Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Memorial Day Flower


On Memorial Day I had taken this picture at Preservation Park in Oakland.  I’m not sure what type of flower it is, but it definitely attracted me.  They were quite tall at about 5′ or so.  I’ve been kind of enjoying taken some flowers again.  As you know, I love color so these seemed to fit right into my regular motif!


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

98 thoughts on “Memorial Day Flower

  1. Beautiful!

  2. This should be matted and framed and hanging at my cottage!

  3. Happy Sunday Laura. Colors enhanced by the OOF background.

  4. staring relaxingly
    hoping for reading her lips
    listening for her true name 🙂

  5. We used to get these flowers popping up in our garden at Fremantle, Western Australia. Lovely flowers and yes, very tall.

  6. What an unusual flower 🙂

  7. Wonderful photo of a beautiful flower. We have this in our garden, too. It’s called in Latin “accantus”.

  8. It’s lovely, what ever it is.

  9. I was going to offer to look when I was next at Wisley as they’re in bloom there at the moment too 🙂 The bees love them! Glad someone knew the name.

  10. o this is beautiful 🙂 I love your photography Laura!

  11. A Birthday flower for me with 53 blossoms on it ! Thanks Laura!

  12. That is a spike of an Acanthus plant. The beautiful leaves were much liked by William Morris in his decorative designs. In my California garden they grew enormous and put up many spikes.
    They are difficult to handle because of very sharp curved spines hiding unseen in the flowers. I love this plant. That is a super neat photo of the flowering spike !

  13. Amazing beautiful flower, great shot Laura

  14. Fabulous! It reminds me of a Redwood tree too .:)

  15. Love the colors. I wonder wil they grow in the Florida climate. I’d like one in my yard.

    • I hear they are very hearty!

    • I bet they do grow in Florida. California is semi-tropical, not as humid as FL. though, but these plants seem to be pretty tough. If you get one or two make sure that they have at least 2 or more feet all around. The leaves are quite large too and beautiful too. They look good even without the flower spikes. Here in Idaho I have commiserated with other people coming from California about not being able to grow acanthus and callas due to the long and very cold winters of the high desert. If you google it you’ll find out more than you ever wanted to know about acanthus and where it grows best!

  16. Yes, I can see how this caught your eye – no idea either of what it is, but that’s SOP for me…I like the way you captured a section as well as having another in the BG out of focus.

  17. I inherited one of these with the house and never knew what it was. It’s gorgeous when it blooms! (and seems to be doing nicely on benign neglect!) Very lovely shot of this delightfully different sort of flower.

  18. Ooh, nice, great use of depth of field….

  19. That’s so pretty. I do like the colours in this one Laura. 🙂

  20. beautiful

  21. I had a fantastic Acanthus growing next to my front porch back in Tacoma, and loved both the magnificent flower spikes (though, yes, there are spiny things elsewhere on the plant) and the gorgeous, architectural leaves. So architectural, in fact, that these are not only the Wm. Morris favored design elements but the inspiration for the Corinthian column capital and many, many other applied designs. Also, I’ve heard these given the common name of Bears’ Breeches, which I think is a little too silly sounding for such a powerful plant.

    Regardless of all of this, beautiful shot!!!


  22. We have this growing in our gardens here… I know you have been told already that it is the Acanthus or one of the Acanthaceae family, we call it the “wild rhubarb” (acanthus mollis) makes a great show…

  23. Lovely shot, but I can’t help but wonder if the plant is upside down. The pink umbrella would seem to block the sun. 🙂

  24. Nice shot. I thought about shooting some flowers this last weekend but never got around to it. Was going to use the tripod and macro lens. Perhaps next weekend may work out for me.

    • I’ve gotta get a macro lens…I’m drooling! Looking forward to more of your pics.

      • Have you ever taken a look at wide angle macro? It’s really interesting. Ultra wide angle lenses have a natural ability to get close focusing distances like macro lenses. The difference though is that you have a greater DOF and get more into your frame. It gives a completely different perspective that allows the viewer to see the world in which the subject is sitting in. Examples of when you might want to take this approach is if you have an interesting subject that is small but want to capture the scenery around it. Lenses that are 10-14mm on crop sensors or 14-18mm on full frame work very well for this. I use my 16-35mm for this approach. A good example is this image ( I had taken with this lens. For this particular image it allows the blades of grass (normally very small in comparison to the rest of the scene) to look much larger and gives a completely different perspective. I tend to like these photos more than just macro shots, but when the right scenery isn’t around, then I just shoot strictly macro as it then puts the full focus on the subject without the distracting backgrounds.

        • Oh, that’s interesting! I have the 10-24mm lens on a crop sensor. Kneeling down right now is an issue for me. I’m in dire need of another knee replacement, but I should try to see what i can get. I love this look though….it’s different! I have used my wide angle to enhance the foreground subjects, but not quite like you have done. like this:

          I do have my eye on the 105 I think? It seems to be a good macro. Thank you for the heads up on a lens I already have though! Much appreciated!

          • If you have a tripod that you can put the camera upside down with that really helps. That’s what I did in that photo. When I take photos like this I only kneel to compose the shot and set the focus. Then I use a remote for the shutter. I also have the 10-24mm nikon lens and it is a great lens. Don’t really use it anymore since I upgraded to the D610. I had to get the 16-35mm as it is equivalent minus 1mm on each side. I wanted the 14-24mm but it has a fixed hood on the lens and a filter setup is a bit too much.

          • Trust me, I can’t even knee for one second right now unfortunately. It’s THAT bad. I started this blog as a knee replacement blog believe it or not. It had zero to do with photography. Now I will have the second knee done and then perhaps a year from now I’ll be able to kneel…although I hear once you have a knee replacement, you can never kneel again which proves to be the case for my replaced knee. Can’t kneel on that. It’s why I was attracted to that tall flower I recently posted lol. But I REALLY appreciate all your helpful suggestions because I really enjoy learning more about photography and all hte possibilities it offers!

          • I hope that the surgery goes good for you. I’m really starting to learn how the tripod helps with getting better shots as it forces you to think more about your composition and then helps with the sharpness, especially when taking more shallow DOF photos. I think the 2 best accessories I have for my camera and lenses are my tripod and ND filter. The shutter remote is truly only useful for when the shutter speed needs to be longer than 30 seconds.

          • I agree about the tripod. I only use it when I have to and honestly, most professional landscape photographers ALWAYS use a tripod.

          • I actually started my blog as a test to kind of see if it would work to drive more traffic to my Fine Art America site to possibly make sales. Well, it worked very well with driving more traffic there, but didn’t help with sales at all. It ended up being too much work keeping up with everything and not rewarding so then I just let it take on it’s own purpose and have since given up on trying to sell any of my work as I don’t need the money, but thought it would be nice to get something out of my hobby. Now I just focus on Flickr and my blog. I may invest more time in my blog though to try different things as I have the time such as a little more info on the images I post.

          • Yeah selling online is a toughy.

  25. Love that you captured just a section of this very tall plant. Provides beautiful details!

  26. love this one Laura!! The other name for Acanthus is “Bear’s breeches”- go figure!! It is beautiful with the light shining on it!!

  27. Beautiful flower and beautiful composition, Laura!!! I wowed out loud! I need a thesaursas for you too! Honest! I just plain run out of words! Ah! Someone gave you the name of the flower. Cool. Now for me to remember IF I see this flower. That is debateable! LOL (not sure on my spelling this morning either … oh well! *grin*) Love, Amy

    • Thank you Amy! I loved the flower. I didn’t even need to try to knee down which is always a challenge for me.

      • Oh yes, those knees. I was kneeling on shale last evening and inside I was groaning. And being eaten by skeeters, all for the sake of a photo. [GRIN] Hubs saw me this weekend and now he realizes I will do just about anything to get a photo. He is now coming with me on photo shoots to make sure I don’t do anything really nuts.. Hehehehehehe I have a funny story coming up later this week about husbands. *nose snort!* xx Amy

  28. Lovely flower, colors and shot!

  29. The softness in the colors is so nice. Terrific photograph.

  30. I saw a plant like this yesterday and thought it looked so cool. Because it was on private property, I wasn’t able to take a pic of it. How nice to see a pic on your blog and yours looks even more lovely than the flower I had seen.

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