out. Toward evening they brought back numerous live bats, which I described under the name Vespertilio ursinus, and several snakes: a nice Heterodon and a Coluber eximus, a nice big specimen. Mr. Bodmer went out later but found nothing new or particularly interesting. During the day it had been hot, but on the prairie there was a strong wind, which greatly facilitated our walks across the endless grassy hills, which make the hunter’s shoes smooth and slippery. The evening became cool.