Coneflower Seedhead

Coneflower Seedhead

Coneflower Seedhead © 2011 Bo Mackison

The creative process, like a spiritual journey, is intuitive, non-linear and experiential. It points us toward our essential nature, which is a reflection of the boundless creativity of the universe. ~ John Daido Loori, from The Zen of Creativity

Though there were many years in my life when I seldom saw a sunrise, I seem to be making up for all those lost sunrises because I try not to miss the day’s beginning if the weather cooperates. I can think of no better way to begin each day by waking in darkness, puttering around the house while pulling on the right layers of clothing, and heading outdoors just as the sky begins to lighten.

Usually I grab my ready-to-go camera which I always set the prior evening for early morning photos. I participate in a nightly ritual by preparing my camera and gear for the next day — clean the lenses and filters, check the battery and memory card, format the camera if needed, check the white balance and other settings.

When I take my time in the evening, there are no hurried morning exits while I search menus and spin dials on my camera.

I like to take my mornings slow, wander in the yard, no agenda, no particular photograph in mind, just a time for the awakening sounds of nature and keen observation of what is going on around me.

I recall the first lines in the poem The Waking by T.S. Eliot. I say these lines most mornings while I stand in the leaf covered grass, grounding myself, waiting, watching, a morning prayer of a different sort:

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.


Bo Mackison is a photographer, owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She also loves the early morning, sunrises, and poetry.

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. Lovely fall colors surrounding this spent flower. I love the shapes of seedheads. Your evening and morning routines sound peaceful, purposeful and lovely.

  2. Gorgeous light and bokeh.

  3. Wonderful DOF.

  4. I love that photo, Bo!

  5. Love the 3-D effect here. Seedheads–the hope of the future.

  6. I’m glad to find someone else who likes photographing the remains of seed heads. In this case you also provided a great background.

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