Austere Beauty – Seedheads in the Tallgrass Prairie

Austere Beauty © 2010 Bo Mackison

Taking photographs in the tallgrass prairie, I lose my way.

No path survives for long in the thicknesses of these stalks — Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indiangrass.

Stop. Listen. Look.

Take a few deep breaths and I push my way west, through the dry grasses, towards the glare of the sun.

Prairie flowers, their skeletons, some are standing erect, waving in the late autumn breezes. Some are bent in an arc. Some stems poke sharply, broken in half by the unrelenting winds.

All are in waiting.

Waiting to take cover under the flurries of an early snow. Dried flowers linger on the tallest of stems, aglow, back lit by the setting sun.

Austere beauty.

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. I thought I loved “tall grasses on black” until I saw this. Ohhhhhh, how gorgeous this is! The mystery, the weltschmertz (German, literally, “world hurt” but it means the pain of life), the courage of the grass to await winter. This is just plain amazing, Bo.

  2. Beautiful capture… I love the lighting, and your writing is poetic. Lovely in all.

  3. You are almost making me miss home. One of the things I love about this time of year is the way the dried flowers crackle as the frost is thawing. You seem to have captured this in your photo and words. Beautiful, Bo.

  4. Thank you for seeing such beauty in the simplest of things. There is no stage in life that is not lovely.

  5. The image painted by your word craft and the image captured by your vision craft mix beautifully.

  6. oneshotbeyond says:

    so classy looking

  7. Beautiful glow and simplicity.

  8. Bo, this is wonderful. The picture leaves me breathless. And when you add the words, your own words, coming from deep within, yet so right there, I must take a big deep breath and let out a fluttering sigh.
    Thank you for the beauty of this. Thank you.
    Angels be with you.

  9. Yes.

  10. Such depth and color. Really lovely. Nice little journey in words.

  11. So pretty!

Leave a Reply