August 16, 1832
16 August: In the morning, overcast sky. At five thirty, temperature of 18°R [72.5°F, [Page 1:59] 22.5°C]. Until now we had always had breakfast at seven or seven thirty, something that was disadvantageous for our excursions. Today we are to have breakfast earlier, at six o’clock. In American inns one cannot have his breakfast or meals alone as in Europe; one always has to wait until the appointed hour, when a bell is rung or a call goes out; in the United States Hotel in Philadelphia, a Chinese gong was struck.
At seven thirty we—Mr. Moser, Dr. Saynisch, and I—went out. We followed the right bank of the Lecha downstream along a broad carriage road. To the right, enclosures for the fields (fences); to the left of the river, a fringe of tall, old trees, including many that were of great interest to me: for example, sweet gum (Laurus?
Benzoin),M9Mr. von Schweinitz believes this tree to be Laurus aestivalis. which still had green fruits; basswood trees; beeches; massive tall chestnut trees; oaks of various species, including Quercus coccinea, alba, rubra, and others, but especially one with elliptical leaves, sinuate or indented, and not lobate along the edge, which we had never found before. Also tall birch trees (Betula lenta and nigra) with thick trunks, one of which now had large fruits, etc. There were a large number of birds here, especially many Baltimore troupials, of which we shot several. Many woodpeckers, flycatchers, nuthatches, tree creepers (Sitta carolinensis), and thrushes, songbirds. We shot some chipmunks (Sciurus striatus) sitting on the fences; one of them slipped away into its hole in the ground before my very eyes.
After we had followed the grove of tall trees for a considerable distance along the water, where a pleasant shade delighted us, we went up to the forest, which was located beyond the fields to our right, [and] followed the edge of it but found scarcely a living thing, even though it was only ten o’clock. The only noteworthy thing was the hanging, baglike nest of the Baltimore oriole, which, however, we could not reach. We also unsuccessfully pursued beautiful blue-and-black butterflies (Papilio philenor) and a grasshopper with colorful wings (Gryllus carolinianus). A shrublike oak, three to four feet high, was another welcome find that day, as well as several amphibians, including Bufo clamosa Schn.; Coluber sirtalis, a snake with three stripes that Mr. Moser brought in; several insects; and nice plants. In the afternoon, a thunderstorm with heavy rain broke, which cooled the air very much. Nevertheless the evening was warm. During the night very heavy rain.