Page 316. " All the early part of the night they’d kept Sirius at their left on the southwest horizon "
Close-up of Sirius
Public DomainClose-up of Sirius - Credit: Akira Fujii
Orion, Canis Minor and Canis major with Sirius as the largest star at centre-bottom
Public DomainOrion, Canis Minor and Canis Major with Sirius as the largest star at centre-bottom - Credit: Akira Fujii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. The name derives from the Ancient Greek and means 'glowing' or 'scorcher'. Sirius is also commonly known as the Dog Star, on account of its prominence in its constellation Canis Major (Greater Dog).

Page 316. " Cetus out there fording the void "
Cetus
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCetus - Credit: Roberto Mura
Cetus constellation depicted as sea-monster from the Mercator celestial globe
Public DomainCetus constellation depicted as sea-monster from the Mercator celestial globe - Credit: Harvard Map Collection

Cetus is a constellation in the northern sky. It is named after the sea monster in Greek monster sent to devour Andromeda, although it is often called ‘the whale’ today. Cetus is located in the Water region of the sky, alongside other watery constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.

Page 316. " Orion and Betelgeuse turning overhead "
Orion constellation with Betelgeuse star (Click on link for guide to locating individual stars)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeOrion constellation with Betelgeuse star (Click on link for guide to locating individual stars) - Credit: Janne

Orion is a constellation located on the celestial equator. Its name refers to Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology. One of the most conspicuous and recognisable constellations in the night sky, Orion is visible throughout the world.

 

Betelgeuse is second brightest star in the constellation of Orion and the eighth brightest star in the night sky. Classified as a red supergiant, Betelgeuse is one of the largest and most luminous stars known.

Page 316. " Then he descended the esker "
Esker
Public DomainEsker - Credit: Pearson Scott Foresman

An esker is a long winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel. Eskers are found in glaciated and formerly glaciated regions of Europe and North America. Often several kilometres long, they resemble railroad embarkments in appearance.

 

 

Esker in Alaska
Creative Commons AttributionEsker in Alaska - Credit: James Brooks
Page 317. " They were Diegueños. "
Diegueño woman of Santa Ysabel (c. 1926)
Public DomainDiegueño woman of Santa Ysabel (c. 1926) - Credit: Edward S. Curtis
Illustration of Kumeyaay Indians (1857)
Public DomainIllustration of Kumeyaay Indians (1857) - Credit: Schott & Sorony Co.

Diegueño was the former name for the Kumeyaay, a Native American people of the extreme southwestern United States and northwest Mexico.

There are thought to be just 3,000 Kumeyaay left.

Page 317. " They led the refuges into their camp at San Felipe, a collection of crude huts made from reeds "
Diegueño woman of Campo (c. 1926)
Public DomainDiegueño woman of Campo (c. 1926) - Credit: Edward S. Curtis

Diegueño, or Kumeyaay, homes were circular, domed structures woven from willow branches that still had the leaves attached. Mats or rabbit skins covered the doorways, and grasses were used to soften the floor.

 

San Felipe is located on the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in the Mexican state of Baja California, 190 km south of the United States border.

Page 318. " They reached Warner's Ranch "

Warner's Ranch, near Warner Springs, California, was notable as a way station for large numbers of emigrants on the Southern Trail from 1849 to 1861, as it was a stop on both the Gila River Trail and the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line (1859-1861). It also operated as a pioneering cattle ranch.

When California became part of the United States, new obligations for taxes were applied to the Cupeño. Many of them worked on Warner's ranch, which had a bad reputation for severe treatment of Indians. In 1851, at the beginning of the Garra Revolt, an uprising by the local Cupeño tribe under Antonio Garra, Warner was attacked at his ranch. He sent his family to Los Angeles. Some of the ranch buildings were burned, but Warner continued to operate it, until his grant was challenged by a former claimant.

Warner's Ranch was a stop on the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line in 1857 and the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line between 1858 and 1860. It was linked to San Diego by the San Diego - Fort Yuma mail route via the road through Santa Isabel to San Diego. Travelers rested here along their journey, after the trip through the desert.

 

 

Page 318. " They carried old military guns save for one who had a buffalo rifle "

Buffalo rifles were large-calibre, generally single-shot black powder cartridge firearms which were used to hunt the buffalo to near-extinction in the late 19th century. The three most popular types of rifles used by professional buffalo hunters were the Springfield Riflle, Remington No. 1, and Sharps rifle.

 

Springfield Model 1855 rifle
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSpringfield Model 1855 rifle - Credit: Antique Military Rifles

 

 

Page 319. " All that day they climbed through a highland park forested with joshua trees "
Joshua Tree forest (Yucca brevifolia) from Cima Dome, in the Mojave National Preserve, southeastern California.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJoshua Tree forest (Yucca brevifolia) from Cima Dome, in the Mojave National Preserve, southeastern California. - Credit: Stan Shebs

The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a tree-like plant species belonging to the genus Yucca. It is native to the southwestern United States.

The name was given by a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The tree's unique shape reminded them of a Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer

Page 321. " The penitent brothers "
Night Procession of the Penitentes, by William Penhallow Henderson
Public DomainNight Procession of the Penitentes, by William Penhallow Henderson - Credit: Southwest Crossroads

The penitent brothers (Los Hermanos Penitentes) was the name of a Christian sect of flagellants based in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, dating back to the early 19th century.

The focus of their ritual activity was Lent, when the Penitentes re-enacted the passion and death of Christ with acts of self-flaggelation and the carrying of heavy crosses (see bookmarks p.330 and p.331). Up to the year 1890, the flagellations of the Penitentes were public, but the order was forced into carrying out their rituals in secrecy following increasing pressure from church authorities to desist in the practice.

The Penitentes reconciled with the Church in the mid 20th century, receiving formal recognition in 1947. The current adherents now consider themselves to be members of the Third Order of St Francis.

 

Penitentes carrying crosses near Taos, New Mexico
Public DomainPenitentes carrying crosses near Taos, New Mexico - Credit: Library of Congress

 

Page 321. " The eldress in the rocks "
Shaker Eldress Fannie Estabrook (c.1931-36)
Public DomainShaker Eldress Fannie Estabrook (c.1931-36) - Credit: Library of Congress

An eldress is a woman who is an elder, a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group.

Eldresses are particularly associated with the egalitarian Shaker religious community, since positions of authority in most Christian organisations were traditionally barred to women.

 

Page 325. " We have spirits of ether. You wont need the whiskey. "
Re-enactment of the demonstration of ether anesthesia by W.T.G. Morton on October 16, 1846
Public DomainRe-enactment of the demonstration of ether anesthesia by W.T.G. Morton on October 16, 1846 - Credit: Southworth & Hawes

The first physician to use diethyl ether as an anesthetic was Crawford Williamson Long, who administered it on 30 March 1842 during a surgical procedure to remove a tumour from a patient in Georgia. Although Long subsequently used it on multiple occasions afterward, he did not publish anything regarding the trials until 1849. William T.G. Morton participated in a public demonstration of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846 at the Ether Dome in Boston, Massachusetts. Because of its associations with Boston, the use of ether became known as the ‘Yankee Dodge’.

Today, ether is rarely used, mainly due to its many undesirable side effects, such as post-anesthetic nausea and vomiting.