Yellow Bird: Pray for rain in western North Dakota

"I have come to believe that the people in western North Dakota, especially my relatives, don’t believe there is really drought out there. It is those of us who visit that part of our state who are shocked to see the rolling hills so brown with flat and stunted prairie grass.

For example, recently my relatives were having a big birthday party for my cousin-brother, Sidney. I haven’t seen the family since November, when we got the first snowfall. I don’t like driving on winter roads.

When my daughter, Karen, and I left Grand Forks early Saturday morning, I glanced in the rear-view mirror and the sun looked like a fiery red ball sitting on the rim of the horizon. I knew North Dakota was in for some good melting.

Eastern North Dakota, that is — because the snow-covered fields and banks of deep snow got thinner and thinner as we moved west. Right before Minot, the snow seemed to disappear. And by the time we made that familiar turn west off of U.S. Highway 83 toward White Shield, N.D., there was no snow at all. It looked like late August.

I could see how dry the area was, and the heat of summer hadn’t even started yet. My family is going to be surrounded by dust devils, and they’ll be breathing gritty wind."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Western N.D. has oil, needs water (The Grand Forks Herald 3/19)

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