Moody Desert in Black and White

Moody Desert in Black and White

Candle Wood, Coach Whip, Flaming Sword, Jacob’s Staff, Slim Wood, Vine Cactus – all are various names for the Ocotillo cactus.

Found only in the Sonoran desert in the Southwest United States and adjacent Mexico, it is a practical plant. Its branches, covered with spiky thorns, makes a naturally effective fence. Those thorns are sharp, nothing to be reckoned with.

But its silhouette is a source of beauty, rising from the floor of the desert, reaching upwards to the blue skies.

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 in every way!

  2. They are beautiful plants! WIll you be there to see them bloom? Should start in March after such a wet winter. I like the mood of that photo!

  3. Love how this looks like a drawing, awesome shot. Although, they don’t sound like something to mess with, no. Haha.

  4. Lovely in its spike-ness and the lines as the b&w really shows this image off.

  5. The contrast between the soft, streaky sky and the spiky, thorny ocotillo is wonderful!

  6. A very striking composition

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