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)

More Dorreen Yellow Bird:
Yellow Bird: Thoughts on Sen. Obama and race (3/24)
Yellow Bird: Pray for rain in western North Dakota (3/19)
Yellow Bird: Grandchildren are the greatest gift (3/17)
Yellow Bird: UND powwow survives budget woes (3/10)
Yellow Bird: Stereotypes and Hillary Clinton (3/5)
Yellow Bird: Celebrating 125 years of UND history (3/3)
Yellow Bird: High hopes for Indian health bill (2/28)
Yellow Bird: More Plains foods that are good for you (2/25)
Yellow Bird: Chokecherries, the wonder fruit (2/20)
Yellow Bird: Sadness on a trip to Standing Rock (2/18)
Yellow Bird: It's time for a change in music (2/11)
Yellow Bird: 'Sioux' drives Indian students away (2/7)
Yellow Bird: Another cold January in North Dakota (1/30)
Yellow Bird: Tribal casinos should be alcohol free (1/28)
Yellow Bird: Race and gender in presidential race (1/23)
Yellow Bird: Barack Obama is my choice for 2008 (1/16)
Yellow Bird: Artman right on off-reservation gaming (1/9)
Yellow Bird: Barack Obama's big win in Iowa (1/7)