Page 302. " He'd shown her blue flax and cinquefoil and balsamroot and the ones they called rooster heads "
Arrowleaf balsamroot
Creative Commons AttributionArrowleaf balsamroot - Credit: Mark Wagner

Montana has a rich flora because the state includes many different ecosystems, from the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest to the drier Great Plains and the Intermountain areas in between.


Sulphur cinquefoil
GNU Free Documentation LicenseSulphur cinquefoil - Credit: Jerzy Opiola





'Rooster heads' probably refers to the Shooting Star, a primrose of the Genus Dodecatheon. The flowers are pollinated by bees, which grab hold of the petals and gather pollen by buzzing their wings ('buzz pollination'), causing vibrations that release pollen from the anthers.






Blue flax
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBlue flax - Credit: Skoch


Page 303. " A small crowd of mule deer "
Mule deer
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMule deer - Credit: Oborseth

The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) gets its name from its large mule-like ears. The mule deer's tail is black-tipped. Mule deer antlers "fork" as they grow rather than branching from a single main beam (as with white-tails). Each year a buck's antlers start to grow in spring and are shed after mating season from mid-January to mid-April. Instead of running, mule deer move with a bounding leap (stot), with all four feet coming down together.

During the winter, most mule deer move down from the mountains, where the snow is deeper, into the valleys, where food is easier to reach.

Page 320. " The English saddle too was on the same rest "

English saddles are used in "English riding" disciplines throughout the world. This style of saddle is used in all of the Olympic and FEI equestrian disciplines, except for the newly-approved FEI events of equestrian vaulting and reining. Most designs were specifically developed to allow the horse freedom of movement, whether jumping, running, or moving quickly across rugged, broken country with fences. Unlike the western saddle or Australian Stock Saddle, there is no horn or other design elements that stick out above the main tree of the saddle.

Page 324. " the nation's largest single source of silver in the 1880s and of copper for another thirty years "
Berkeley Pit
Creative Commons AttributionBerkeley Pit - Credit: Theshowmecanuck

Butte was, in its heyday, one of the largest and most notorious copper boomtowns in the American West, home to hundreds of saloons and a famous red-light district called 'The Line'.

Butte started out as a mining town in the late 19th century.  It lies in the Silver Bow Creek Valley (or Summit Valley), a natural bowl sitting high in the Rockies and straddling the Continental Divide. Gold, silver and copper were mined in the area, and the small town soon became one of the most prosperous cities in the country, especially during World War I.  It was called "the Richest Hill on Earth".

The prosperity lasted until the 1950s, when the declining grade of ore and competition from other mines led the Anaconda company to switch its focus from the costly and dangerous practice of underground mining to open pit mining.

Creation of the Berkeley Pit, which opened in 1955, required the destruction of thousands of homes. At the time, it was the largest truck-operated open pit copper mine in the United States. In 1982, all mining in the Berkeley Pit was suspended. When mining shut down, water pumps in nearby mines were also shut down, which resulted in highly acidic water laced with toxic heavy metals filling up the pit. Only two years later the pit was classified as a Superfund site and an environmental hazard site. 342 migrating geese died after stopping at the pit. Steps have since been taken to prevent a recurrence, including loudspeakers broadcasting sounds to scare off waterfowl. In November 2003 the Horseshoe Bend treatment facility began treating and diverting much of the water that would have flowed into the pit.

The Berkeley Pit is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions.