iPhoneography: Ginkgo canopy

5 11 2018

Ginkgo grove at the Blandy Experimental Farm and State Arboretum in Boyce, VA

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. (iPhone 8Plus, Snapseed app border)

Attachment-1 (3)

 

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I’m likin’ this lichen!

20 05 2018

Rain is good for the garden. Too many days of rain is not good for me (or my beautiful Bearded irises, which I was fortunate to photograph in all their glory before the wet mess came). We’ve had about a week of solid rain. It let up some today and I saw a glimpse of the sun very briefly. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for sunny and no rain (yay!). I was at a Michael’s Craft Store and in the parking lot next to the car are several trees that are coated with various colors of lichen and moss. It’s actually quite beautiful and only in our rainforest-like weather could this occur. I went a little nuts with my iPhone using the Camera+ app in macro mode late this afternoon. I added the grunge borders in the Snapseed app. I plan on going back with my Nikon D850 to get some more images tomorrow.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Lichen Moss Collage





Camellia ‘Jerry Hill’

27 04 2018

Jerry Hill Camellia (Camellia japonica ‘Jerry Hill’)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Pink Tree Rose





Capillaries

16 03 2018

I shot this image at a rest stop in Arkansas en route home to Virginia this week. My friend Greg purchased the new Nikon D850 (which I have been dreaming about) and let me play with it on this trip. I knew I’d love it! Now to just find some spare change in the couch ($3,300 to be exact).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Capillaries lorez

 





iPhoneography: Last of the fall leaves

12 12 2017

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 6s / Snapseed app border

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iPhoneography: Birds & branches

12 12 2017

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 7 Plus / Snapseed app border

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The studio effect

22 07 2016

With the sky full of clouds and very washed out during the heat of the day, doesn’t this look like I invited this Common Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) into my studio for a portrait session against a white backdrop? Pretty awesome and unexpected effect!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Studio Look Blue Dasher





iPhoneography: Skies

9 04 2016

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 6s / Snapseed

Clouds 35

Clouds over VA WEB.jpg

Sky Rays of God WEB

Stoop Rainbow WEB

Storm Clouds Pan WEB





Wednesday sky

17 03 2016

Last night’s sky was so painterly with a brilliant blue background, storm clouds, wispy cotton trails, and glowing gold patches of sunlight. I went a little nuts photographing it with my iPhone 6 (border added in Snapseed app) in a mall parking lot. Beauty is found in the most mundane places!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Wednesday Sky





Congratulations, grasshopper!

13 02 2016

Congratulations to my dear friend Michael Powell for getting his photos published in a spread in the local Mt. Vernon Voice newspaper. He was out shooting at Huntley Meadows one cold morning and the co-editor of the publication happened to be there. He asked him if he would like his work to be featured in the newspaper. He had a two page spread available to fill and Michael had to get him photos pronto. Nice showcase for your work, grasshopper! You can see more of Michael’s work on his blog at https://michaelqpowell.wordpress.com/.

Michael Mt Vernon Voice





iPhoneography: Botanicals

13 12 2015

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

iPhone Flowers





Lovely skies of Texasp

11 11 2015

iPhone 6, processed with Snapseed app © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Texas Sky Collage





Cloudspotting

11 11 2015

Perhaps it’s the lack of tall buildings to block the view, or maybe the weather patterns are different in the region, but the skies in Texas are just spectacular (and nearly every day they offer up something worth photographing!). I shot a plethora of sky vistas and cloud formations while I was in Texas for my niece’s wedding in October. This one caught my eye in the parking lot outside a Vietnamese restaurant in San Antonio. I immediately saw a face and thought, “Einstein!” I shared the image with my FB friends and the conversation took flight. My favorite response was from my FB friend and fellow blogger, Erik Gauger. He described in detail what he saw and then used his creative skills to bring the figure to life. (FYI, I’ve blogged about Erik’s gorgeous, award-winning photography/narrative/nature/travel website, but in case you missed it, check it out here: http://www.notesfromtheroad.com/)

iPhone 6, processed in Snapseed © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Einstein Cloud webCloud Conversation





Six-spotted Fishing Spider

26 07 2015

Six-spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton); it’s so hard to get perfect depth-of-field with these tiny subjects, but I’m happy with the overall look of this shot regardless (thanks to my friend Michael Powell for the identification). Re: size—this one was probably about an inch or so long (they can get up to 2.5 inches!). The lily pad was a smaller one.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Fishing Spider





Itsy bitsy frog

26 07 2015

The teeniest of frogs—barely a 1/4″—in one of the ponds at Lilypons this morning

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

TinyFrog lorez





Closeup of immature Common Whitetail dragonfly

7 07 2015

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

JuvenileDragonfly





Frog on lily pad

6 07 2015

My friend Michael Powell and I took a drive out to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this morning to drop off some signage material for the event this Saturday and also to do a little shooting. He said he wanted to find a frog on a lily pad and I found this one for him. We both did some shots until the frog was startled and sank into the abyss. I had my Tamron 180 lens on my Nikon D800 but since there are now wire fences around the water lily ponds, I couldn’t lean in a far as I was inclined to do—hence the more environmental look to this shot (rather than my usual closeups). I kind of like the shadow of the tree functioning as a leading line down to the frog. See my bonus critter? It’s a little guppy/fish at the bottom, right.

Check out Michael’s most excellent nature photography blog here: https://michaelqpowell.wordpress.com/

GreenFrogSubmersed





Flying lessons soon…

10 05 2015

I photographed Mama Dove and her big babies again on Tuesday of last week. I checked yesterday and everyone has left the nest, but Mama and Papa are in view, behaving like sentinels, so I know the babies are now in their “flying lessons” phase and probably resting safely somewhere in my garden!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MamaDoveBabies





Inchworm, inchworm

3 05 2015

I spent quite a while photographing this little inchworm as he made his way along the jagged path of an Autumn fern stalk in the woodland garden at Lewis Ginter this afternoon. Here’s something I didn’t know until I did some homework: this little inchworm is actually not a worm—it is the larvae of a Geometer moth (exactly which type, I haven’t a clue). The word Geometer means to “measure the earth,” which is what the inchworms appear to be doing when they move in this looping crawl. They have two to three pairs of legs at each end so they can “inch” their way through life. (Now I can’t get the inchworm song out of my head!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

InchWorm 1





iPhoneography at Green Spring Gardens

2 05 2015

Although I shot nearly 500 photos with my Nikon D800 in about two hours at Green Spring Gardens this morning, I also shot a couple dozen with my iPhone 6 and processed them on the spot with Snapseed2. The two members of my “photo posse” below are my intern, Andrew Savino, and my friend and frequent photography partner, Michael Powell. You can view Andrew’s portfolio here and Michael’s blog here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

iPhone GS 5012015





Nesting

30 04 2015

A Mourning dove has built her nest in a plant pot on the top of my gardening bench. You can see part of one of two babies to her right (black with white streaks). I can’t do my annual cleanup in that area until after flying lessons are given! Isn’t she pretty? (iPhone 6 with Snapseed2)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

DoveBabyLorez





My spirits soar…

30 04 2015

All through the long winter, I dream of my garden.
On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth.
I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.

—Helen Hayes

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. (Shot with my iPhone 6, processed with Snapseed2)

Spring Trees lorez





Reminder: Green Spring Gardens Fall Fest

4 09 2014

I’ll have a booth at the Green Spring Gardens Fall Fest on Saturday, September 13, 9 am – 4:30 pm. Stop by and see my botanical images. Below are just some of the many colorful greeting cards I’ll be selling.

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/

Greeting Card Partial 1





Snow falling on crabapples (view from my kitchen)

4 03 2014

(Doesn’t sound quiet as poetic as that book, Snow Falling on Cedars, does it?)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Snow Branches lorez





Origami cranes?

3 11 2013

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Origami cranes





Oh, Ginkgo tree, oh, Ginkgo tree…

27 10 2013

…how lovely are thy branches

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Ginkgo Tree WP





Tree Tones

10 08 2013

Through Pinterest, I learned about Sherwin-Williams color-palette-generator at http://www.letschipit.com. Here’s my latest palette using a photo I shot at Brookside Gardens a few weeks ago. Qué fun!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 11.46.05 AM





Blue Dasher dragonfly on Lotus seed pod

18 08 2012

Okay, the lure of photographing dragonflies again was just too much to resist today. I’m on a roll (couldn’t you tell?). I called my “grasshopper” photography student, Michael Q. Powell, and although he had already been out shooting by himself this morning, it didn’t take much cajoling to convince him to come out again with me. Since it was very late in the afternoon (after 4:00 p.m.), it was more overcast, which made for great lighting for photography. The background is a large lotus lily pad leaf—see the lighter center of the leaf peeping through the upper wings? Yes, this is a warning that there will be just a few more dragonfly posts (I shot nearly 400 images just in today’s session). So, dear readers, I ask that you bear with me until I’ve overcome my (most likely temporary) obsession with dragonflies.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Incoming!

17 08 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Eastern Amberwing dragonfly

17 08 2012

Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (Perithemis tenera). The Eastern Amberwing is very small, measuring just 3/4 to 1 inch long. Its scientific name, “tenera,” means delicate, referencing its small size. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Distracted by dragonflies and damselflies

17 08 2012

This much is true—I think photography has made me a more patient person (I think I just heard my dad mutter “hmppph” all the way from Texas). It is all at once stimulating, frustrating, exhilarating, overwhelming and all-consuming—and it requires immense patience. No more so than when I’m trying to photograph dragonflies! Today I sought a little time out of the studio at lunchtime—taking advantage of cooler temperatures—and headed to my favorite spot, Green Spring Gardens.

Mid-August is a time of fewer blooms, so I headed down to the ponds, which I rarely frequent when the gardens are ablaze in color. I found a semi-shady spot at one end of the pond where a few lotus flowers were in full bloom, spread out my traveling cushion (a plastic trash bag) at the edge of the bank, and set up shop to try and capture some dragonfly images. It was full sun—never my favorite for shooting outdoors—but I decided to work with what I had at the time, shadows accepted begrudgingly.

The pond was a flurry of activity with what seemed like hundreds of dragonflies and damselflies—staking out their territories, looking for love in all the right places, dipping into the surface of the water to drink and knocking fellow insects off their perches.

The first thing I did upon my return was ask Michael to set up my Nikon D300 so that I am unable to shoot without a card. Why was this important to do? Well, after the first 10 minutes of my photo session, I tried to review my images and got that dreaded “NO MEMORY CARD” alert. I actually said out loud, “Are you kidding me?” I am truly fortunate that this is only the second time I have forgotten to put in a memory card. Michael set it up so I can’t even shoot without a card now! I shot some truly spectacular images of dragonflies and damselflies in that brief 10 minutes. Alas, they are now just committed to my memory. I think I made up for the loss, though, by deciding to shoot continuously for the next hour to make up for my ineptness.

I tallied up the total of clicks—728—more than 8 gigs of images in just over an hour of shooting! These include overexposures, underexposures, out-of-focus, just-missed-its, but there are definitely some keepers, which I’m sharing below. I’ll have many more to share in future posts.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

15 08 2012

Late this afternoon as I was heading out to run an errand, I just happened to have my Coolpix L110 around my neck and saw this Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris diffinis) fly past me. It landed on a Bearded iris leaf and stayed there for at least five minutes! I fired off a few shots from a distance of about two feet and then switched to macro mode on the L110 and moved in closer. I was able to shoot these from about seven inches away and the moth just stayed there, virtually motionless. I was able to knock off about 20 different shots (from directly behind the insect, then moving to capture a side view) until it flew away.

I’ve photographed this type of insect two other times (one in my garden here and one in Wisconsin here), but have never had one stop in one place. Before today, I had never been able to see the detail in the wings because they always seem to be in motion (much like a hummingbird, actually!). I would have preferred to diffuse the sunlight to lessen the harsh shadows, but sometimes you have to play the hand you’re dealt (or dance with the one what brung ya, or something to that effect).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





East Indian Lotus

8 07 2012

From the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens visitors center:
Clustered in a pool near the visitor center is the pink-tinged East Indian lotus, descended from ancient plants whose seeds were recovered in 1951 from a dry Manchurian lakebed. Induced into germination by the National Park Service, the seeds are believed to be one of the oldest viable seeds ever found. A recent estimate places their age at 640 to 960 years. Unlike water lilies, the lotus (genus Nelumbo) has waxy leaves that rise above the water and shed rain. Its showy flowers drop petals to reveal seedpods that look like shower heads. Its seeds ripen above water.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lotus leaf

8 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

 





Water lily

5 07 2012

Unidentified water lily, photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Monarch on Purple coneflower

2 06 2012

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), photographed at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pressed plants as art

24 04 2012

These individual one-of-a-kind pieces of art are actual Texas wildflowers collected from the wild and pressed, dried and preserved as two-dimensional ecological décor. My friend, Shirley Loflin, is the collector and artist responsible for preparation of these most interesting botanical specimens. She is a naturalist and author who, along with husband Brian (who just happens to be a former employer of mine as well as my photography mentor), have written several articles and books on the natural science of Texas.

The concept of this art series grew out of the requirement to preserve “voucher specimens” for the herbaria at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas. A voucher is a botanical specimen carefully mounted on archival materials of high quality, and completely identified with both common and scientific names. These vouchers are documentation of plants photographed in the wild for their books: Grasses of the Texas Hill Country, Texas Cacti and their latest, Texas Wildflower Vistas and Hidden Treasures.

Shirley and Brian have been writing about and photographing Texas as a team for more than 20 years. In addition, they lead natural science photography tours and workshops in a wide variety of locations in the Americas.

Their work may be found at www.loflin-images.com, www.thenatureconnection.com and www.bkloflin.wordpress.com. Their books are published by Texas A&M University Press and may be found at most major booksellers.

Shirley’s botanical art is available for purchase in her etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/thenatureconnection.





From the Polaroid transfer archives: Lupine

22 02 2012

I photographed this beautiful Lupine bloom many years ago when I was visiting my friend John in Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia. When I hopped out of the car to photograph a field of these beauties, he laughed and said, “why on earth are you photographing weeds?” They grow so abundantly in his area that the locals consider them weeds! I took the 35mm slide and create this Polaroid transfer piece soon after. You can learn more about the Polaroid transfer process in my blog posting here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The beauty of pollination

15 02 2012

Thanks to my friend Jeff for sending this amazing video to me!





I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me…

5 09 2011

I photographed this preening mourning dove through my kitchen window last week.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Er, um, sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt!

5 09 2011

Unknown amorous bugs on an unknown flower (sorry, that’s the best I can do at this juncture). The female was trying to gather pollen but the male had other ideas! Photographed in the Demonstration Garden at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station in Spooner, Wisconsin

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Moss-covered trail (and mosquitos!)

2 09 2011

It certainly looks inviting, doesn’t it? Mary Ellen and I had just stepped onto this walking trail near Spooner when we were ambushed by a huge swarm of mosquitos. And I do mean ambushed. We ran through the woods back to the car, screaming like little girls the entire way. (I still got the shot, of course.)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Minong Flowage (Nancy Lake), Washburn County, Wisconsin

31 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Red-legged Locust

30 08 2011

(unidentified) grasshopper photographed at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, a restored native remnant tall grass prairie in Shell Lake in northwestern Wisconsin

UPDATE: Thanks to my fellow naturalist/blogger/writer, Jane Kirkland, for her identification of this little critter. It’s a Red-legged Locust (Melanoplus femur-ruburm). (Thanks, Jane!) Jane was a bestselling computer book author and after sighting a Bald Eagle flying over a grocery store parking lot, she began writing award-winning nature books! She is the recipient of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Education Award, a Writer’s Magazine Book Award and two Teacher’s Choice Awards. She has been featured on PBS, Animal Planet, and is a regular guest on WXPN’s Kids Corner radio program in Philadelphia. I met Jane while I was on assignment photographing the American Horticulture Society’s National Children & Youth Garden Symposium in 2008 at the University of Delaware’s Newark campus. While at the Symposium, I bought one of her books and it helped me to identify this Halloween Pennant Dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) that I photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens a few years ago. Learn more about Jane on her website here and see the books in her Amazon store here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hallelujah light over the Blue Ridge Mountains

10 08 2011

Day trip 8.8.2011, going south on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, lovely weather (especially for August!), lovely sky (dramatic cloud formations and rays of light), and lovely company (Michael’s nephew Sean and his wife, Anna—visiting from Columbus, Ohio)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Cindy’s camera craftily captures clover-chewing Cottontail

5 08 2011

This alliteration title is for my father (who helped craft it). I was able to get within five feet of this cottontail to get this shot at Green Spring Gardens.

Here are some facts I gleaned from www.bunnyhugga.com:

• Rabbits can’t see directly in front of their nose but can see behind them (to keep an eye out for danger approaching)

• Rabbits can sleep with their eyes open (a useful trick but disconcerting for us!)

• Rabbits noses twitch 20 to 120 times per minute (faster when excited or stressed and slower when relaxed or sleeping)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





American Goldfinch

25 07 2011

Finally—my first-ever shot of the elusive, quick-moving American Goldfinch (male), photographed at Green Spring Gardens yesterday morning. My friend Gina saw one of these in her garden yesterday too (perhaps he followed me home?) and thought for sure she had discovered something rare and exotic—much like a sighting of Bigfoot or even rarer, the Dodo bird. She even thought it was perhaps a flyaway pet looking for its home. That is, until she started a web search and learned what it really was. She was so excited doing the research that she is contemplating a career change from flight attendant to ornithologist. This morning her voice had morphed into that of the character Miss Jane Hathaway (the love-starved-pith-helmet-wearing-avid-bird-watching perennial spinster) from The Beverly Hillbillies. (P.S. I advised Gina to not quit her day job.)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





52 fish pile-up

23 07 2011

Sorry about the lame title…my other contenders were “a fine kettle of fish,” “fish soup,” and “koi calamity.” Photographed at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Malachite Butterfly (Siproeta stelenes)

19 07 2011

Photographed at Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Every cloud has a silver lining…

13 07 2011

Yes, more clouds! Want to know where that expression comes from? Check this site out here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.