Looking for Rain in My Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball - Through the Screen Porch

Looking through the Screen Porch © 2012 Bo Mackison

I never saw a discontented tree.  They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.  They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!  ~John Muir

Perhaps John Muir never saw a discontented tree, and he certainly had a long-term love affair with them, but I’m seeing many sad, very dry trees in southern Wisconsin.

While I was experimenting with a crystal ball and my camera, I took this photo of my one of my favorite trees, the red maple that we planted in our back yard in 2001. This maple is doing well since we are watering it weekly. The rest of the yard doesn’t look too perky. In fact, it looks downright parched, except for an area of green around our perennial/vegetable garden.

The weatherman I listened to this morning somehow knows — looking through HIS crystal ball — that we will get rain tomorrow evening, perhaps a quarter of an inch or so. I do hope he has some special connections and his forecast proves true. My green Midwest is no longer lush and green. It is brown and crispy.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that we were not watering the grass, only the trees. A reader informs me that most grass will survive without any moisture for about 60 days. Our last significant rainfall was in early June, so I am watching the calendar. Another two weeks of this, and we may have to add the grass to our watering schedule.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is experimenting with crystal ball photography while assessing the crispness of the grass.

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. It’s brown and crispy here, too. I hope you got some rain, Bo. Our best chance for some rain is today, but even that isn’t looking so good.

    I like what you’re doing with your crystal ball. 🙂

  2. Bo Mackison says:

    We did get rain. And I see you got rain too. Yay!

    I actually walked in the grass in bare feet this morning – soft and bendy, not crispy like needles!

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