Solitude – Open Spaces in the Arizona Grasslands


Solitude © 2011 Bo Mackison

East of the Santa Rita Mountain Range is the town of Sonoita.  It is a region of ranches and horses and wide open spaces.

Arizona Vineyards

Arizona Vineyards © 2011 Bo Mackison

The Sonoita-Elgin area also has nearly a dozen small wineries and the beginnings of vineyards, the grape vines arranged neatly in the red soil. Evidently the soil is similar to that of Napa Valley near San Francisco and the renowned wine country of France.

Ride 'em, Cowboys

Ride ’em, Cowboys ©2011 Bo Mackison

Rusted metal art installations are popular. I saw dancing girls, a solitary cowboy watching over cattle, and these five “ride ’em cowboys”.  The roads I traveled ranged from two lane paved roads to packed gravel roads, and finally red dirt roads. No problem with traveling on a warm, dry day, but one wouldn’t get far in a monsoon rain or a dust storm.


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.”  Still practicing the skills needed to adapt to life’s ups and downs.

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. I have traveled those roads too, Bo and have many good memories from it. I spent many happy days in the Santa Ritas!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Yes, I think the Santa Ritas are soooo beautiful. And Madera Canyon is one of my favorite destinations.

  2. Preston says:

    I lived at Tucson for several years as a kid. You couldn’t by any chance take a few images of Mt. Lemon could you? I remember playing on the outside basketball courts at Naylor Jr. High School and the cold breeze blowing from the snow capped mountain chilling my bare legs since we had to wear shorts. I would love to see Mt. Lemon again someday. Also there use to be what was called The Boneyard for airplanes by the Air Force Base there. Miles and miles of old planes, I would love to see an image of that if it is still there. Wow… the memories.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I’d love to see Mt. Lemmon, so there’s a good chance I’ll be posting a few photos from there. I’ve driven by the airplanes, but it seems there is a lot of security there. I’ll check into it–I’m pretty fascinated by those rows and rows of mothballed planes, too.

  3. Love these red cowboys…and I’ve gotta say the sunshine and warmth is very enticing! Wonderful expansive scenes!!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Oh yes, I have been totally enticed by the warmth and sunshine. It has cast its magic spell over me, telling me I need to make plans to do this again next winter. Hmmmm. 🙂

  4. These photos speak straight to my soul, Bo. Lately, in my journal I wrote three pages of things I “want” in my “new” life and one of the top ten items is Solitude. To be on those plains and see that vast, endless sky, tugs at me, Bo. These photos have to be some of my favorites of yours for their stark, raw beauty. That sky! Oh, me.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      This entire region is one of stark beauty brightened by that blue bowl sky. And yes, solitude can be a great medicine if taken in the proper dose. 🙂

  5. Gandalf says:

    Is the wine any good? It would be interesting to try a few. I love the sky in your photos & the rusty cowboys are rather fetching.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Those rusty sculptures were at several of the ranches–a nice, artistic touch to a rather barren land.

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