C is for Cactus

C is for Cactus

C is for Cactus © 2011 Bo Mackison

“The spines have been used as phonograph needles, fishhooks, awls, needles, and for tattooing. The cactus was used as a cooking pot…cut off the top, scoop out the pulp, put hot stones and food in the cavity. The Cactus is precious and has difficulty surviving with humans.” ~ Pat Holtz

I love the desert. I love the living things I observe in the desert. I especially love the plants in the desert, including the many cactus species.

I was going to write a blog about photographing cacti and other plants in the desert, but after reading the above words ascribed to an artist and ethno-botanist, I no longer felt like writing about the desert today.

I only want to think and ponder that last line of the quote. “The cactus is precious and has difficulty surviving with humans.”



Bo Mackison is a photographer, owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She misses the desert.

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. Gorgeous shot, and a very thought-provoking quote to go with it.

  2. We moved from Arizona at the end 1993 after living there for 20 years. We saw so much damage to the desert, some from development, but far too much from just plain vandalism. I have really not wanted to return to see it Hopefully some of it will be preserved.

  3. Who’d of ever thought to think of the cactus as having the problem surviving with us?? What an exquisite image!!!

  4. You wouldn’t think cacti would be vulnerable, would you? Interesting quote. Lovely photograph.

  5. The larger cacti that you have in Arizona seem to invite more vandalism than the prickly pear cacti that are so common here in Texas. If anything, the overgrazing of the land has allowed the prickly pears to form large colonies in some places, so they seem not at all to have been bothered by people.

    Your cropping in on the image of the cactus reminds me of an elliptical cropping I made this summer to turn a sunflower into a mandala:


  6. wonderful image, but i always thought C is for Cookie

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