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

 

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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





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





Stretching

4 11 2013

Great Blue Heron stretching…loved shooting in this mid-afternoon light right before the rain…storm clouds covered most of the sky, but the sun kept coming through just a little bit here and there

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GBH Stretching





The Painting Years: Landscape with deer

30 12 2011

This was a 24×36 oil painting that I copied from a small postcard in Lila’s “morgue file.” I don’t remember the original artist’s name. I was immediately drawn to it because of all the blues and greens. It was a monumental undertaking because of all the details and all the color mixing. I most certainly didn’t complete this one in two Saturday sessions! I was so tired of it at the end that my father tried to bribe me with money to finish the deer in the background with more details. I had completed the one on the far right and was so exhausted that I just painted brown amorphous shapes in for the others! (Maybe one day I’ll surprise him and finish it. Hmph.) He just told me that this was yet another painting that Lila advised me against attempting. Well, except for not finishing the deer, I showed her, huh?





Here comes Peter Cottontail…

12 07 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens this evening

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spent blooms

28 06 2011

In past years the Lotus flowers have bloomed just in time for the annual Water Lily Festival and Festival of Lotus and Asian Culture at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on the third Saturday in July. This year the flowers, particularly the white variety, seem to have peaked much earlier than usual. Most are past their prime blooming stage, but there were lots of opportunities to photograph spent petals in those beautiful Lotus leaves! There are plenty of pink blooms that haven’t flowered yet, though, and there are several ponds that are chock full of beautiful magenta-colored water lilies. Click on the panoramic image below to enlarge for full effect!

The place was a flurry of activity this morning, with children on field trips and student volunteers doing everything from garden chores to turtle counting. They caught the turtles in nets, pulled them up, filed a notch in the shells of those that weren’t captured previously, then released them back into the ponds. Michael saw a foot-and-a-half-long snapping turtle pulled to the surface and then released. Before I knew they were doing the turtle counting procedure, I saw a four-inch-long Red-eared slider by the edge of one of the ponds and was able to get the “record shot” at right (definition of a record shot: certainly won’t win any awards, but they’re proof I was there!). We’re pretty sure the dent on his right side wasn’t the work of a turtle counter since Michael said they were making the file marks on the shells near the back of each turtle and the notches were very tiny.

As I was wrapping up my very brief photo session at the park (it was too sunny to shoot any winners; no clouds to help out, either!), I looked behind me on the path and saw something dark, shiny, at least four inches long, with lots of legs. My first thought was “very large spider!” I moved closer and saw it was a crayfish (crawfish or crawdad if you’re a southerner like me!), hanging out on dry land. I got this one (slightly blurry) record shot of him and he skidaddled (slowly and backwards) back into the nearby pond. It was officially my first crayfish/crawfish/crawdad sighting ever!





Afternoon at Lake Land’Or

19 02 2011

Yesterday Karen and I could hardly believe it was still just February—the temperature was almost 70 degrees when we were at her lakehouse at Lake Land’Or. I spent considerable time trying to entice the ducks to come to the dock so I could photograph them up close—to no avail. So, I had to be content with capturing lovely abstract tree and water reflections instead. We enjoyed the weather while it lasted—today is incredibly windy and in the 50s.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Critter alert!

25 05 2010

I was scrounging around the refrigerator earlier this evening, hunting for something interesting to eat for dinner. I glanced out the window and saw this large rabbit (about the size of a normal-sized cat, actually!) grazing in the grass on the common area strip in front of our townhouse, alongside two squirrels and a robin. He was out earlier than I normally see them in the neighborhood (still daylight at about 7 p.m.). I grabbed my camera with a 105mm lens and ran outside, slowly approaching him. He let me get within five or six feet of him before slowly turning away, and even then he didn’t go very far. I was able to fire off almost 20 shots—these are the cream of the crop. 

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Birds of a feather…

24 05 2010

On Lake Land ‘Or in Virginia…two sets of Canada Geese parents with 11 goslings between them. I think seven belonged to one family and four to the other parents—at least that’s the way this gaggle kept dividing when they paddled away from the dock. This group formed what is known as a crèche. 

According to Wikipedia: During the second year of their lives, Canada Geese find a mate. They are monogamous, and most couples stay together all of their lives. If one is killed, the other may find a new mate. The female lays 3–8 eggs and both parents protect the nest while the eggs incubate, but the female spends more time at the nest than the male. Known egg predators include Arctic Foxes, Northern Raccoons, Red Foxes, large gulls, Common Raven, American Crows and bears. During this incubation period, the adults lose their flight feathers, so they cannot fly until their eggs hatch after 25–28 days. Adult geese are often seen leading their goslings in a line, usually with one parent at the front, and the other at the back. While protecting their goslings, parents often violently chase away nearby creatures, from small blackbirds to humans that approach, after warning them by giving off a loud hissing sound (often with a side of their head turned to the intruder). Although parents are hostile to unfamiliar geese, they may form groups of a number of goslings and a few adults, called crèches.

While researching facts about these birds, I came across this article here by Lynette S.K. Webster about feeding geese. Below is an excerpt:

Here are some facts and myths you should know about goose feeding:

1. Canada geese are herbivores; do not feed them with fish or cat food.
2. Feed whole wheat and cracked corn, not bread. Bread is not nutritious.
3. If feeding wild bird seed, remember that geese do not eat sunflower seeds. Therefore normal wild bird seed may be wasted on them.
4. Geese are fussy and do not eat everything, contrary to popular belief
5. Do not feed geese from your hand as it can be dangerous. Spread seed on the grass so geese can feed on the seed while foraging.

Hmmmm…we tossed out tiny bits of bagel bread this afternoon—that’s the last time we’ll do that now that we know!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Goose and gosling

24 04 2010

While I was photographing the ‘Blue Moon’ Siberian Iris, a pair of Canadian geese waddled across a boardwalk near the Martha and Reed West Island Garden at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Mom and Dad were trying to keep up with their baby gosling, off exploring the world in all directions. I got this “record shot” (not award-winning by a long stretch) when the mother (I presume) and baby slid into the water and began grazing in the vegetation.





On Golden Pond

8 11 2008

Michael and I noticed the beautiful fall color around this retention pond—less than a mile away from our home—so we hurried back home to grab our photo gear and go back to capture some images. The light was glorious, the weather was mild, and the wildlife was most cooperative.

Last year the leaves peaked for us much later (Nov. 17), so one afternoon I took advantage of the perfect light and shot some images in our neighborhood. See those photos in my posting here.

And for something completely unrelated…if you’re a football fan (especially of the Washington Redskins), click here for a recent posting on my main blog. I had the opportunity to photograph a player at Redskins Park a few months ago!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

fallducksbasincollage





There’s a baer in them thar woods!

22 09 2008

Mighty nice of the folks at Mt. Rainier to warn tourists about the wildlife, even if their spelling is off. (Okay, we concede that it just might have been a sign for a family reunion).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Baby Chickadee

1 06 2007

I have a newly-hatched family of chickadees in my backyard garden. I have a metal and wood bird feeder that I never even noticed had a bird house built into the top (and I’ve had it for four years!)…an observant Regina pointed out a chickadee had gone into the hole a few weeks ago.

Yesterday I was looking through the patio doors and saw a “miniature” chickadee on one of my plant stands (and you know how tiny an adult chickadee is), and realized it was one of the babies (there are at least two of them).

I got some “record” shots of him through the window yesterday, but this afternoon, as I was watering the garden, one of the babies flew up about two feet away from me and just sat watching me…I slowly went to get my camera (which was near the patio door) and went back to the basket where he was perched. I sat there for at least 15 minutes on the arbor bench, just watching and photographing him…at several points I was less than two feet away from him…so I was able to get some beautiful shots. Momma (or Dad) and the baby were chirping back and forth….I’m sure they were telling him to “be careful, that’s a red-shirted-frizzy-haired human about to pounce on you!”

Learn more about these beautiful birds at the links below:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Black-capped_Chickadee.html 

http://library.thinkquest.org/5078/Wildbirds.dir.chicadee.html

baby-chickadee.jpg

© 2007 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved.