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!