Hellebore tryst

31 03 2009

Afternoon delight at Green Spring Gardens © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



Bowtie sky

31 03 2009

Last sky in March © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Pink Poppy

28 03 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


White Spoon Osteospermum

23 03 2009

This is an Osteospermum, also called African Daisy, Cape Daisy or Spoon Daisy (because of the spoon-shaped ray florets). I believe this might be the cultivar ‘William.’ I photographed this bloom in the Main Conservatory at Longwood Gardens earlier this month.

Learn more about growing Osteospermums at www.osteospermum.com.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Window in the clouds

22 03 2009

Always looking up…I shot this last Sunday afternoon while my family was lounging in the Texas sunshine.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



22 03 2009

Yes, I’ve been noticeably absent for over a week. We were in San Antonio visiting my family from March 13-20. Plus, I was battling a raging sinus infection from the day after I arrived to the day I returned. Thanks to a visit to a doctor (plus a shot in the behind and a fistful of drugs), I am feeling better now. I will have photos to share from our vacation but wanted to post this shot I did of ZenaB on the stairs yesterday afternoon.

Oh, and by the way…my father and younger sister have now been introduced to the world of blogging. They both came in kicking and screaming, though, but it’s really for their own good. They are both gifted writers and should be sharing their talent with the world. They have both promised me they will post soon. Until they do, bookmark their sites and check back occasionally. Dad’s blog is www.thekingoftexas.wordpress.com. (The blog takes its name from the royal title my friend Debbi bestowed upon him in a fairytale she wrote about me a few years ago). I have encouraged him to blog because he has wonderful stories to tell in his stream-of-consciousness way. Some of my regular visitors have already been enlightened and informed through his “Grumpy Grammar Guru” comments and posts that I have shared on this blog.

My sister’s blog is www.itsjustnotright.wordpress.com. (This blog takes its name from something my sister says often.) I have encouraged her to put her thoughts into a blog because she is very funny. Her observational skills are amazing and her recall is astounding (sometimes much to my chagrin when she remembers things from our childhood that I thought I had blocked out)—whether she is talking about her single-girl-dating days or sharing the antics of her two children. I doubt she has even noticed that I replaced the standard banner with a great shot of her with her daddy. Let’s see how long it takes her to notice (and change her password so I can’t gain access again). Give them both a chance to build some momentum. I believe they will both be pleasantly surprised at how rewarding blogging can be!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Signs of spring

8 03 2009

The snow from earlier in the week (see my Currier & Ives posting about Monday’s snowfall here) has melted, and this afternoon I discovered the harbingers of spring—Hellebores and Crocus—were blooming wildly in the front yard garden. We had just returned from the Meadowlark 2009 Photography Expo at the Meadowlark Botanical Garden in Vienna and I had my camera handy. Jeff Evans, friend and fellow photographer, joined us for this adventure. I recently blogged about Jeff’s exhibit at Gallery West in Alexandria here. Although the show ended February 1, Jeff’s work is on display there and in A Show of Hands, a Del Ray area gallery that recently relocated to 2301 Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia.

Each year I have to remind myself to look for the Hellebore blooms. These downward-facing flowers are quite shy and always hide their beauty, so when I catch a glimpse of the lime green, pink, or purple hues, I grab my camera. I posted a nice shot of one in bloom in last March here. As I plunked myself down in the middle of the bed of Pachysandra to photograph these blooms this afternoon, I was forced to assess all that needs to be done to get the garden looking good again. There’s work to be done, that’s for sure!

Speaking of the Meadowlark 2009 Photography Expo, I bought a Lensbaby Muse from Hunt’s Photo and Video‘s booth. I also discovered David Honl’s product line, HonlPhoto, at Penn Camera‘s booth. I bought the HonlPhoto Speed Strap, Gel Kit, and the 8″ Speed Snoot to use on my strobes and Nikon Speedlights. I’m always on the lookout for accessories to improve and stretch my flash capabilities. These products are reasonably priced, simply designed, and will take up very little room in my already full camera bag. Check ’em out!

I’m also debating on whether to get one of the HonlPhoto Speed Grid attachments. Read about their application on the Strobist site here. By the way, this website is an excellent resource for photographers who want to learn more about lighting!

The show continues tomorrow (Sunday) and if you’re in the area, it’s worth a visit. All of the vendors offer show prices on their products during the show. The entrance fee is $5. And don’t forget to check out the juried exhibition of photos from local camera clubs.

And after not checking the mail for two days, I discovered my Nikon Speedlight DVD, featuring photographers Joe McNally and Bob Krist, had arrived.

Photo inspiration. Photo chat. Photo gadget bargains. Beautiful weather. First blooms of spring. Neighbors out to chat. Something other than bills arrived in the mail. Today was an especially good day!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Lilies at Longwood

7 03 2009

I photographed this beautiful lily at Longwood Gardens this week. Enveloped by the uplifting fragrances and visually stimulated by so many blooms in the Conservatory, I nearly forgot there was still that blanket of snow outside! And yes, the colors of the lilies really do glow like that in the filtered sunlight. More photos to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Bluer than blue redux

5 03 2009

In early February I posted a collage of my blue flower photographs here.

On Tuesday Michael and I took a field trip to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, to see the Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens. I was inspired to do so by fellow photographer and blogger, Patty Hankins, who has been regularly posting her orchid photos from Longwood Gardens (thanks, Patty!). I spent quite a bit of time photographing this bed of beautiful blue flowers in the Conservatory.

If I have identified these correctly by the marker in one of the beds, then these flowers, a member of the Aster family, are a Longwood hybrid—Longwood Hybrid Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida). Learn more about the history of this hybrid here. I’ll do some extra fact-finding to make sure that’s correct.

After our photo excursion to Longwood, we headed over to Philadelphia to the 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show. This was our second time attending the event (first time was in 2006) and we were disappointed that Borders Books didn’t have their garden-books-only booth. (As if I really needed more gardening books. But still…)

compleastsquash1We still managed to part with a little money, though (seed packets, a worm bin compost system, and the book, Melons for the Passionate Grower, written by Amy Goldman with beautiful photographs by Victor Schrager.

I found one of Goldman’s other books, The Compleat Squash: A Passionate Grower’s Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds, at a kitchen store that was closing in San Antonio this past Christmas. I paid just $6 for this coffee table book. I have her book, The Heirloom Tomato, on my radar now. Check these books out on Amazon—the photographs are exquisite still lifes; stunning in their simplicity. melons

Now I can identify those pumpkins, squashes and gourds that I photographed last fall here and here at Nalls Produce, a local plant and produce stand in Springfield, Virginia. Mind you, I have no room in a townhouse garden to grow melons or pumpkins, but these books are simply beautiful works of art, and informative too. How could I not add them to my library?

As you may have suspected, I’ll be posting more flower photographs from Longwood soon.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Currier & Ives morning

2 03 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.