Hide ’n Seek

31 08 2011

Photographed at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Advertisements




Agastache

31 08 2011

Agastache bloom photographed against a backdrop of native prairie grasses at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, 8.25.2011

© 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.





Shell Lake, Wisconsin

30 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Another Monarch for Mary Ellen!

3 09 2010

This one is for Mary Ellen Ryall, creator of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin! I photographed this Monarch butterfly on a ‘Zowie’ Zinnia at Green Spring Gardens this afternoon. An overcast but very bright sky made for great lighting for photography. The gardens were swarming with insects—including Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Monarchs, various Skippers, Sulphurs and Common Buckeyes. I photographed an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on a ‘Zowie’ Zinnia  few weeks ago here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

30 07 2010

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens’ “Experimental Meadow” was full of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails (click here to see the incredible caterpillar that this particular butterfly morphs from), American Painted Lady Butterflies, Silver-spotted Skippers, and Cabbage White Butterflies today.

Mary Ellen—no sighting of Monarchs at this garden today, unfortunately. I have seen a few in my garden this summer. In 1999 Mary Ellen founded Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization and public charity. Happy Tonics also created the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, a few years ago. I met Mary Ellen when I purchased milkweed seed from her eBay store and we have collaborated on design and environmental projects ever since!

GREAT PHOTO TIP! Here’s a butterfly photography trick I learned from Mary Ellen a few years ago. Wait until the butterfly has it proboscis inserted into a flower and it becomes completely distracted by the task at hand—then move in closer, staying as still as possible.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A favor, pretty please?

2 02 2010

WE NEED YOUR VOTES FROM FEBRUARY 1-15!

Many of my regular visitors know that I do volunteer design and photography work for Mary Ellen Ryall, founder of Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. The purpose of the organization is to promote organic gardening and open pollination for biodiversity. Happy Tonics is dedicated to teaching about the risks of invasive species and genetic engineering to the food supply, and their impact on the environment, other species, indigenous and native crops, and health. Happy Tonics created a restored remnant tall grass prairie two years ago (the Monarch Butterfly Habitat).

Happy Tonics has applied for a $999 grant proposal with Brighter Planet and is in fourth place now. Voting takes place from Feb. 1-15.

Please take a minute to visit the Happy Tonics blog here. You’ll find a link to the sign-up and voting page for Brighter Planet in the first posting. You can also skip the blog and register to vote here. You can vote multiple times, too! On this second link, you’ll meet Mary Ellen, founder of Happy Tonics.

It doesn’t cost a thing and will only take a moment of your time!