Saguaro National Park

So This is What a Desert Looks Like?

So This is What a Desert Looks Like?

Yes, I admit it. I learned much of what I knew about deserts from the Road Runner and Wily E. Coyote. They both delighted me and led me astray. I now know that all deserts do not look the same. The Saharan Desert, whose characteristics I cluelessly gave to all deserts, is by no means the same as the Sonoran Desert, or the Mojave Desert, or the Chihuahuan Desert. How misguided could I be!

I spent all of yesterday roaming the western part of Saguaro National Park in the Sonoran Desert, a very small part of the park located just west of Tucson, Arizona. Tomorrow I’m going to the larger park east of Tucson. Seems I can’t get my fill of the desert, or at least this kind of desert.

Many of the cacti are in bloom. The roadrunners do not rush past me with a beep-beep, but they do rush past quickly enough that I cannot take their photograph. But they are so darn cute! I must have 500 photos of desert scenes, and another 800 of other travel destinations, and I still have a goodly amount of my trip ahead of me.

OK, I thought I’d send a bit of desert heat back home. 100 degrees yesterday. 95 today. No lie! I heard from my daughter/house sitter that she had to shovel the driveway this morning. Hee hee! Now I’m headed back to the desert for a sunset hike. It’s finally cooled off enough so I can manage that 5 mile loop I’ve had my eye on.

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. wildstorm says:

    Ah yes. One of my favorite places on earth…

  2. I’m so envious – I’d love to be in the desert in spring. Handsome picture, nice composition.

  3. suehenryphotography says:

    So nice….enjoy exploring the desert! We are enjoying viewing your photos of it.

  4. The Sonoran Desert is great in the winter and especially beautiful in spring when the cactus and wildflowers bloom. I’ve visited the Saguaro National Park many times and really do miss seeing it.

  5. But when I was just a wee sprite I lived in Tucson. I remember the cactus and Mt. Lemon. As a child, Tucson seemed like a magical place. Thanks for the memories.

  6. myphotoscout says:

    To be honest I was slightly disappointed by the park. There isn’t much but cacti.
    I think going during spring when the cacti are in bloom is the right decision.

  7. Such a beautiful landscape. Love how you’ve captured it. Altho it sounds also sounds absolutely wonderful!!!

  8. Looks like a fascinating place to explore and photograph Bo, great shot !!

  9. Too many cacti? It’s a desert. Great shot

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