Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Squiggly Organ Pipe Cactus

Squiggly Organ Pipe Cactus © 2011 Bo Mackison

One of my goals during my time in Arizona was to take an all day trip to a place I’d never been, to a place that was at least 150 miles from home base in Tucson. I knew this would be a challenge when I added that goal to my list. At the time, I wasn’t fond of driving and I worried about getting lost.

In the three weeks I’ve been in Tucson, I’ve gotten much better at driving and I’ve been going to lots of new places. Today’s weather was perfect for a drive, so it seemed a good time to get on the road and visit a place I had on my list–Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona.

Considering I left before sunrise this morning and I returned home just as the sun was setting — well, my brain is too tired to say all the spectacular things I’ll want to say when I am more awake. So I’ll post just one photograph for now — I promise there will be many more. I loved this park.

Isn’t this Organ Pipe Cactus against that cloud-streaked Arizona sky a thing of beauty?

(Though I might call this particular specimen an Octopus Cactus! The ones I’ll post tomorrow are better examples of why they are called Organ Pipes, but this one has a lot of character!)


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is living in Tucson for two months, exhibiting her photography in art shows, taking photographs, and blogging about photography, art fairs, and living life “solo.”  She spent the day driving and is going to bed early. More photographs from Organ Pipe NM tomorrow.

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. Gandalf says:

    Wonderful cactus and a beautiful sky.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Don’t get those skies all that often. I was really lucky to be in Organ Pipe when the clouds were cooperating so nicely.

  2. The combination of the cactus and the way it sits against that sky backdrop make it look like a painting. Stunning!

  3. I just love Organ Pipe cactus, and what a name for cactus! This is a beautiful capture with that awesome sky. 🙂

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Isn’t that a great name? In the southern part of their habitat, on the southern most part of the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, there are so many organ pipe cacti, it looks like a dense sea of pipes. Wouldn’t that be amazing to see. (But not walk through!)

  4. I have visited there many times. Your photo brought back those memories. Beautiful scene!

  5. Beautiful!

  6. Oh, wow. Simply AMAZING!

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