Gates to the Orchard

Vintage Orchard at Tumacacori

Vintage Orchard at Tumacacori @2012 Bo Mackison

A man does not plant a tree for himself, he plants it for posterity. ~ Alexander Smith

In 2004, Tumacácori National Historical Park acquired adjacent property to the park, including  the original 5-acre mission orchard and a portion of agricultural area, and their goal was to replant the Spanish Mission Era orchard and garden.

They decided to use fruit tree stocks (cultivars) traced to those introduced to that area in the late 17th and early 18th centuries by the Jesuits and those introduced a century later by the Franciscans.

Mission Gate at Tumacacori National Historic Site

Mission Gate at Tumacacori National Historic Park ©2012 Bo Mackison

Though I can find no written information on this gate, the Park Ranger I spoke with said the gate had been newly erected. Built by a local metal works craftsman after much research, the gate is in the Mission style of the 18th century and thought to be similar to the original.

Gate to Vintage Orchard at Tumacacori National Historic Site

Gate to Vintage Orchard at Tumacacori and Beyond ©2012 Bo Mackison

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”  – Hermann Hesse, Wandering

The orchard can be seen beyond the vine-covered gate. It’s a lovely space, near the Santa Cruz River and the ten thousand foot forested mountains in the Coronado National Forest. On the far eastern edge of the historic site, there are a few benches for some quiet time in a pastoral setting.

After days of hiking in the more rugged canyons of the nearby deserts and mountains, I found the orchard a place filled with an orderliness with a purpose. It was a different kind of space, yes, but the perfect interlude and space for reflection and writing.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is grateful that there is a time and place for quiet meditation, sitting by an orchard in the shade of the mountains.


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. The images with the gate are especially attractive.

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