We took two weeks this October to travel around the Midwest and visit some of the Old Growth Forests we've not been to and soak up the magic of these ancient, biodiverse rich lands.
First though, we traveled to our homeland of Indiana to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday and Steve's Mom's 70ish birthday. Here's most of the granddaughters (but not all, nor the grandsons) and the lovely lady herself.
After leaving family, we began our maiden voyage in the little camper and stayed at Brown County State Park to get our systems worked out, which we did other than the solar setup, but we will get there.
Thanks to our old trusty Indiana Gazatteer and serendipitous adventure that happens without a strict itinerary, we found TC Steele State Historic Site and happily walked through beautiful forest protected by people with huge hearts and vision.
We then traveled on to our first true Old Growth Forest (capitalized because of their significance), most of which has been cut and destroyed in this country. This 88 acres, the largest tract in Indiana, was spared. Think on that a moment: 88 acres out of greater than 22 million acres of land and water in Indiana. Let's do the math: 88/22,000,000 * 100 equals 0.0004%. WOW.
We decided after mourning those long gone trees, vast stetches of forest, vernal pools and all the life connected to them, we would focus on what it is still here and what can be done to make more.
Knowledge, then hope and action is always the best way forward for us. Previously, too much time spent absorbing ecosystem devastation for so long put us both in places of inaction and depression and what good is that?
Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest in Indiana (Hoosier National Forest) felt otherworldly. How I else do I put it? Ancient, wise, survivors, Mother Trees...
I walked in front of Steve for much of the hike and cried silent tears for most of the way. The power in the trees swept through me - up, down, in, out.
Thanks to the Cox family for never cutting this forest and allowing us to experience this forest and imagine the land as it was.
"I don't wanna be the only one living when all of my friends are gone." Lord Huron. That's what I hear in my heart as I look at this picture and remember.
I promise to write the follow up posts yet this month. Until then, join me in sharing your wonder or joy or love or kindness. Let's add some more goodness to the world and share it with one another.
Wednesday Wonder Videos:
11/7/18 - Monarch in November: Today Jennifer begins a weekly short video clip sharing a moment of wonder or joy or awe she experienced and we both would love to hear your own weekly inspiration. Please type in the comments so everyone can share in the goodness. Let's create some brightness in this world friends!
11/14/18 - Eastern Wahoo: This past weekend at another fabulous Arc of Appalachia invasive plant removal workday, a friend spotted a native Eastern Wahoo (think native version and completely not invasive relative of Burning Bush) and I just had to highlight the beauty of this plant. We hope to grow some! What's your wonder or love for the week?
If you want to be super inspired by the efforts of those with passion and a mission, please check out http://arcofappalachia.org/. Their work clearing the invasives is what is giving plants like this fabulous Wahoo a chance to live, thrive and reproduce!