The Holiday Season is coming quickly. Consider giving a gift that helps someone to better enjoy nature.
When I was a kid, I gave my parents a bird feeder for Christmas. In retrospect, it was probably more than a bit self-serving, but it got my mom and dad interested in birds and kept them entertained for years. A bird feeder can do that! They come in a variety of types and prices, so it should be easy to find a good fit. A bird house or a bird guide could also make a good gift. There are several bird guides on the market. The more popular guides include the Sibley Guides, Audubon, Peterson, National Geographic, and Kaufman’s. There are also some great apps for the cell phone as well. Maybe a good pair of binoculars is in order. 7 x 35’s or 8 x 50’s are popular for bird watching.
There are a few books of interest specifically for North Dakota. All are well written and illustrated and should be available in bookstores across the state. You might even end up getting one of these books for yourself! Paul Kannowski’s Wildflowers of North Dakota contains short descriptions, range maps, and photographs of over 150 of the more common wildflowers of the state. Also, the second edition of Robert Seabloom’s Mammals of North Dakota is just out. It is the go-to manual for information on mammals of the state, and includes description, distribution, ecology, status, and more for each species.
For the geologically inclined, "North Dakota’s Geological Legacy: Our Land and How It Formed" by former State Geologist John Bluemle is a great choice. Well written and illustrated, it has most everything you wanted to know about the geology of the state from Sentinel Butte to the Red River and everywhere in between. There is also the "Geology of the Lewis and Clark Trail" by John Hoganson and Ed Murphy. It is an excellent manual on the geology (along with historical and other aspects) of the area along and adjacent to the Missouri River.
To stimulate interest in the stars and constellations, star charts and paperback guides on constellations are often available in popular bookstores. The gift options are endless, for any age, and of course the search engine on your computer can be a great help.