6th Annual Photo Alphabet – Quilt to Trees

Q is for Quilt.

Crazy Quilt ©2013 Bo Mackison

Crazy Quilt ©2013 Bo Mackison

This quilt was sewn my great-grandmother and her sister in the 1890s.

There is a good deal of feminine ancestral energy in this quilt. Unlike many crazy quilts of this age, this quilt was sewn using scraps of velvets, satins, and other more decorative fabrics.

Two of the older sisters in the family, and their husbands, owned the millinery shop in town. The four younger sisters had access to all kinds of fabrics, not just the more common muslin and woolen cloth.

This quilt is decorated with embroidered flowers, animals, mini landscapes of hillsides, trees, and lakes. Some of the pieces are painted — more flowers, ferns, intricate baskets, rabbits, storks.

This is my inspiration quilt, a quilt that encourages creativity.

In a time when farm families were large, and all of the family members put in long hours of work, my great-grandmother and her sisters spent their free evening time sewing quilts. They sewed not only the practical, utilitarian quilts, but each also worked on their crazy quilts, their art quilts.


R is for Red Tail Hawks.


Soaring © 2013 Bo Mackison

The red-tailed hawk is a messenger bird, the catalyst, stimulating hope and new ideas. It reflects a need to be open to the new or shows you ways that you may help teach others to be open to the new. It teaches the balance necessary to discover your true purpose of life.
~ Ted Andrews in Animal Speak

I first noticed the constant presence of red-tailed hawks last spring, sipping my mid-morning coffee while standing at the edge of my back arroyo.

A soaring hawk would circle, round and round, over the arroyo, and I would admire it as it swooped, caught the thermals, glided, swooped again. Later that same week, I set up a temporary writing space at a picnic table in the Tucson Mountains, overlooking Brown Mountain, a mountain side of saguaro cacti. Again, a single red-tailed hawk did its swoop, glide, swoop as I write, and watched, in the desert.

Over the next months, I saw these hawks constantly. They are a common bird, the most common of hawks, and I enjoyed watching them in their aerial performances or as they perched on a pole or in a tree.

It was not until I began my 2,000 mile drive across the country, though, that I began noticing the hawks in more atypical circumstances.

My first day of travel, when I had not yet developed my traveling routine, a noticed the shadow of a large bird on the highway surface.

It hovered a few car lengths in front of me. The bird followed the road quite a distance, then flew off. I caught a glimpse of a red-tailed hawk from my window. Several hours later another hawk appeared, flew in a low circle near the road ahead of me, then disappeared.

Over and over, I would see red tail hawks. I felt as if hawk energy was accompanying me on my northeast journey. I saw red tails in the Badlands. I saw them along the interstate through South Dakota and Iowa. As I crossed a bridge over the Mississippi River, finally heading into Wisconsin, a red tail hawk dove in a head down swoop from the edge of a limestone bluff, then skimmed the river.

After crossing half the country in the company of red tails, I researched hawks in Ted Andrews book, Animal Speak, The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small.

The entry for the red-tailed hawk totem spoke of energy and vision.

It spoke of the need to seek beauty and harmony. It spoke of the need for balance and the expression of a fully creative life. It spoke of being open to new experiences.

What an inspiring message as I journey into new territory!


S is for Seeded Earth.

Seeded Earth

Seeded Earth © 2009 Bo Mackison

Seeded Earth.

The little blog that started everything. A little blog of photographs, with much of its focus on photographs and descriptions of living things that grow from the earth. I have added to the blog as the years have passed, built a small business on the foundation of the contents of the blog, yet one of my main focuses continues to be on nature and her many gifts.


T is for Trees.

Redwood Abstract

Redwood Abstract © 2013 Bo Mackison

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” ~ Pablo Picasso


Compelled to stop, I am unable to walk past this tree without pausing, walking through the brambles and understory until I stand next to this giant. Rest my hand on its bark. That’s all. Just rest my hand upon it, and connect my pulse with its pulse. Sap beat. Heart beat.

I think. I wait. I breathe. I peer into the uppermost branches.

My feet are grounded on the earth, the tree is grounded in the earth. I run my finger through along the ridges and the valleys of the wood. I discern messages in its trunk lines. I listen the woodpecker’s drumming. I stand in tree shadow, and the breeze swirls.

I am filled. I walk on.


Prior post, Part IV: Metaphors to Place.

Next post, the Finale: Universe to Zip a Dee Doo Dah.

A Change and A Move

Blowing Seeds © 2012 Bo Mackison

Blowing Seeds © 2012 Bo Mackison

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.” ~ Elizabeth Lesser

I’ve been blogging on Seeded Earth since 2007.

I chose the name quickly one afternoon, as I was setting up my blog for the first time. That autumn most of the photographs I took were of landscapes, gardens, prairies, flowers, all growing things. Since these all had their beginning as seeds in the earth, I determined that Seeded Earth would be an appropriate name for my new blog.

Seeds are, indeed, good beginnings, and Seeded Earth took root and grew.

It began as Seeded Earth Photography, morphed into Seeded Earth Studios when I added new products and services, and eventually became my official, government approved, business name, Seeded Earth Studios LLC.

The name served me well as I embarked on the art fair circuit and traveled in the Midwest and Southwest, showing my macro-photographs of botanicals. It worked less well as I photographed fewer landscapes and more desert-scapes. And when I added stories about the arts and healing, and more personal writing, it lost even more of its cohesiveness.

While I still love the Seeded Earth moniker, it’s time to step up and re-christen my soon to be launched website Bo Mackison.

The seeded wonders and desert wonders will still be featured as I continue to post my photography, but I am expanding. I’ll be offering online photography workshops beginning in early 2014, and adding Desert Wisdom Workshops and Retreats later in the year.

Seeded Earth has grown, flowered, given fruit. Now the fruit’s seeds have burst from their container.

In a few days, my new website will be launching at BoMackison.com. Please join me soon in welcoming my newest venture (and adventure).