LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Settling In For The Winter

We are settling in here at Red Oak House for the winter, tweaking our list of indoor projects and savoring meals of turkey, pork roast and ham.

Outside my kitchen office window, the chickadees and woodpeckers on busy on the suet feeder. Specifically, ours in North Dakota are black-capped chickadees, parus atricapillus. Parus is Latin for “titmouse” and atricapillus for “black-capped, formed from ater, atris, “black,” and capillus, “hair of the head,” according to my copy of “Words for Birds.” “Titmouse is derived from the Old Icelandic titr, meaning, ‘something small,’ and mouse, a corruption of the Old English mase, ‘small bird.’ Chickadee is imitative of the bird’s call.” (page193)

Outside other windows, the newly fallen snow demonstrates how many rabbits and squirrels we have in our yard.

When we crossed the Missouri River last Sunday morning, a bald eagle flew over, this being the time of year we see more than usual.

I’m particularly anticipating the winter of 2017-18 with glee because it is a year of Winter Olympics, and I warn my husband to not schedule me for anything in February.  I’m sure when my father was in Korean for the Conflict in the 1950s that he never anticipated sitting in his warm living room decades later watching a sports competition being held in that faraway country.

Speaking for myself, I have many happy and vivid memories of past Winter Olympics, especially the one held in Norway. Watching the speed skaters from Wisconsin prevail was very inspiring, their powerful thighs pumping them over the line. Time to bone up on the current crop of athletes!

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Lillian Crook

A retired librarian, Lillian Crook is an Army child but completed her junior high and high school education while living in North Dakota’s Slope County, where her parents retired to her mother's family farm and ranch. She completed a bachelor's degree in English from Dickinson (N.D.) State University and a master’s of library science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and was an academic librarian at DSU for 26 years. She later worked for Theodore Roosevelt National Park as a museum technician and volunteered for TRNP in many capacities. She is married to Jim Fuglie, is an avid reader, gardener and birder and enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, photography and writing, is the mother of twin daughters and loves yoga. She and Jim run Red Oak House Books and Publishers from their home. Lillian is the founder of Badlands Conservation Alliance, a grass-roots voice for wild places in western North Dakota. Bullion Butte is the center of her universe, and she is happiest when floating the Little Missouri River. Her blog, WildDakotaWoman.blogspot.com, consists of random thoughts on wild places and musings on life in Red Oak House of Bismarck. She can also be followed on Twitter @WildDakotaWoman. She takes heart from one of her favorite writers, Terry Tempest Williams, who wrote, "If you know wilderness like you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go. We are talking about the body of the beloved, not real estate."

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