We met Tall Green Milkweed in the heat of Missouri...
and snow melt lakes in the heart of the Colorado Rockies.
Us flatlanders struggled with the near 13,000' altitude, but the plants and views made the lack of red blood cells more than worth it. And to be fair to our blood cells, we felt mighty better after a few days camped high. It's all about adaptation.
Our July 4th fireworks sparkled in the faces of the alpine flowers and twinkly, starlit night. Perfect.
Crystal clear waters made us drop to our knees everytime in gratitude. Sometimes we fought back tears wondering why on Earth so many of the waters of our homeland are straightened and filled with topsoil or subsoil and the color of mud, but we know it's a brief blip in the history of the planet and clear water will flow in sinuous braids once again.
Caddisflies told me about the purity of the water and I sat with them for a while and they visit me frequently in my memory. I hold onto them and their message of hope.
Onward we journeyed in the Glamp, the perfect base camp.
We stopped to contemplate the Colorado river...so fabled, so controversial and so needed to so many.
Natural Bridges National Monument wowed us beyond belief with rocks, colors and life. Swallows nipped and tucked overhead bringing food to babies and had us giggling in delight with their more than swift flight. Little pockets of water held quickly developing tadpoles. We sat a lot. We didn't think too much. We just absorbed and filled up our depleted wells of inspiration.
Cicadas in Utah helped me continue the celebration of my 41st birthday; they obviously knew the music of their wings is the music of my heart.
We made it all the way to Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder, UT and delighted in the food, the spectacular scenery and reverence for life. The owners are in the fight for Grand Staircase-Escalante and we felt grateful to be amongst other Earth lovers and proud to support them.
Showy Milkweed saluted us near Calf Creek, while Lower Calf Creek waterfall elicited more laughter than any other time on the trip as we dipped into the icy, cool waters with a whole pack of boyscouts whooping and hollering.
Again, we bowed to clear water naturally supporting three species of trout. No stocking here.
The home bound winds blew and boondocked us on top of the world in Wyoming. Coyotes yipped, nighthawks peented and horned larks sang. Our bellies filled up on farmers' market purchased food and we sat in the breeze feeling the shifts of change. Homecoming, but better.
The Badlands of South Dakota offered us singing chorus frogs. How did they all know? How did all my heart-harbored life know I was celebrating them and by singing their song, my very own song grew richer and richer?
We traveled through Iowa to visit Seed Savers Exchange and the Baltimore oriole's nest above our campspot told us this was right. You see, if you haven't gathered already, we want to support good work and hope in this world.
The appreciation of local food in this community is strong. We loved Seed Savers farm, the local food coop and the farmers' market. Keeping us well fed while traveling is easy in the summer.
The vestiges of prairie in Illinois (Midewin Ntl. Tallgrass Prairie) and Indiana (Kankakee Sands) welcomed us back and once again wove our minds and hearts into this spectacular ecosystem. Seeing what was and what can be again buoyed our efforts to bring wildness back to all of our hearts and lands.
Common Milkweed said: "Hello old friends. I'm glad you are back. The flowers are in bloom, the juvenile Common Yellowthroats are flitting about and the dragonflies are hunting. The 3.5 acres you call home does not want you to miss the show."
"Now, let's get to work rewilding and inviting life back."
The wisdom of Milkweed lives strong again.
Here's an article I wrote on this very topic. I titled it Life in Flyover Country. Have you ever thought, that in fact we ARE flyover country here in the Midwest to thousands and millions of winged beings?
Come visit us! We have 3 open days scheduled on this magical 3.5 acres, where we are offering plants to aid in this planting revolution and restoration of wildness. See our website for very important details.
Check out our latest VIDEOS.
Also, I created an Instagram account for The Common Milkweed since so many of you requested me to do so. I have no idea what I am doing yet, but if you are on there find us @The Common Milkweed.