Humor in the garden

29 06 2011

Photographed on a rainy day at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens in Huntsville, Alabama

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





From the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens archives…

29 06 2011

Since I didn’t get the photographic bounty I usually do at Kenilworth, I thought I’d repost images I’ve created in past years. Enjoy!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KenilworthCollage2





Spent blooms

28 06 2011

In past years the Lotus flowers have bloomed just in time for the annual Water Lily Festival and Festival of Lotus and Asian Culture at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on the third Saturday in July. This year the flowers, particularly the white variety, seem to have peaked much earlier than usual. Most are past their prime blooming stage, but there were lots of opportunities to photograph spent petals in those beautiful Lotus leaves! There are plenty of pink blooms that haven’t flowered yet, though, and there are several ponds that are chock full of beautiful magenta-colored water lilies. Click on the panoramic image below to enlarge for full effect!

The place was a flurry of activity this morning, with children on field trips and student volunteers doing everything from garden chores to turtle counting. They caught the turtles in nets, pulled them up, filed a notch in the shells of those that weren’t captured previously, then released them back into the ponds. Michael saw a foot-and-a-half-long snapping turtle pulled to the surface and then released. Before I knew they were doing the turtle counting procedure, I saw a four-inch-long Red-eared slider by the edge of one of the ponds and was able to get the “record shot” at right (definition of a record shot: certainly won’t win any awards, but they’re proof I was there!). We’re pretty sure the dent on his right side wasn’t the work of a turtle counter since Michael said they were making the file marks on the shells near the back of each turtle and the notches were very tiny.

As I was wrapping up my very brief photo session at the park (it was too sunny to shoot any winners; no clouds to help out, either!), I looked behind me on the path and saw something dark, shiny, at least four inches long, with lots of legs. My first thought was “very large spider!” I moved closer and saw it was a crayfish (crawfish or crawdad if you’re a southerner like me!), hanging out on dry land. I got this one (slightly blurry) record shot of him and he skidaddled (slowly and backwards) back into the nearby pond. It was officially my first crayfish/crawfish/crawdad sighting ever!





Lotus petals

28 06 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Buttonbush

28 06 2011

I photographed this Buttonbush cluster (Cephalanthus occidentalis), also known as Button willow and Honey balls, this morning at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. A native wetland tree, it can grow 10-15 feet tall and spread 15-30 feet. The mid-summer blooms are rich in nectar that attracts butterflies and other insects.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lily and Monarda

27 06 2011

Sounds like a law firm name, doesn’t it? Actually, if it were really a law firm’s name, it would go something like: “Good morning. Thank you for calling Lily, Lily, Monarda, Liatris, Shasta, Gallardia, Nepeta, Platycodon and Campion, LLP. This is Rose speaking. How may I direct your call?

Ah, this takes me back to temping in my younger days when I first moved to the D.C. area. One of my better paying assignments was an $8 per hour job answering the phone at the Copper and Brass Fabricators Council, Inc. I was supposed to answer the phone with, “Good morning, Copper and Brass Fabricators Council. How may I direct your call?” I figured the person on the other end was as annoyed with receiving that lengthy line as I was delivering it. After a few weeks, I got lax and just answered, “Copper and Brass.” What does all this have to do with flowers, you ask? Absolutely nothing.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden: White Liatris

27 06 2011

White Liatris (Liatris spicata ‘Alba’) photographed against a backdrop of magenta-colored Bee Balm (Monarda)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.