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11 October 2014 @ 08:22 pm
Oh Dahlia, My Dahlia  
This is just a small sampling of flowers in Golden Gate Park. The Dahlia is a most curious flower and is in fact the official flower of San Francisco (since 1926). It originated in the cool mountaintops of Mexico & Guatemala, making its way around Europe, where there are still devout breeders, but some of the very best and brightest bloom only in the land of summer fog.

You'll notice they are frequently quite "fluffy" in shape, even round as a golf ball, due to a unique curl of the petals. Some of those hollow cones serve as "hotels" to fuzzy bumblebees when the evening cold hits them too suddenly to make it back to their hives. If you weren't aware, this round & seemingly un-airworthy insect has a scientifically perplexing manner of flight, one that is partly dependent on warmth (or varying air current) to work; the Dahlia flower handily assures the bees aren't stranded and don't freeze in the night. By the light of dawn they will be able to safely return. Bumbles, and their cousin the honeybee, are essential pollinators -- invaluable to the park as well as entire ecosystems.

Dahlias are from the Asteraceae family, a group that includes sunflowers, asters, and daisies; the latin name meaning "star" = the shape of a blossom; you will indeed see one variety here that has this same shape. They symbolize hope and everlasting union, therefore they can be presented to couples at engagement or wedding parties, and are the suggested gift for a 14th anniversary. Careful though, movies like Black Dahlia add entirely new connotations, perhaps take a tip from the genteel Victorians and attach a poem to ensure the meaning intended.

See the selection of images below the cut, or click here for an entire gallery of Golden Gate Park beauty.

Dahlia Bud - theidolhands
"The Geometry of Life"

YOU CAN VOTE HERE, if you like; dandelion macro is kicking our butts, but it's an honor to be nominated.

- click on any image to enlarge -


Notice the agave plant in bloom in the background.





Dahlia 8 - theidolhands
There is also a beautiful cactus garden nearby.




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Calzephyrcalzephyr77 on October 12th, 2014 05:14 am (UTC)
Voted :-) I joined LJ Photophile but have yet to actually toss anything up there.

The light pink dahlia is perfect! It's my favourite picture of the bunch.
☆: Alice - ↑→↓↔theidolhands on October 12th, 2014 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
I'm not usually a fan of magenta, beyond Magneto, but I feel these Dahlias give the color a whole new life!

There was a person posting way too often and with too much ego, it was turning me off, although no one seemed to mind. Maybe they cooled their jets when they discovered there really is no prize. I'd like to put it back on my watch to see your entries, but certainly do link in your journal if you ever get around to it, just so I can be sure to see them!
Kysanndrakysanndra on October 12th, 2014 05:39 am (UTC)
Beautiful photos :)
☆: Alice - ↑→↓↔theidolhands on October 12th, 2014 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Trel: Gorillaz- Noodle animatedtrellia_chan on October 12th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
The co-evolution between flowering plants and bees is magical. <3 And I seriously wish there was some way for me to hug a bumblebee without killing it or getting stung. Oh,they're so cute. Thank you for the tidbit about bumbles and the temporary shelter they find in dahlias. You fulfilled my quota for learning something new today! :-D I'm sadly undereducated but very interested in plantae, though I tend to focus more on how they directly relate to the fauna.

Your photos are a pleasure as always, and I did go and vote for you. ^_^
Kharmichael Groubbenheberkharmii on October 12th, 2014 11:41 am (UTC)
HAHA..me too, but I want to pet anything furry, even a jumping spider. :-D
Trel: Gorillaz- Noodle animatedtrellia_chan on October 12th, 2014 04:03 pm (UTC)
Jumping spiders are adorable! <3 <3 <3
☆: Alice - ↑→↓↔theidolhands on October 12th, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC)
There are bumbles that don't sting, but the queen does, and unlike honeybees, there can be more than one queen in a hive (although the others aren't permitted to bear young).

I am also undereducated and am just fortunate that I took the incentive to make more of myself through various activities (as a way to stave off depression and frustration actually). It was easier to make that choice, having exhausted some less savory options. I still feel some guilt that I take to machinery more than plants, but I'm gaining new respect for fauna all the time.

Thank you very much for the vote!
Kharmichael Groubbenheberkharmii on October 12th, 2014 11:43 am (UTC)
I'll make room for some in my garden next year, if they work like that here. We get bumblebees in our yard all the time.

The dahlias we grow around here are different. They are mounding annuals and only get about a foot round. I love the big, beautiful blooms on them, like my favorites are the bright red ones that have the yellow part in the middle.
☆: Alice - ↑→↓↔theidolhands on October 12th, 2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
I think children would get a big kick out of such flowers.
So big and colorful, so round.

If you get enough mix of weather; sunny and cold, then it should work. I'm excited!
Cherylchihana11 on October 12th, 2014 12:57 pm (UTC)
They are all so beautiful. I love the very round pink ones and the light pink one the most. But I love the cactus too!
Kitsuneoriginalkitsune on October 12th, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC)
you got my vote! Lovely flower pics. I do love the secret meanings of flowers!

I adore dahlias but chrysanthemums and peony I love more! Your succulent pictures are divine too!
Dolkarfirebomber on October 12th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
That dandelion macro is so amateur and not pleasing to the eye at all. You've got my vote.

What camera do you use?
☆: n - Dragonflytheidolhands on October 12th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
It's a shitty little pocket Fuji (that's even breaking down lol), I really need to get something better, but it does the job in allowing me to share with others. I've been too broke paying back loans to scrounge up the funds. That's okay though. I'm sincerely glad to have it and a way to share at all.
Lindapuzleves on October 12th, 2014 04:15 pm (UTC)
Beautiful pictures!

Seeing flower shots like this makes me want to play with my macro lens, but alas, not much flowers left here at the moment.
woodenshoreswoodenshores on October 17th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
Those pictures make me sad because when I was in Chicago with my friend, I wanted to go to the Golden Gate Park and she told me point blank that she didn't like flowers. Ugh.

So much pretty!

Thanks for sharing!
☆theidolhands on October 18th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)
I didn't really think I liked them either, but trust me, the more you get to know them...the more interesting they become.

I'm so sorry for that, I have a lot of sympathy for such situations. I will bring more on dalias and I'm glad to at least share what little I can.
Debloba on June 3rd, 2015 08:14 am (UTC)

Absolutely lovely. Thank you for posting.

☆: Hand - ☞theidolhands on June 3rd, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
You are most welcome, thank you for looking!