Common Blue Dasher dragonflies

22 07 2016

Ready yourself for an onslaught of Common Blue Dasher dragonfly shots (last week I inundated you with Slaty Skimmer dragonfly images from Kenilworth)…quick trip to McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, MD with my friend Michael Powell (visit his nature photography blog here). We may have avoided morning traffic by leaving later, but we sure did endure some increasingly hot weather. We started at a different parking area than normal—this area had a large pond and a gazillion (no exaggeration) Common Blue dragonflies (Pachydiplax longipennis) perched on every stick I passed by! I like this image because it shows another dragonfly way out of focus in the background in stark contrast to the sharply-focused one in the foreground.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Two Blue Dasher

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Crab spider on Ornamental onion

25 07 2015
Teeny, tiny crab spider (maybe 3/8″ span!) on Ornamental onion (Allium senescens), photographed at Green Spring Gardens. My friend Michael Powell and I went to shoot there about 4:00 this afternoon—there is so much in bloom now!
© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.
Chives Crab Spider lorez




Assassin bug on Sea Holly

13 06 2015

Assassin bug (fairly certain) on ‘Blue Glitter’ Sea Holly (Eryngium planum)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Orange Bug Sea Holly





Scenes from an exhibit reception, part 1

18 04 2012

WOW. That’s how I can sum up my photography exhibit reception on Sunday at Green Spring Gardens. My friend Martha says her favorite moment was when I came by her and simply said, “I am just soooooooooo happy.” I kept repeating it like a Stepford character. I’m just soooooooooo happy. Really, I am just soooooooooo deliriously happy! Sales and attendance were way beyond what I expected (or dared to hope for).

Remember, the show is up for two more weeks—you have until April 29 to see it if you haven’t already done so. For more details and directions, visit my show site: www.gardenmuseshow.com! FYI—I will have an etsy.com store up and running soon. I’ll be selling matted and framed images, greeting cards and jewelry (and any other crafty endeavor that strikes my fancy!). Stay tuned for more info on that venture. More photos to come from the reception…

Reception photos © Ed Fagan, Columbia Photography

Martha, my friend who came up for the weekend from San Antonio, Texas, confidently pitches the “buy all eight greeting cards for $20 and get a nifty floral gift bag” deal to a potential customer.

Above, from left: dear friends Holly and Tom, yours truly (with my trusty Coolpix) and lovely Sue-in-blue, who flew up from Huntsville, Alabama

With a lot of help from family and friends (Karen B., her daughter Margot, my sister Debbie, sister-in-law Nancy, Karen W. and Martha), the table decor—inspired by spring and all things gardening—became the perfect backdrop to showcase Barbara‘s wonderful sweet and savory appetizers! The only downside—putting all those decorations back in their place in our townhouse.

Above, left: The view of the banquet tables from the “savory” side. Right: Barbara Kelley, caterer extraordinaire, displays her Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes, topped off with homemade fondant butterflies made by Karen B., daughter Hannah and me.

Above: The photo pendants were a hit, much to our delight! My friend Paula and I made about 30 of them and we sold more than half of them. I’ll be preparing more to sell in my etsy.com store, which I’ll be working on next month. We hung them on satin cords (longer length), vinyl cording and silver-plated chains and sold them sans chains as well.

Barbara and Hollace made open-faced tea sandwiches and adorned them with edible flowers—which required some cajoling to get attendees to eat. I heard several times, “are you sure we can eat these?” Michael proved they were edible by devouring a complete pink rose (photo to come). Another guest poked at the mozzarella balls (!) and asked if they were real (!) Thank you to Sue for helping me festoon the cupcake stand with garden-inspired fabric and ribbon. We went through a lot of hot glue on that project!

Above: getting the store set up before the crowd comes through the doors. Thanks to everyone who set up the shop—Michael, Karen B., Karen and Joe W., Pete and Nancy, Martha and Debbie. We filled up 3.5 cars with matted/framed prints, greeting cards and buffet decor elements. From left: Holly and her friend Helen examine the necklaces on display; center: Michael explains how to use his credit card machine to Karen B. and her daughter Margot; far right: me explaining something (?) to my friend Leda

Above: seven of the eight 5.5 x 8.5 greeting cards available for sale. Not shown, my “Unfurled” image with a ‘Negrita’ Tulip

Above: another shot of the buffet—tea sandwiches, fruit skewers and pesto pinwheels

Above, left: the jewelry display with my brother-in-law Pete in the background. Peter and his wife Nancy (Michael’s sister) drove up from the Columbus, Ohio area. Right: one of my favorite people—friend and neighbor Michael P. —deciding with “hairy legged” insect photo to purchase (thanks for giving Vault and Whirly Girl a good home, Michael!) Below: lines began to form—how cool is that?

Above: It was so great to see my former roommate (from way back circa 1998 or so) Wendy and her husband Mark—I last saw Wendy at Potomac Mills mall when her son Eli (now 17) was still in a stroller! We reunited on Facebook (but of course) and they truly surprised me by driving down from West Virginia just for the reception! She has asked me to do a presentation to her second grade class on “how to learn how to see” things in nature. Now that I can do!

During this entire process, I have had such a tremendous show of support from family and friends. Since the show went up, I have had guests coming from Florida, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama and Maryland. I am so blessed to have these people in my circle!

In preparation for the show and reception, I’d like to thank a slew of great people:

A very special thanks to Jeff E.—thank you for the kick in the pants to get “exposure for my exposures!”
Dorothy Norpel
, F.R.O.G.S. (Friends of Green Spring Gardens) show coordinator, for giving me the opportunity to exhibit
• Mary Olien and Janet Hammes of Green Spring Gardens for their support of my work and Janet in particular for letting us in early on Sunday so we would have ample time to prepare for the reception (and also for purchasing several images!)
• All the employees and volunteers of Green Spring Gardens who answered questions, fetched a ladder, made a sale, answered my myriad questions and honored my requests
The Green Spring Gardens horticulture staff who are masters (and artists) at what they do—for always having something new and beautiful for me to photograph (not many people know that more than 75% of the images in the show were shot at Green Spring Gardens)
Dad
for his financial input, patient framing guidance and being the best cheerleader/dad/patron of the arts a girl could have
My sister Kelley for helping me select all the images for the show and being the genius behind the idea to name the images
Tom and Holly for loading up 98% of the framed images in their van and transporting and unloading it all—you just don’t know how much I appreciated that!
Dear Camilla for flying up to help me hang up the show and her invaluable creative direction (not to mention her long-time friendship)
• Karen W.
and Michael for helping hang the show from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (thanks also to Karen for constantly promoting my work, whether it’s jewelry making or the exhibit—there’s a reason you’re a key component of the K.I.T.A. club, ya know!)
Carmen and her sister-in-law Ester for driving eight hours from Greer, South Carolina just to attend the exhibit
Mary Ellen
for flying from Wisconsin
My sister-in-law Ronnie and her husband Ed for coming to see us and the exhibit en route from Florida back to their home in Cleveland
My sister Debbie and our friend Martha for hopping planes from San Antonio to share in the big weekend
Karen B.
for helping design the buffet tables, create the table covers and decorations, making fondant butterflies for the cupcakes, sleeving greeting cards and for every single creative project she is willing to tackle alongside me (I enjoy all our creative time together, KareBear) and for her patience in heading up the store
Mo Sherman
for spreading the word to his Virginia and Maryland friends and for being so supportive of my work
Sue
for flying here from Huntsville, AL, helping me make the three-tiered tea sandwich stand and putting matted prints in sleeves (and for her never-ending cheerleading!)
Hannah
for help with creating the butterflies and manning the store with her mom
Margot
for her flower arranging skills, buffet decorating and helping in the store
Paula
for helping me make those pretty photo pendants that were such a hit (and for her and Ken spreading the word of the exhibit to their friends and colleagues)
Nancy
, Pete and Martha for helping frame (assembly-line style) some last-minute pieces
Karen W.
and Joe for preparing and bringing a great breakfast spread to the house Sunday morning so we wouldn’t pass out during the day
All the help transporting to and fro in four separate cars from Michael, Pete, Joe, Nancy, Karen W., Martha and Debbie
Barbara
and Hollace for the amazing reception food—it was colorful, tasty, imaginative, filled with love, and I couldn’t imagine a catered event going more smoothly than this one did—you are a pro, Barbara!
Karen B.
, Margot, Hannah and Martha for minding the store and taking care of sales, wrapping, etc. (I know it was a crazy, unexpected time and I thank them profusely for all their efforts; nothing I can do can repay their generosity of time!);
Michael for running errands to get more change, to the house for more supplies and bringing fans to cool off the place (we learned that they turn off the air at the Horticulture Center on weekends!)
Karen W.
, Debbie, Martha, Karen B., Margot and Nancy for all their help decorating the buffet tables and setting up the store
Jeff S.D. for his constant support and helping me determine pricing (why is this always so hard for an artist?)
Brian for his mentoring and valuable input, always
Kudos and thanks to my hard-working friend Ed for so thoroughly and beautifully documenting that wonderful day with nearly 700 images (shot from above, below, from the side, on a ladder, on the floor and from the ceiling)!

If I have left out anyone in the never-ending gratitude list above, it is not intentional. Finally, thank you to all my local friends, faraway friends, Facebook friends, WordPress fellow bloggers and design clients for being a constant source of support and enthusiasm for this pet project of mine. Thank you to all my local friends who were able to make the reception and for your purchases as well. I thank you profusely and Green Spring Gardens thanks you, too!





Garden Muse Show: Random Dozen

5 03 2012

My photography exhibit, titled “Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio,” is up and ready for viewing at the Horticulture Center at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. Green Spring Gardens is located at 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria, VA. All images are for sale and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Green Spring Gardens’ FROGS program (Friends of Green Spring Gardens).

The exhibit runs February 28-April 29, 2012, so there’s plenty of time to come see it if you’re in the Virginia/D.C. area or are planning to visit this spring. The reception is Sunday, April 15 from 1-3 p.m. So set aside your taxes (if you’re not already done with them at that point!) and come join me at the reception for some mingling, delicious appetizers (catering by Barbara Kelley of Kelley Hospitality) and refreshments. There will be additional framed images, matted-only images and greeting cards for sale during the reception. And please don’t forget to sign my guest book!

Show website: http://www.gardenmuseshow.com/

Directions: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/directions.htm

Below is collage of just a dozen of the images (out of a whopping total of 74!) featured in the show. All images are matted and framed and eight images are gallery wrapped canvases that range from 18″x24″ up to 20″x30″ in size. If you’ve never had your best photos transferred to canvas, don’t get started on it. It is highly addictive and quite pricey, but the results are so spectacular that you’ll have a hard time resisting the pull. And the larger you go, the higher the price (and the bigger the smile, too). Intervention, anyone?

____________________________________________________________________________________

I just found out that the Washington Post listed the exhibit in their online “Going Out Guide,” and I have five reviews online so far!

Impressive—This is by far the best exhibit I have seen at Green Spring Gardens. This is a coup for them. Of course, Fairfax County Parks are the best. But this show tops everything. Nature captured!”

This Will Make You Smile—This is macro photography at its best. Ms. Dyer manages to inspire smiles from her deeply colorful and sometimes playful images of nature. A burst of color fills the room. Green Spring Gardens must be very pleased to have this exhibit.”

Incredible Color—This exhibit grabs you as you walk in the building. Don’t miss the images on canvas! Absolutely beautiful. I have so many favorites! The detail, color, composition of every one of these images is fantastic. This show is not to be missed!”

Wow…I mean…wow.—I’m a photographer who had a show in the same space a couple of years back and seeing what Ms. Dyer did with her show blew my mind. It is a gorgeous display of nature photography. Just a joy to see.”

A Feast for the Eyes and a Lift for the Soul—This photographic show is an exhibit of beautifully-composed macro-photography of plants and insects. The flowers are lovely and a riot of color and composition. Many of the photographs were taken in Green Spring Garden Park. I loved it and I am recommending it to my friends!”

Excellent Photographer—I have been waiting to see this exhibit for weeks! Lovers of nature, botany and excellent photography will not be disappointed.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: A lighter shade of pale

10 02 2012

Originally posted Feb. 11, 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

brightwhitecollage





Chinese Maple leaf canopy

13 01 2012

While preparing for my March/April 2012 solo photography exhibit at Green Spring Gardens, I stumbled across this image I captured at Garvan Woodland Gardens a few years ago. I was on a road trip with my friend, Sue, and we visited her Aunt Gaye in Little Rock, AR. I’m considering this image for a 12×12 print for the show.

Mark your calendars for March-April 2012 for my exhibit!
This will be my first art exhibit since college days (way back when!), so I’m very excited. The exhibit will be in the Horticulture Center in the park. The reception isn’t until Sunday, April 15, from 1-3 p.m., but the show runs all of March and April, so if you’re in the area, that’s ample time to stop by and see the show if you live nearby or plan to be in the Washington, D.C. / Northern Virginia area during that time!

Green Spring Gardens is conveniently located off of 395, at 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria, VA 22312. The Horticulture Center is open weekdays from  9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12 – 4:30 p.m. Parking is free and the park closes at dusk.

All works will be for sale, with a portion of proceeds going to Green Spring Gardens. I also plan to have unframed and matted images available for sale during the reception. The show consists of 12×12 images, 12×18 images and 8×12 images, all matted and framed for the show. I’ll also have more than a dozen gallery wrap canvas transfer images (a very contemporary look with no framing needed!), ranging in size from 12×18 to 20×30.

The show includes a great deal of images I’ve shot at Green Spring Gardens, as well as images from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C., Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Virginia, Brookside Gardens in Maryland, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C., McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Maryland, Garvan Woodland Gardens, Atlanta Botanical Garden, and in my own front and backyard gardens.

Stay tuned to this blog for an announcement of my show website with more details and a sneak preview of some of the images that will be featured. The website will also include ordering information if you’d like to purchase an image (whether matted/framed or matted/ready to frame) but can’t come see the show in person.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The culling process

1 07 2011

When I return from photographing any subject, I immediately delete (or cull) out the images that are out-of-focus, too overexposed or underexposed, and the occasional experimental image that didn’t quite pan out. I’m immediately drawn to specific images—sometimes it might be a great composition, a combination of colors that moves me, or an expression on someone’s face. These are the very first images I prepare for my high resolution stock files and for this blog. Sometimes when I revisit a session, even years later, I will occasionally find an image or two that didn’t get my attention initially but now deserve a second look. Below are just a few that made it out of oblivion to the light of day!

© 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





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.





Star of Persia (Allium christophe)

19 05 2011

Earlier this month I photographed this plant just as it was beginning to bloom, which is a far cry from the “visually busy” bloom I photographed today. Check out this plant in early bud stage on my previous post here. Aided by my macro lens today, I could see scores of tiny bugs navigating the interior stems—making it a veritable insect superhighway!

Star of Persia (Allium Christophe) plants grow 18-24 inches tall and sport a globe-shaped flower approximately 10 inches in diameter with clusters of amethyst-hued star-shaped blooms. The bulbs are hardy in zone 4 to 9 and after the blooms are spent, the ‘dead heads’ make a great architectural element in the garden. The bulbs are planted in the fall and bloom in late spring to early summer.

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






How many more days until spring?

11 02 2011

These images were all shot in one my most favorite photography spots in the world—Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. When things are in bloom, I escape to this place as fast and as often as I can, even if it’s just for a half hour of shooting. It is my respite, my calm, my own private paradise…just me with my camera, surrounded by bountiful blooms and bustling bugs under a balmy blue sky. It is where I go to think, to dream, to regroup, to create. Spring can’t come soon enough for me!

See more images shot at Green Spring Gardens here.

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.





Updated Green Spring Gardens gallery

21 10 2010

Take a look! http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p787446313





Newest additions to my Green Spring Gardens-only zenfolio gallery

16 09 2010

I just added more photos to the Green Spring Gardens-only gallery on my Zenfolio site. Click on this link here to view all 191 photos in thumbnail size. If you double-click on a photo, it will enlarge and a sub-gallery will show on the right side of the screen. You can also select “slide show” at the top. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did photographing them!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Pineapple Lily in bloom

27 07 2010

Earlier this month, I posted a photo of a Pineapple Lily in pre-bloom stage here. Today the plants were just starting to bloom at Green Spring Gardens and I was able to get a plethora of images. In fact, I spent about 20 minutes photographing just one bed of these plants! They were full of very tiny ants and an occasional wasp. More photos to come.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





In bloom at Green Spring Gardens

12 06 2010

Ah, yes, this is the life—lost myself for a few hours this afternoon at my favorite garden—and I still didn’t cover everything that was blooming. Kudos to the staff and the volunteers who make this place such a treasure (and an escape for this photographer, too!).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





New additions to my Zenfolio Gallery

27 04 2010

I just added more photos to my Zenfolio Botanical Gallery. Click on this link here to view all 423 photos in thumbnail size. If you double-click on a photo, it will enlarge and a sub-gallery will show on the right side of the screen. You can also select “slide show” at the top. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did photographing them!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





At Green Spring Gardens today…

2 08 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.  

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

GreenSpringSunday





Re-post: On color…

10 07 2009

I promise I’ll have some new works posted by this weekend. Perhaps some new images of lotus blossoms from Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? Or maybe something from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden? I’ve been going through my oldest archives and have found this collage I posted two years ago that makes me really, really happy when I view it. I also love the quote. Hope you don’t mind the reruns!

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.” — Georgia O’Keefe, American Painter, 1887-1986

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

punchocolor.jpg

Check out my garden-photos-only portfolio at:

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135





In bloom at Green Spring Gardens

2 07 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GS 722009






10 for 10

22 05 2009

About a half hour before the Green Spring Gardens plant sale was to close this past Saturday, the Virginia Master Gardeners booth started hawking all of their plants as “ten for $10.” Yep…some of the same plants I had purchased about two hours earlier for $5+, much to my chagrin. Reasonable prices before, yes, but at $1 each—what gardener in their right mind would possibly pass on that offer? Never mind if we’ve run out of space in our gardens—they’re a dollar! Just a dollar! We’ve discovered that some of the vendors do that each year so they don’t have to drag all the unsold items back to wherever they originated…and I am only too happy to help them lighten their load.

My 10-for-10 purchases included:

PrimroseOenothera Lemon Drop, common name ‘Evening Primrose’—a low-maintenance, herbaceous perennial that blooms in full sun from June-September. This perennial is tough, tolerates poor soil, and loves the sun. Bright yellow blooms all summer. Deadheading is not necessary, it’s drought and heat tolerant and grows 8-12″ tall. It can also be grown in containers, where it will trail over the sides. And of course I already have some of these in my front yard garden, courtesy of our friend Micheline, who shared them with us when she downsized houses a few years ago. There was a large bank of these cheery flower blooming profusely in her backyard garden. Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.

AnemoneOne sorta sad-looking (had to rescue it, though) Japanese Aneomone or Windflower (Anemone hupehensis)–-the tag indicates the flowers will be pinkish/mauve, so this might be the variety ‘September Charm.’ This perennial plant bears poppy-like flowers in September and October. The plants reach a height of four to five feet with each flower having five or more petal-like sepals that enclose the golden stamens. The leaves turn wine-red in autumn. Wish this plant luck—it will need it! Photo © Cindy Dyer.


WhiteWoodAsterTwo White Wood Asters (Aster divaricatus)—also known as ‘Eastern Star’—perennial herbaceous native to the eastern U.S. Grows 1-3 feet high with 3/4 to 1-inch white ray flowers that bloom profusely from August to September. The center of each flat-top flower starts yellow then ages to a reddish purple hue. The leaves are heart-shaped, stalked and sharply-toothed. White Wood Asters grow in part shade to full shade, are low-growing and low maintenance, and attract butterflies. They thrive in dry shade but become lush in moist soil. Cut hard at least once in spring to set the foliage back. Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.

Viola striata (other common names: Striped cream violet, Common white violet, Pale violet, Striped violet)—native perennial herb blooms white and purple flowers April through June. Requires part shade and moist, loamy soil. This plant spreads through its rhizomes. Flowers attract bee flies, butterflies (particularly caterpillars of Fritillary butterflies and several species of moths) and skippers. Seeds are eaten by mourning doves, wild turkeys, mice, and rabbits.

MaxSunflowerI should be punished for purchasing another Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani). I bought the same plant four years ago because I thought it would be perfect at the bottom of the steps of our front porch. The plant label purported, “cheery little yellow flowers on 4 ft. stems.” Four feet tall—nice size for the front entrance, right? By the end of the summer, visitors were asking us if we were growing corn in the front yard. We measured it and the tallest stalk was about 12 feet high! I just did some research and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site claims they grow 3-10 ft. high. What kind of wild range is that? (Imagine this scenario: Officer: Ma’am, how tall was the man who stole your wheelbarrow? Me: Ummm…he was three feet tall….then again, he might have been ten feet tall. I can’t be certain!) The plant grows Jack-in-the-Beanstalk high and then very late in the summer it sprays forth masses of miniature (2-3 inches across) yellow sunflowers that are at their most beautiful when they sway against a cornflower blue sky. And if I really want to get some good closeup shots of the blooms, I have to drag out the tall ladder to do so! Did I need another of these plants? No. But it was only a buck! Anyone have room in their garden for it? Photo © Cindy Dyer.

EchinopsRitroGlobe Thistle (Echinops ritro)—Clump-forming herbaceous perennial with coarse, prickly leaves (and how!) with 1-2 ball-shaped silvery-lavender-blue or dark blue flowerheads blooming in early to late summer on rigid branching stems 24-48 inches tall. These beautiful ornamentals grow best in full sun to mostly sunny areas, attract bees and butterflies, are good for cut flowers (and dried bouquets as well), will tolerate the heat and are deer resistant. And yes, I already have one—it’s about three years old and is the size of a small shrub already. I expect a plethora of blooms this season. Photo © Cindy Dyer.

SnowonthemountainSnow-on-the-Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)—I photographed this beautiful annual plant at Green Spring Gardens last year and posted the images on my blog here. A member of the spurge family, it flowers in the summer. Reaching 18-24 inches high, it requires sun to partial shade, and will attracts a plethora of butterflies, moths, bees, wasps and other insects—a veritable photographic smorgasbord! Now I’ll have one of my very own…once I find a place to plant it, that is. Folks, it was just a dollar, remember? Photo © Cindy Dyer.


Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)—This tough native is deer-resistant and provides food for larval butterflies. Clusters of sweet-scented white flowers appear on 1-2 foot stalks in June and July. Whorled milkweed can be found in prairies, pastures, open woods and by the roadside. Learn more about attracting Monarch butterflies to your garden (and purchase milkweed seeds, too) at www.happytonics.org, owned by my friend, Mary Ellen Ryall.

Salvia

‘Ostfriesland’ Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)—also known as Violet Sage, Ornamental Meadow Sage, Perennial Woodland Sage—this sun-loving herbaceous perennial grows 12-18 inches high with fragrant violet-blue flowers blooming from summer to autumn. Attractive to bees, butterflies and birds, and deer resistant. I couldn’t find this version in my files or a suitable one to reprint, so I’m showing a similar salvia I photographed at Butchart Gardens. Photo © Cindy Dyer







Check out my zenfolio.com gallery!

1 05 2009

I’ve been working on putting the “cream of the crop” of my garden and landscape photos into one easy-to-navigate gallery. Eventually I’ll have the gallery set up to sell prints as well as stock photos, but in the interim, this is just a way to wrangle all of my web-viewing-only images into one gallery. I’ll be adding more images in the future. Currently there are 380 images in the Botanical Gallery. That should keep you plenty busy! If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll recognize many of the photos.

Once you click on the first link below, you can click “view all” at the bottom and see everything on one page, scrolling down as you go. If you click on an individual photo, it will enlarge and thumbnails for other images will show up on the side (as shown in the collage below). You can click on any of those to enlarge, or you can just launch the slide show in the second link below. I hope you enjoy the show!

Gallery:  http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

Slideshow: http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135/slideshow

———————————————–
Open a Zenfolio account with my referral code 8B9-BTJ-6G3 and save $5.00

zenfolio-gallery





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.

countthebugslorez2





Lighter shade of pale

11 02 2009

Colors left to profile—red, green, and variegated (a reader’s suggestion)—I’ve covered orange, pink, blue, yellow and purple. Am I leaving something out?

I suppose since it’s still winter, I could cover brown, but that’s not too inspiring, is it? Might not be, but boy do I have lots of that color in the garden right now.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

brightwhitecollage





Not so mellow yellow

3 02 2009

I had so many yellow-dominant photos in my archives that I had to shrink the images a little more than usual to get them to all fit into a more manageable collage—otherwise, you would be scrolling down for days. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Purple’s comin’ ’round the corner. Enjoy!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

notsomellowyellow3






Toto, we’re not in Texas anymore…

9 01 2009

Michael finished work early today and we decided to grab our cameras and drive over to Green Spring Gardens to see if we could get some shots before the beautiful afternoon light faded. It has been gray, drizzling, damp, rainy and quite depressing for a few days, so today was our first sunny blue-sky day and we didn’t want to waste it. It didn’t seem that cold going out to the car, but by the time we got to the park, it was freeeeeeezing. I still managed to shoot over 100 images despite the fact that I wasn’t dressed for the cold (am I ever?). No socks (sorry, Mom), and just a shawl over my shoulders (fool). No gloves, either. And I got a bit muddy while getting the eye level shots of the sweet little snowdrops. Sigh. I should have stayed in Texas until the weather warmed up here. Is it spring yet?

Click here to see snowdrops that I photographed last April at Green Spring Gardens.

Green Spring is one of my favorite local places to photograph. Below are links to all my posts about this wonderful park during the 2008 gardening season:

A very fine (birth)day, indeed! (can it get any better than this?)
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/a-very-fine-birthdayday-indeed/

Japanese Anemones (such an elegant flower):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/honorine-jobert/

Photographic smorgasbord (lots of bugs in this post!):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/photographic-smorgasbord/

Convention ’08 (even more bugs here):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/bug-reunion-08/

In bloom at Green Spring Gardens (a very colorful day!):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/in-bloom-at-green-spring-gardens/

I will be the gladdest thing (images from a hot day in July):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/i-will-be-the-gladdest-thing/

Duh…more flowers, of course! (a beautiful May day):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/duhmore-flowers-of-course/

Love-in-a-mist (one of my favorites):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/love-in-a-mist/

A day of bliss (yes, it truly was):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/a-day-of-bliss/

Glorious poppies (and how!):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/glorious-poppies/

Swaths of color (capturing the first spring blooms):
http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/a-profusion-of-spring-color/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Visit my main blog at www.cindydyer.wordpress.com, where I post portraits, event photography, personal essays, and other non-garden-related entries.

greenspringjan09





Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

5 09 2008

This morning Michael and I went to photograph the “Wings of Fancy” live butterfly exhibit, in its 12th year at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. The exhibit is at the South Conservatory and is open from 10:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m. daily through September 21. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $4 for children ages 3-12, and free for children age 2 and under.

The website mentions that the greenhouse is usually ten degrees warmer than the outside. They weren’t kidding about that! It got pretty uncomfortable after about 20 minutes, but we were so excited about the myriad photographic opportunities that we just plugged ahead—glasses steamed, brows sweating. One of the volunteers said there are several hundred butterflies in the conservatory, representing 60 different species from Asia, Costa Rica, and North America.

These are just a few of the butterflies in the conservatory:

Atlas Moth (with a wingspan of at least 6 inches!)
Zebra Mosaic
Clipper
Giant Swallowtail
Julia Heliconian
Paper Kite
Banded Purple Wing
White Peacock
Cydno Longwing
Mexican Shoemaker
Tiger Longwing
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Question Mark
Agentinean Canna Skipper
American Giant Swallowtail
Malachite
Browntip
Painted Lady
Red Postman
Gray Cracker
Common Morpho
Common Mormon
Monarch
Gulf Fritillary

The collage below shows 29 different butterflies and moths in the exhibit. You’ll notice three of the same type (the dark brown and light blue butterfly; 5th one down). I was able to get numerous different shots of this species. The most elusive was the Common Morpho, which rarely settled in one place long enough to photograph one. Wings closed, this rather large butterfly is various shades of brown with bronze-colored “eyes” on its wings. Wings open, it is the most gorgeous shade of metallic azure blue! I was able to get one shot with wings close and just a touch of the blue showing. I’ll post that separately. I did get one shot open, but it was on the window and the image isn’t tack sharp. I’ll post it anyway just to show how beautiful this butterfly is. Two of the images in this collage show mating butterflies, which the volunteers pointed out to us so we could photograph them.

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.





www.insectpod.com

9 08 2008

Hey, if you like bugs (and who doesn’t?), check out David Brady’s “Insect Picture of the Day” site. David is a software engineer and amateur photographer. I checked out his site and it’s really fun to read. He definitely is “someone who thinks bugs are neat.” Just like moi.

Oh, and check out the addendum to my recent posting titled, “Photographic smorgasbord.” I’ve gone to the trouble (yes, folks, just for you) of researching and trying to identify most of the critters I photographed that morning. Go on, revisit that posting. I promise you’ll learn something you can spout about and impress your friends with at your next bbq!





How Can Something This Beautiful…

12 09 2007

be so destructive? I know when I first sent this photo out to Debbi (our resident Rose Queen), she probably passed out in shock when she saw it. One must admit that they really are beautiful, despite how destructive they are. I photographed this mating pair at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA. I’m happy to report that I have never seen one in my own garden (and therefore I don’t have to deal with critter elimination!).

japanese-beetles.jpg

© 2007 Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Popillia japonica is a beetle about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) long and 1 cm (0.4 inches) wide, with shiny copper-colored elytra and a shiny green top of the thorax and head. It is not very destructive in Japan, where it is controlled by natural enemies, but in America it is a serious pest to rose bushes, grapes, crape myrtles, and other plants. These insects damage plants by eating the surface material, leaving the veins in place, producing a curious, but alarming “transparent leaf” effect on its victims.

For more photos of this insect, visit http://bugguide.net/node/view/473/bgimage

Excerpt below from The Urban Pantheist.

In 1916, America’s most densely populated state (New Jersey) became the first place in North America where a certain exotic Asian scarab beetle was found. This beautiful but destructive animal is now well-known to gardeners in the eastern states, and is becoming familiar in more places every year. Increasing amounts of regulation and use of biological controls (a bacterium and parasitic wasps) are the official weapons in use against the Japanese beetle. Still they seem to have a robust population in areas where they occur, including urban centers that have the plants the adults feed on (over 400 species documented) and grassy soil for their grubs to overwinter in. And they continue to spread, being found in San Diego for the first time in 2000, and at an airport in Montana in 2002.

Japanese beetles are often encountered in what appears to be mating groups. Females produce sex pheromones that attract many males, who compete for the opportunity to mate in large clusters. According to one researcher, relatively little mating actually occurs in these groups. Males will guard their chosen female from other males until she is ready to lay her eggs. At least while clustered, they can be easily picked off of plants.





Bees (and Wasps) I have known

21 05 2007

I love photographing insects in the garden. Among my favorite: bees…they’re of ample size to fill a macro lens frame, they move fairly slowly, and they love a variety of plants, so you can always get a different background. If you want to learn more about the plight of bees, here’s a great article:

http://www.everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/arthropods/insects/bees/aa/vanishing_

bees-ive-known.jpg