A Riot of Prickly Pear Blossoms

Cactus Blossom Bouquet

Cactus Blossom Bouquet © 2011 Bo Mackison

I visited the cactus garden in the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson Arizona this morning and was quite thrilled to find many cacti in bloom after yesterday;s much needed all day rain. The colors are so bright, all shades of pinks and yellows, that it seems a fitting post for the end of a weekend.

So, first a crowd of blossoms along the top of a Prickly Pear pad.

Riot of Cactus Color

Riot of Cactus Color © 2011 Bo Mackison

And then a riot of color, all the flowers crowded together to make a natural bouquet on this Prickly Pear plant.

Two Blossoms on the Prickly Pear

Two Blossoms on the Prickly Pear © 2011 Bo Mackison

And then two blossoms in full bloom, surrounded by the long stickers of this Prickly Pear.

What a joy it is to see the desert turn green and the flowers begin to bloom after a desert rain. It doesn’t take much rain either –  just slightly more than a quarter of an inch – but the desert knows how to utilize every drop to its advantage. Yesterday’s rain was the first significant rainfall I’ve experienced in Arizona since I arrived in early February.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She will be returning to Wisconsin in a few days after living in Tucson for the last two months. She’s been exploring Arizona, taking photographs, and blogging about photography, art, and living life “solo.”

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanne Keevers says:

    Who would ever have thought a “Prickly Pear” would produce such beautiful flowers? They look almost like tiny rosebuds, opening up into full roses! Just beautiful….

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Seems like the most beautiful of flowers are well protected. I love the contrast –beauty with its prickly protection.

  2. Beautiful, soft colors. Quite the contrast with the rest of the plant. However, the rose is also no stranger to a bit of stickiness.

  3. These are beautiful Bo, love the contrast between the thorns and soft colors and light, nicely done !!

  4. Those are so pretty, Bo! Now I am really missing the desert!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Only a couple more days, Montucky, and the desert travelogue will be finished. I love this land, too. I’ll miss the desert, too.

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