Spanish Bayonet

Spanish Bayonet Agave

Spanish Bayonet  © 2011 Bo Mackison

We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic. ~ E. Merrill Root

There is much in the desert that prompts a sense of wonder. These agave leaves — long, narrow, remarkably rigid, and  with dangerously sharp tips — are capped in a bright red, and make me think immediately that this plant has repeatedly engaged in  battles with inquisitive fingers.

It’s not the least bit difficult to understand why one of this agave’s English names is “Spanish Bayonet.” Perhaps requiring more imagination that I possess, I do not know why anyone would call this same plant “Our Lord’s Candle,” but my reference book, The Natural History of the Sonoran Desert, says it is so.

I did some manipulation of the original photograph so the cluster of tips in the center of the plant remain visible, but the background leaves seem to be melting into abstraction. Maybe it is like a candle! Or maybe my imagination got the best of me!


Bo Mackison is a photographer, owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Loving the desert and its amazing plant life. Must remember everything in the desert, however, is sharp — no unplanned movements.

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. Love this photograph with its semi-abstract colors and focus. Makes it seem mystical.

  2. They are sharp! I have distinct memories of the Agave schottii, AKA “Shin Dagger”.

  3. Wow. I love this view.

Leave a Reply