A Roadrunner for Joanne

Backyard Roadrunner

Backyard Roadrunner © 2012 Bo Mackison

 “Now then, I can easily understand why it should puzzle you that a person of my intelligence, I.Q. 207 super genius, should devote his valuable time chasing this ridiculous road runner, this bird that appears to be so skinny, scrawny, stringy, unappetizing, anemic, ugly and misbegotten. Ah, but how little you know about road runners. Actually, the road runner is to the taste buds of a coyote, what caviar, champagne, filet mignon and chocolate fudge are to the taste buds of a man.” Wile E. Coyote

Last year, when I wrote about seeing roadrunners in my Arizona backyard, Joanne Keevers left a comment and said she wanted to see what a roadrunner looked like since there were no roadrunners in Australia, and would I please take a photograph if I got the chance. Well, it’s taken me almost a year to see a roadrunner within camera range, and even this guy nearly escaped without me getting a photo. You can tell he is running away from me as I snap his portrait.

Funny thing, before I reached for my camera, he walked to within ten feet of me and then stared at me, almost cocking his head as if to say, “You want something, lady?” Even while I had my camera in hand, checking the settings, he stood quite still. But as soon as I lifted the camera to my eye and began pressing the shutter, he took off at a brisk pace.

He did not run. He merely walked off in a bit of a hurry. I don’t think road runners do much running, but they are quick of movement. They are one of the few creatures that can kill a rattlesnake.

So, Joanne, here is a roadrunner photo for you — with best wishes to you from Arizona to Australia.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She enjoys watching the variety of birds in her backyard arroyo. And once in a while, she even gets a bird photo!


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. Beep-beep—nice photo!

  2. “Beep-beep!” Funny, Quinn. As you know, as many trips as I’ve taken to the SW never have I seen a roadrunner. And you get this shot! You are a blessed one, my friend. A blessed one. A Forever Experience!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      You’ve never seen a roadrunner? I think a pair lives in the arroyo behind the condo. I’ve seen them a few times, but they seem more shy than the Gambel’s Quails, which I also want to get a photo of. I’m not much of a bird photographer…too much waiting.

      Not that I don;t wait for the buildings, as in “well, in 2 hours the light will be just where I want it…” Hmmmm.

  3. Awesome. Road Runners are very cool birds. I love this photo.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Roadrunners ARE very cool birds. Or maybe they are very hot birds! After all, they live in the desert… 🙂

  4. Joanne Keevers says:

    You got one!! Well, photographed one, that is. Thank you so much! And such an obliging little fellow too, to be so friendly and stick around until you captured his image. (Saying you got a shot of him just doesn’t sound right!)

    When I looked at the photo I was surprised to see that a Roadrunner is actually a bird! (Now I’m wondering what I thought they were, lol.)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bo. You’ve made my day! 🙂

    • Bo Mackison says:

      You are very welcome, Joanne. When I saw the roadrunners, I thought, “Oh, I want to get a photo so Joanne can see a roadrunner!!!” Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Wait! What kind of animal DID you think a roadrunner was if it wasn’t a bird? [grinning]

      • Joanne Keevers says:

        That’s a very good question, Bo, and I’ve been asking myself the very same question (and laughing at myself!) 😀

  5. So – this is what a roadrunner looks like?? How cool!! And – lucky you – to have been there to capture him like this!!!

  6. Joanne/Marcie

    You need to watch more cartoons. With Wiley Coyote and The Road Runner you’d see a lot of Arizona/American SW. Now it would be a bit stereo typed, but informative. You’d even see the same Saguro cactus frame after frame.

    Bo certainly has an educational blog. 🙂


    • Joanne Keevers says:

      You’re right, Gandalf! I’ve been thinling about how great it would be to see the cartoon again, to find out where my (warped!) ideas about Roadrunners came from! It’s been a lot of years….but yes, I always learn something new from Bo, and love her trips to Arizona. 🙂

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Does Bo? Well, Gandalf, always happy to help educate… ha ha!

  7. That’s a terrific photo of the Roadrunner. Something else I miss about the southwest!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      There’s a lot to love about your mountains, too, Montucky. I always love looking at your photos of those gorgeous peaks.

  8. What a cool looking bird! I’ve only seen the cartoon version. I’m so glad he decided to give you a chance at capturing him with your camera. 🙂

  9. Yes, bird photography is tough. Patience is required. Much as in selling homes and whatnot. Hope you are feeling much better these days. The next art show is coming up, yes? Getcher rest, missypants! XO!

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