Valerian?

27 05 2013

I think this might be a type of Valerian, but I’m not 100% sure…would love help with identification on this one!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved

Pink Flower Ball lorez

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Opium poppy

26 05 2013

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PinkPurplePoppy lorez

 





Chives and Columbines

26 05 2013

A bed of chives (Allium schoenoprasum) against a backdrop of Columbine (Aquilegia) blooms in the rock garden at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Chives Columbine lorez

 





Blooming in my garden: Allium schubertii

25 05 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BigAlliumlorez





Blooming in my garden: Bearded iris

25 05 2013

Bearded iris (Iris germanica sp.)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Gold Bearded Iris





Star-of-Bethlehem

25 05 2013

Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Ornithogalum lorez





Bearded iris, unknown variety

23 05 2013

Bearded iris (Iris germanica), photographed at Green Spring Gardens. The parking lot was my background (and I couldn’t have that!), so I improvised by using my white tri-grip diffuser as a background. Voila!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GoldBeardedIrisWhiteBkd





Star of Persia (Allium christophe)

23 05 2013

While I’ve photographed this intriguing plant before, I’ve never had the opportunity to shoot it from ground level. All my images have been shot overhead. This bloom was a tiny wayward volunteer in Carolyn’s garden, growing in between stepping stones. Being able to shoot from this low vantage point provided some interesting images. The stamens look like little crowns in this shot. The afternoon light was dappled and provided a beautiful glow behind everything.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Star of Persia 2





Mountain Laurel

22 05 2013

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), blooming in my friend Carolyn’s garden in Annandale, Virginia. I’ve heard of this evergreen shrub, and I assumed it would bloom, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen the blooms. They are spectacular! Little umbrella-like buds open to about 1/2″ in diameter with inverted “spokes” that appear to loosen to become the stamens. In this shot you can see all the stages of these pretty little flowers. The buds remind me of those little chocolate stars we used to buy at Sears when they had a candy section (you know, in covered wagon days).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MountainLaurelBlooms 1 lorez





Foxglove

20 05 2013

Foxglove (Digitalis), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Foxglove

I was aware that Foxglove is highly poisonous, but wanted to do some further research. I found a fascinating reference to Van Gogh’s paintings and his possible use of digitalis therapy during his “yellow period.” Here’s what I found on wikipedia on the subject:

The entire plant is toxic (including the roots and seeds). Mortality is rare, but case reports do exist. Most plant exposures occur in children younger than six years and are usually unintentional and without associated significant toxicity. More serious toxicity occurs with intentional ingestions by adolescents and adults. Early symptoms of ingestion include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, wild hallucinations, delirium, and severe headache. Depending on the severity of the toxicosis, the victim may later suffer irregular and slow pulse, tremors, various cerebral disturbances, especially of a visual nature (unusual colour visions (see xanthopsia) with objects appearing yellowish to green, and blue halos around lights), convulsions, and deadly disturbances of the heart. Vincent van Gogh‘s “Yellow Period” may have been influenced by digitalis therapy which, at the time, was thought to control seizures. As noted above, other oculotoxic effects of digitalis include generalized blurry vision, as well as seeing a “halo” around each point of light. The latter effect can be seen in van Gogh’s Starry Night. Van Gogh’s digitalis use is strongly suggested by multiple self portraits that include the foxglove plant.

_____________

SIDEBAR: I initially majored in fine art (painting) in college before switching to graphic design. I don’t regret that decision as my education and experience has afforded me a fulfilling career in design. Through the years, when I have attempted to return to painting, I have found it difficult to get traction and to find my “style.” I prefer painting loose and sketchy, using lots of paint. I also don’t want to copy work as I did when I was learning to paint all those years ago. As a photographer who continually strives for sharp focus in my images, it can be hard to loosen up when I return to the canvas. Despite this struggle, I don’t think I’ll be partaking of foxglove as Van Gogh did!

Earlier this year, I wrote about what I call “the painting years.” You can read those postings below:

http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/the-painting-years-first-florals/

http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/the-painting-years-texas-bluebonnets/

http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/the-painting-years-apple-harvest/

http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/the-painting-years-landscape-with-deer/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Clematis

20 05 2013

I photographed this unusual Clematis (Klematis sp.) at Green Spring Gardens this afternoon. I have no idea what variety it is, but it was unusual in that the stamens spread out of most of the bloom, rather than being smaller and centrally located.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PurpleClematisGroup lorez





Blue Pearls Wild Indigo

20 05 2013

Blue Pearls Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis var. minor ‘Blue Pearls’ (B. minor); variety is native to Kentucky and the central U.S.; photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved

PurpleBaptisia lorez





Lotsa love (in-a-mist)

20 05 2013

Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

LotsaLove lorez





Bearded iris ‘Megabucks’

20 05 2013

Bearded iris ‘Megabucks’ (Iris germanica ‘Megabucks’), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved

ColorfulBeardedIris lorez

 





Yellow Columbine blooms

19 05 2013

Columbine blooms (Aquilegia sp.), photographed against small evergreen trees in the rock garden at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PaleYellowColumbine





Bleeding Hearts bloom

19 05 2013

Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis; formerly Dicentra spectabilis); photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

SingleBleedingHeart lorez

 





Blooming in my garden today: Bearded iris ‘Poem of Ecstasy’

15 05 2013

Bearded iris ‘Poem of Ecstasy’ (Iris germanica). How’s that for a flower name?!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Iris Poem of Ectasy lorez





Stonecrop sedum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’

15 05 2013

Stonecrop sedum floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’, photographed in the rock garden at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Sedum Gold lorez





Columbine blooms

15 05 2013

Columbine blooms (Aquilegia sp.), photographed in the rock garden at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Columbine Pink Yellow





Concord Grape Spiderwort

15 05 2013

Tradescantia ‘Concord Grape’ (Andersoniana Group)—three species native to Virginia were used to create these hybrids; photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Concord Grape Spiderwort





Rob’s old-fashioned Peonies

15 05 2013

My friend Rob grows the most fragrant and beautiful Peonies in his backyard garden. These heirloom plants have been handed down from his grandfather. Here are three from a bouquet he assembled last week. I just wish I could add a scratch-and-sniff button on this photo for you!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

RobsPeonies





Clematis

15 05 2013

Clematis (Klematis sp.) blooming in my friend Gina’s garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PurpleClematislorez





Blooming in my garden today: Showy Wild Garlic

13 05 2013

New to my garden this year: Showy Wild Garlic (Allium canadense). I’ve misplaced the label from the bag but I’m fairly certain this is what is blooming like crazy in my side garden. The water drops were a bonus—Michael was watering the herb baskets on the railing above this portion of the garden as I made my way over to photograph the blooms.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WildGarlic lorez





Tiny mating moths

12 05 2013

My neighbor, dear friend and frequent photography companion, Michael Powell, challenged me to get a shot of these tiny moths in my garden yesterday afternoon. They were on the edge of a leaf of one of my many Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) plants (they self-seed all over the garden). Combined (and yes, they were combined), the moths barely measured an inch in width! If you’re familiar with depth-of-field in photography and how it works, you’ll know that the closer you get to the subject (and the tinier it is), the areas in focus become extremely shallow. I was directly overhead shooting these two moths and they were visually on the same plane, but it was difficult to get a shot where almost everything was in focus. This was my best shot and I’m happy with it overall.

I still haven’t identified what kind of insects they are. Michael and I are fairly certain they are moths, but we could be swayed otherwise with a more official identifications. Takers, anyone?

UPDATE: Thanks to Jane Auty Kirkland (author/photographer of the Take a Walk Books series), for identifying these little moths. She has identified them as Orange Mint moths (Pyrausta orphisalis). Check out this link here for clarification.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Mating Moths lorez





Blooming in my garden today: Dutch iris

11 05 2013

Dutch iris (Iris hollandica); these are a new addition to my garden and I think the combination of royal purple, bronze-chocolate and that pop of Big Bird yellow is stunning! There are just two in bloom today, with about 15 more awaiting their chance to turn heads. I’m looking for the bag I saved so that I can identify the exact cultivar; info to come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PurpleBronzeYellow Dutch Iris lorez





Love-in-a-mist

9 05 2013

Love-in-a-mist (Nigella Damascena), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

LoveInAMist lorez

 





Another lovely Peony…

9 05 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Another Peony





Wildflowers, Hwy. 281 in San Antonio

9 05 2013

Here’s a record shot of the median strip on Hwy. 281 in San Antonio….there were wildflowers everywhere last month!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

TexasHighwaysWildflowers lorez

 





Garden phlox

9 05 2013

Perennial or Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata); attracts butterflies and hummingbirds; this fragrant flower was photographed at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

White Flowers Phlox?





Love-in-a-mist

9 05 2013

Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), photographed at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. It was my last shot of the day. We made it back to the car just as a torrential downpour came!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

White love-in-a-mist lorez





Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’

9 05 2013

Agastache ‘Cotton Candy’, a pollen and nectar source, photographed at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Agastache lorez





‘Blue Moon’ Siberian iris against a backdrop of Astilbe foliage

7 05 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BlueMoonIris Astilbe Bkgd





The much-maligned dandelion

7 05 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Dandelion lorez





Tibouchina urvilleana

7 05 2013

Tibouchina urvilleana, photographed at Green Spring Gardens

I find it fascinating that the buds of this plant are hot pink but the resulting blooms are an intense purple color; some leaves are hot pink, others are solid green; the stamens look like something out of a sci-fi movie; very interesting plant

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

TIbouchina lorez





Water pearls

7 05 2013

Water drops form strings of pearls on a hosta leaf at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WaterdropsOnHosta lorez





Bicolor Pansy

7 05 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PurplePinkPansy lorez





Camassia

7 05 2013

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Camas Light Purple lorez





Bleeding Hearts

6 05 2013

Lovely Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis; formerly Dicentra spectabilis); rhizomatous perennial native to eastern Asia and Siberia south to Japan; also called old-fashioned bleed-heart, Lady in a bath, Dutchman’s trousers; photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BleedingHeart 1 lorez





Bearded iris (unknown variety)

5 05 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PurpleYellowBeardedIris lorez





Spiderwort ‘Sweet Kate’

5 05 2013

Spiderwort Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’, photographed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Spiderworth lorez





Camassia leichtlinii ‘Blue Danube’

5 05 2013

Ladybug on Camassia leichtlinii, commonly known as large camas; photographed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Ladybug on Blue Danube Cammas





Iris kamaoensis

5 05 2013

Photographed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Iris Kamaoensis lorez





Peony ‘Cytherea’

5 05 2013

Paeonia ‘Cytherea’ photographed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PinkPeony Closeup 1

 





Siberian iris ‘Blue Moon’

5 05 2013

Iris siberica ‘Blue Moon’ photographed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA (yes, they really are this beautifully colored!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Blue Moon Siberian Iris lorez





Prickly pear cactus bugs and bloom

2 05 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Yellow Opuntia lorez

 





Leaf-footed bug on Prickly pear cactus

1 05 2013

Leaf-footed bug, order Hemiptera (thanks, Brian K. Loflin, oh bug man!) on a Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BugOnPricklyPearCactus lorez





Prickly pear cactus bud (Opuntia)

1 05 2013

I was in San Antonio last week to photograph interior remodeling projects for a client, but got a chance on Monday to photograph wildflowers in bloom as well. My dad was an excellent day trip companion—driving me to and fro, holding my tri-grip diffuser to soften the Texas sunshine on my subjects, keeping an eye out for dangerous vermin (I learned that if you hear a rattlesnake, freeze until you can locate where the sound is coming from—do not run or jump), stopping at a yard sale (homeowner was actually named Porter Wagoner), treating me to lunch at Texas 46 Bar & Grill in the Hill Country, and crooning classic country songs from a 25 cent CD he picked up at a yard sale (Sonny James, Freddy Fender, Bobby Bare, anyone?) en route home. More to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

PricklyPearBloom lorez