I'm just now (Sunday afternoon) leaving the Black Hills of South Dakota, after a weekend retreat recuperating from the flu. One of the things I love about the Black Hills is the fact that species typical of all four directions meet and live here.
The sign in this first photo - posted by the roadside in Wind Cave National Park - shows some of the western and eastern plant and animal species that meet here. Just considering plants, we find ponderosa pine from the west and bur oak from the east. From the north we find black spruce and paper birch, while quaking aspen and blue spruce come up from the south.
It's no wonder that the Lakota, whose land this traditionally is, consider The Black Hills "The Center of the Earth."
Photos: Sign in Wind Cave National Park, SD; Lakota Medicine Wheel
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.