Pink Zinnia


Zinnia © 2011 Bo Mackison

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.  ~ Buddha

I have had some wonderful successes photographing the late summer gardens at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Every garden I visited seemed to hold me hostage until I could get a some photographs that made me smile. I sure don’t mind being a hostage in a garden. Imagine having a tiny home surrounded by acres and acres of gardens (and lots of gardeners to help, too!)

I’ve been to Olbrich almost everyday for the last week. First, the hosta and elephant ear plants seemed to mesmerize me, as the early morning sunlight made the leaves almost translucent. I t was as if they were holding the sun. I almost felt like I truly was in a trance.

Three days in a row I shot nothing but these green plants, and they were only about 15 feet from the entrance to the garden complex. I just could not past this entrance area until I had nearly exhausted the plants and flowers (and myself) with all that photographic attention.

But the last two visits, I strolled right past the entrance — I waited to sneak in several more greenery photos as I was leaving — and I got as far as the gardens filled to overflowing with cosmos and zinnias. Since the cosmos are one of my favorites, I spent a fair amount of time lying on the sidewalk next to these beauties, having long conversations about important world events — like the advances autumn is making in its bid to overtake summer!

Finally, when the sun began to rise high enough in the sky to lose that soft lighting, I spent the last half hour with the zinnias. Lucky, I had the diffuser with me, so I could both reduce the shadows, and protect the flowers against the winds that started blowing off the lake.  This pink zinnia had with her head down, and so I happily got a few photographs from a different angle. I love the little pockets of shadings caused by the gentle curling of each petal.

Tomorrow the forecast is for a rainy Friday. Might have to stay home and tackle some house cleaning and computer work. That would be a good thing — plus the gardens would appreciate the rain, too.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Bo is having a most excellent start to the month of September. So many amazing projects are popping up, but no complaints. Creating and making meaning with photography is one of the highlights of her life!

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. such rich colors in this flower, I love it,even though I am not fond of pink normally

  2. Simply beautiful

  3. Gorgeous color! It would be nice to live near that garden!

  4. Such gorgeous color…exquisite detail!!! Looks like a magical place to photograph!!!

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