Ghost fish in the sky

15 10 2018

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. 

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Indian Creek Canal koi

15 10 2018

When I was driving en route home from San Antonio back to Virginia in early August, I stopped to visit my friends Sue and Steve in Huntsville, AL. Sue took me back to the Indian Creek Canal to shoot some photos of the beautiful koi with my iPhone 8Plus. I went a little crazy, running back and forth to capture these images (especially following the beautiful gold koi)!

The canal was the first one in Alabama, incorporated in 1820 and completed in 1931. It was constructed to the Tennessee River to facilitate the transportation of cotton to market. Developers were Thomas Fearn, LeRoy Pope, Stephen S. Ewing, Henry Cook, and Samuel Hazard.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Alabama Koi 1

 





Sue’s spectacular sunrise

27 01 2012

On our last night on the long road from San Antonio to Virginia, we spent the night with our friends, Sue and Steve, in Huntsville, AL. We arrived at Sue’s house at almost midnight and set the alarm to get up by 6:30. I really didn’t want to get out of that comfortable bed, but when I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous pink and yellow sunrise from the guest room window, I was propelled out of bed to get this shot. Who needs sleep when there are scenes to record like this?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





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.





The coolest bathroom hallway EVER

28 05 2011

I shot this photo below of the restroom hallway in Longwood’s new East Conservatory Plaza. It is the largest “living wall” in North America, and was designed by famed British landscape architect Kim Wilkie.

This is the first time I’ve seen a living wall planted with ferns and other greenery (28 plant species and 47,000 plants in total!)—rather than succulents. (I blogged here about the gorgeous living wall of succulents on the facade of the Anthropologie store in Huntsville, Alabama). Watch the video below to see how the project came together and see the Longwood Gardens blog here for more information.





Sunset + (super?)moon over the Potomac River

20 03 2011

Michael and I ventured out to the Mount Vernon Parkway before 7:00 p.m. this evening to scout out a good spot to wait for the much-anticipated and much-heralded “Supermoon.” I’m sorry to have to report that I was a tiny bit disappointed. I confess that I was hoping for that end-of-the-world-large-encroaching-orb-could-swallow-us-whole-fodder-for-a-science-fiction-movie effect, but it didn’t happen.

Yes, it was a lovely moon—slightly larger than usual and a bit brighter. I guess I was expecting it to flood the horizon so fully that I would have to take off my Nikkor 80-400 zoom lens and put on the 50mm just to catch it all in my viewfinder. So large that I would hear audible gasps from the neighboring photographers, then perhaps we would spontaneously hold hands and break into song (Kumbaya, perhaps?). Didn’t happen.

The moon I photographed in Huntsville, Alabama a few years ago seemed a whole lot larger and a lumen or two brighter than tonight’s “Supermoon.” You can view that posting here. I was, however, taken in by the sunset’s show earlier.

Hey! Guess what? I was just ready to publish this post and decided to Google this search: “supermoon was disappointing tonight,” just to see if anyone had the same reaction that I did.

I found this on space.com: On Saturday night, the moon will arrive at perigee at 19:09 UT (3:09 p.m. Eastern Time). Its distance from the Earth at the moment will be 221,565 miles. But just over three years ago, on Dec. 12, 2008, which was also the night of a full moon, the moon reached perigee at 21:39 UT (4:39 p.m. Eastern Time) at a distance of 221,559 miles, about 6 miles closer than Saturday night’s perigee distance. So it seems Saturday night’s supermoon will actually be just a little less super than the full moon of Dec. 2008. (You can read skywatching columnist Joe Rao’s full article here.)

Why do I find this so interesting? Well, I photographed that moon near the Huntsville Airport in December 12, 2008! So my eyes (and my memory) did remember a more impressive sky that night than tonight. Unlike tonight, I wasn’t even hunting for it —my friend Sue had picked me up from the airport and I asked her to pull over so I could get a few shots of the spectacular moon! Who would have thought that the moon being only six miles closer to the earth would make such a noticeable difference?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.







Aw, I want one!

1 07 2009

After the Hearing Loss Association of America Convention was over (click here for details), we headed toward Huntsville to visit our friend Sue. We wanted to show my sister the nearby towns of Franklin and Leipers Fork en route and we just had to stop to photograph this adorable baby donkey. He (she?) came right up to us to get some attention. I shot the image of Michael petting it to show you how small this little guy was.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BabyDonkey






Woodland wildflower

30 04 2009

I haven’t a clue as to what type of flower this is! Any takers? I photographed it in the Nature Trail and Wildflower Garden at the Huntsville Botanical Garden last week. And if you haven’t noticed, almost all the flowers I photographed at the garden have water drops on them. Nature was ready for me. Of course, I couldn’t have gotten any of these shots if my dear friend Sue hadn’t ran over to hold an umbrella over me each time it started sprinkling!

UPDATE: Thanks to Deb (Aunt Debbi’s Garden) for identifying this beauty: “It is Spiderwort (Tradescantia) Beautiful flower with an ugly name.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Ox-eyed Daisy

29 04 2009

I photographed this lovely raindrop-covered ‘May Queen’ Ox-eyed Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) at the Huntsville Botanical Garden last week. Ox-eyed Daisies, also known as Marguerite Daisies, are short, bushy perennials. Prolific reseeders, these hardy plants can grow in full sun or partial shade.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Bling bling

29 04 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Wild Columbine

29 04 2009

Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), photographed at the Huntsville Botanical Garden—this beautiful perennial, native to the U.S., flowers in spring and is a favorite of moths and butterflies. It grows from a thin, woody rhizome and can be found on rocky ledges, slopes and low woods. The spurs of the petals contain nectaries and are attractive to insects with long proboscises.

From the website, www.rook.org:

Aquilegia, from the Latin, aquilinum, “eagle like,” because the spurs suggested the talons of an eagle to Linnaeus; OR, from the Latin word for “water collector,” alluding to the nectar in the spurs of its petals.

canadensis, from the Latin, “of Canada”

Columbine, from the Latin columba, “dove,” the spurred petals perhaps having suggested a ring of doves around a fountain.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

columbinelorez





Peekaboo

29 04 2009

Yet another case of “I didn’t see that little guy when I was getting this shot.” Look in the center of this Siberian Iris—there’s a tiny green bug staring directly at you! I’m pretty sure this little bug is a Katydid nymph Scudderia. I photographed him/her at the Huntsville Botanical Garden last week.

Click here to see what one looks like up close and personal in a photograph I shot and posted on my blog last year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Yes, more yellow.

27 04 2009

I’m not sure (yet) what kind of flowers these are, but they’re shorter than the newly-identified Wild Turnip flowers I photographed in rural Virginia on my road trip. This photo was shot just outside of Huntsville, when Sue and I were en route to Arkansas on Monday to visit her Aunt Gay in Little Rock. The flowers could be Wild Mustard or some kind of buttercup. Help in identification would be much appreciated!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Give up?

27 04 2009

It’s a little hard to see them with screen resolution because they are so tiny, so here’s the big reveal below. Thanks to Burstmode for giving it the ‘ole college try!

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Spot the bugs and win a prize!

27 04 2009

I photographed this past-its-prime-time tulip bloom at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens on April 19. It had rained off and on all morning long so everything I photographed was cover in raindrops (a bonus!). Thank you to Sue, who held an umbrella over me and my beloved camera while I captured many of these images. Gardeners and photographers—neither will let rain deter them from their passions!

I was concentrating so hard on getting the raindrops in focus that I didn’t even notice any of the tiny green bugs seeking refuge from the rain on this tulip until I opened and enlarged it in Photoshop! I counted eight total. Do you see them? Some are more visible than others—in some cases you’ll see just a few legs poking out or just a dark green or brown speck.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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December 12 Moon

17 12 2008

December 12 moon, photographed near the airport in Huntsville

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Alabama cotton field under a Virginia sky

1 12 2008

While we were vacationing with Sue and her mother in Seattle this past September, Sue requested a commission for a painting to go over her mantel in her Huntsville home. She wanted something related to her new home state and her first thought was a cotton field landscape. A few weeks ago, I came up with some ideas and sent her some sketches via e-mail and this painting was the end result.

The 36×48 painting is done on gallery wrap canvas with acrylic paint. I haven’t painted in a few years, but as soon as I got started, it all came back to me. I don’t have an exact estimate of time, but the painting took less than 10 hours, spread over two days, to complete—although I was still touching it up the morning we left!

With the much-welcomed help of my dad and my friend Debbi, I was able to tweak several things when I got stuck mid-way. Debbi suggested adding more green to the foreground so it would complement the treeline. When I showed the initial digital sketches to my dad, he said, “That can’t be an Alabama cotton field. Where are the rolling hills and trees?” Dad grew up in Mississippi and Alabama and spent some time in cotton fields, so I took his advice and added trees and rolling hills. He also offered suggestions on how to make the foreground blend more with the treeline and sky so it didn’t look like two separate paintings, and to make the furrows not as dark and flat. I am grateful for their suggestions because the changes made for a much more cohesive painting—one that I was proud to present to Sue!

Toward the end, I still wasn’t happy with the lackluster sky and desperately needed a muse. On Friday, while I was out running last minute errands, the Virginia sky became my inspiration—I finished the painting that evening (in between cleaning the house, paying bills, and packing computer equipment, camera gear, and clothes for the trek to Texas the next day!)

After packing the car early Saturday morning, there was just enough room to slide in the oversized painting. It made the 10+ hour trip to Huntsville without incident. After we got back from lunch and shopping Sunday evening, I whipped out a 6×6 gallery wrap miniature painting depicting three cotton buds blossoming (it’s on the little easel to the left of the painting). Now Sue and Steve (and their cats, Matilda (pictured) and Pante (the antisocial boy) have a painting of an Alabama cotton field under a Virginia sky gracing their great room!

Learn how cotton is grown here. Click here and learn about Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin and a pioneer in the mass production of cotton. Learn about the origin of denim, what makes towels absorbent, how the t-shirt got its name, and other interesting cotton-related facts on www.cottoninc.com.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

paintinglorez





Snake doctors

4 07 2008

My Dad posted this comment on dragonflies and since viewers don’t always read the comments, I thought I’d share his in a posting:

I hope y’all are ready for this — when I was a little feller in rural Alabama (eons ago), we didn’t call them dragonflies — they were “snake doctors.” In my part of the state (west central), little boys were always barefoot (except in the dead of winter). We moved very carefully when we saw a snake doctor, believing that somewhere near, an ailing snake lay in wait for the doctor, but willing to bite anything else that moved). I don’t recall anyone saying in what manner the insects administered to such sickly serpents. We didn’t question such facts back then — we just accepted them (come to think of it, I haven’t changed that much).

I have completely exhausted my store of superlatives for your photos so I’ll just say, “Keep ‘em coming.” And as always (in the interest of full disclosure), I must stress that although I am your father, my opinions are based on the product and not on family ties.

A bit of Alabama etymology: Y’all — the plural for y’all (you all) is “you’ins” (accent on the first syllable), sometimes pronounced “y’erns” (pronounced with only one syllable).