Owen Park

Beginning of a Snowstorm © 2012 Bo Mackison

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully he can learn even more. ~ George Washington Carver

The snow predictions were right on target. Yesterday morning at this time it had just begun to snow. Now there are six inches of snow covering the ground. I went out early yesterday, about an hour after the storm whipped into Madison. In the thick of this hardwood  grove, there was the silence of nature. Nothing much to hear, unless I stopped and stood still. And listened. And waited.

The snow pelted the ground without sound, but vibrated the pile of oak leaves still attached to their branch. I heard what sounded like the breath of the wind blowing gently, the tremble of a leaf as the snow fell heavier. A single snowflake would not disturb a single oak leaf, but  a swirl of snowflakes makes the branch of leaves dance.

The birds were silent. The wild turkeys, always a noisy crew, were strutting through another part of the park. No coyotes were out, not in mid-day. I hear them mostly at night, a siren-mimicking whine that always make me listen twice. Am I listening to the warning of a siren or the wailing of the coyotes? Even the squirrels had deserted this area.

My world is often silenced by the fall of snow, it blots out the sounds of man, and requires me to listen carefully to the sounds of the natural world around me.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Bo is exploring winter – close up and quietly.

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 love the solitary feeling in this photo. Very nice. I can hear the snow pelting the dried leave. I would like to have been out there with you.

  2. I like the scene! Our low altitude forests will be feeling the softness of new snow in the next few days too. I’ve tried to get many things done so I can be there to enjoy it!

  3. Winter has so much to offer (other than the cold). I look forward to enjoying more of your explorations. 🙂

  4. Lucky you to have snow!! We’ve yet to have our first. What a soft…silent..peaceful image. Love it!

  5. Wonderful quote–so true–to go with a wonderful image.

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