Yellow Bird: Excitement in North Dakota's weather
"When I awoke Tuesday morning, I could see the trees dancing to yet another winter tune. “Where’s spring?” I whispered loudly enough so the trees could hear.

I like winter. I put up with the really cold days because I know it’s winter and spring will follow. But when I’ve tasted the beginnings of summer, I want to spit out the cold and drink in the warmth, along with the green, the buds and the sweet water of melting rivers.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the western part of the state. They’ve had a mild winter. I scoffed when my family told me about the dusting of snow they’d had. My sisters, Kaye and Gloria, proudly said that they hadn’t missed one trip for shopping in Bismarck and Minot, going to the casino or visiting relatives. You see, they are cautious drivers and refuse to drive in any kind of bad weather.

This has been their kind of year.

Of course, the warm weather can be just as fickle. In my travels, I’ve seen the tail of a twister drop down and then go up again. Sometimes, the sky is so dark that you can’t see if there’s a tornado or not.

There’s excitement living in North Dakota; you can’t deny that.

I’ve watched those storm chasers on television and wondered if I could do their job. But tornadoes are unpredictable: I remember a story I read a few years ago about a storm chaser who was following one. He was extra careful to keep his eyes on the beast, but didn’t realize until he felt it that a twin twister had formed and was tapping him on his shoulder.

I always see the winter as a wolf spirit — long white teeth, snarling, fierce at times and wild. Spring, I see as a coyote (the Trickster) — beautiful with life and new beginnings, but also sly and full of tricks. And like the Trickster, you never know when it’s going to turn bad."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Wild, wooly weather energizes Plains (The Grand Forks Herald 3/26)
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