After living in North Dakota nearly all of my life, more years than I sometimes like to think about, a year or so ago I discovered North Dakota’s sky.
It happened one afternoon last summer in our windowless WDAZ newsroom of all places. There is a television monitor mounted quite high on one wall. Much of the time it shows us what’s on what we semi-sarcastically call our “sky cam.” It’s a camera on the roof of the station, pointed north and (I think) slightly east, looking down South Washington Street. It’s used sometimes on weather “bumps” on our newcasts. Our meteorologists sometimes refer to it when they want to point out current weather conditions.
I usually glance up at it when I go to the from the newsroom to the studio or control room. No big deal. Usually.
But on this particular day in early summer, it hit me. There was nothing terribly unusual going on in the sky that day. It just looked unbelievably beautiful. I stopped and stared at the monitor long enough probably for my co-workers to become mildly concerned about me.
All I know is I’ve been paying closer attention to the sky ever since.
I’m pretty sure we have a bigger sky than our neighbors to the west who have laid claim famously to it.
North Dakota’s sky is beautiful when it’s clear, almost always interesting when it’s cloudy and down right fascinating when it’s stormy.
As an early riser, I’m sometimes rewarded with a sunrise at home I couldn’t describe in words if I tried. I’ve also seen North Dakota sunsets the likes of which I’ve never witnessed on the Florida and California coasts.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to live near the ocean or in the mountains. And it would. But for me, North Dakota’s sky makes for a substitute second to none.