Smoky Sunlight

Smoky Sunlight

Smoky Sunlight © 2013 Bo Mackison

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ~ Henry Miller

A week on the road. My traveling companion and I are seeing many new things in new ways, driving on roads in a part of the country I’ve never visited. We took a back way from Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California to the redwood forests on the Pacific Coast.

We negotiated six lane expressways, national forest roads, smoke drenched roads from a forest fire near Salmon Creek, road construction delays, a state highway that turned into a paved, but unmarked road that crossed a narrow gorge on a high, one lane bridge that led into a deep woods on a gravel switch-back road hat narrowed to dusty, washboard road.

Finally we emerged from the dark forest into a sun dappled prairie. A prairie? Yes! On the eastern fringes of Redwood National Park, we drove through a prairie, then an oak woodland, and finally we could go no further — the Pacific coast and huge cresting waves were the last of today’s continual rewards on this wondrous day of traveling.

Tomorrow we enter the cathedral redwoods. Hush.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is traveling this week, seeing anew.

How The Light Gets In

Cactus Scars

Cactus Scars © 2013 Bo Mackison

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

As I walked back to my car after walking the labyrinth,  I followed a path through the desert scape, winding around rocky protuberances, around saguaros. Walking the labyrinth was more of an experience than I’d anticipated. I left somewhat shaken, off-balance. Literally finding my footing on the rough, rock-strewn path required my focus. I stumbled once, but jabbed my hiking stick off path to keep myself from falling.

As I righted myself, I glanced to the side of the path. The sunlight streaked through the landscape, highlighting a fist sized wound in a saguaro. It was enough to make me pause.

The saguaro was three times my height, and had four or five arms; it was possibly two hundred years old. Numerous scars, cracked surfaces and more than a few wounds covered its surface. Yet the sun rays cast a luminescence around the cactus, casting shadows from its thorns, and leading my eye to the largest opening at my eyes’ height.

I thought of the quote by Rumi, the wound allowing the light to enter.

And I thought of the lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s, song, Anthem:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
~ from Anthem, Leonard Cohen

It made so much sense. The wounds, the cracks, the imperfections – they allow the light to enter, that’s how the light gets in.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is exploring photography, poetry, and emotion in a new series featuring desert lines.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Give Us This Day

Give Us This Day ©2009 Bo Mackison

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. ~ Henry Van Dyke

No matter the circumstances, there is always much for which to be thankful:

For the new dawn breaking in the eastern skies;

For the trees standing in silhouette, its stark beauty of a tree readied for the winter as it follows nature’s rhythm’s in preparation for new life;

For the earth in readiness for winter;

For my body in health, with the ability to stand and walk, to speak and sing, to think and write, to see and hear, to create, to take me where I need to go, to provide not only me, but for my family, my friends;

For those that love me and those that do not, I am thankful for the connections, the support, the lessons that I learn;

For all that I need and for much that I want.

I am thankful.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  Bo also gives thanks for the Brownie Holiday Camera she received when she was 8 years old, a gift that was the genesis of a lifelong passion.

Pink Queen Anne’s Lace – August’s Photo-Heart Connection

Pink Queen Anne's Lace

Pink Queen Anne’s Lace ©2012 Bo Mackison

In the right light,
at the right time,
everything is extraordinary.
~ Aaron Rice

When asked the question “What kind of photographs do you take?” I usually respond with the same answer.

“Mostly macro-botanicals,” I reply.

When I get a questioning look, I explain further. “Close-ups of flowers and plants.”

And macro-botanical photographs are what I mostly exhibit at Art Festivals. As patrons enter my show booth, they tell me they feel as if they are entering a huge flower garden. There are that many large macro-photographs of flowers hanging on the walls.

I spend lots of time photographing flowers, too. Each week I spend three or four days visiting and taking photographs in the botanical and horticultural gardens near my home. When I travel, I search for the locations of the nearest gardens and I try to schedule time for a visit. Yes, I photograph macro-botanicals!

So you would think when it is time for me to choose a Photo-Heart Connection photograph at the beginning of each month, I would naturally pick a macro-botanical. Not so. Today I realized that this is the first time in 2012 that I have picked a flower photo.

So. Why did I choose this photograph of Queen Anne’s Lace? I loved the colors. It is unusual to see Queen Anne’s Lace this color — they are usually white with perhaps a touch of pink. But this small stand of QAL was bright pink. And I loved how the rising sun shone on this roadside weed and turned it into a glowing, dew-drenched beauty. And I loved that I took this photo while I was on a long weekend with my husband in one of our favorite places in Wisconsin – Door County, a peninsula that juts out into the waters of Lake Michigan.

Three good reasons. Color. Light. Memories. Perfect for August’s photo-heart connection.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. During the first week of each month, she re-visits photographs she’s taken the previous month, searching for that month’s photo-heart-connection photo. Bo is always quite thrilled when that special photograph finds her.

Let the Sun Shine In

Let the Sunlight In

Let the Sun Shine In © 2012 Bo Mackison

Let the sunshine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine
Let the sunshine in
The sun shine in…

~ lyrics from the 5th Dimension’s song Let the Sunshine In, 1969

This is another photo from a series of photographs of a small adobe room, the granary, part of the ruins of the mission at the Tumacacori National Historic Site in southern Arizona.

I am finding much to think about as I work with images from this ancient storage room. There are pots to fill, small windows to let the sun shine in, even a quiet exercise I employed using my imagination to change seemingly drab surroundings into a scene (and sense) of vibrancy.

More to come. Amazing how many metaphors for living one can find in a centuries-old adobe ruins.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  She frequently visits Tumacacori where she finds herself deep in thought.