Birthday bouquet

20 10 2008

Today Elizabeth and Rob sent me this beautiful birthday bouquet, making me yearn for spring and summer all over again! See the photos I shot of them with their beautiful baby girl, Josie, in the links below:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/josie-au-naturel/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/josephine-margaret-and-family/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/daddys-very-little-girl/


© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Josie au naturel

19 10 2008

Elizabeth and Rob came to my studio this morning so we could get some more images of baby Josie…in-the-buff shots against a black background. Doesn’t everyone need baby photos like this? Elizabeth said these are the ones that will surface on the internet when Josephine Margaret is running for President one day. Josie for Prez 2043!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Josephine Margaret and family

17 10 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Daddy’s (very) little girl

17 10 2008

I photographed Josephine Margaret, Elizabeth and Rob’s three-week old daughter, this morning. She was such a good model, smiling in her sleep, never fussing even once. Josie came into the world at 1:36 a.m. on September 27, measured 18 inches long, and weighed just 6 pounds, 3 oz. She’s such a tiny thing!

Had there been a Pesto Fest that evening, Elizabeth had a really good excuse to miss it! She instructed her husband to e-mail to let me know they wouldn’t be joining us after all—what with having a baby and all….such efficiency and manners! The Pesto Fest was rained out and cancelled, so they didn’t miss it after all!

More photos of baby Josie with her mom and paternal grandparents coming up!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Cascade of glories

16 10 2008

The ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glory vine in the backyard garden has finally come into its own. The air is getting cooler each day, so the heat isn’t keeping them down. Every day I see more blooms (on the inside of the fence). I finally decided to get out the stepladder this afternoon to photograph them up close and when I opened the back gate, I had no idea there would be this many blooms on the other side. Yes, you know I counted them—87 total, including two springing from a tendril that has taken hold of the Bradford pear. That’s just 87 today. There are so many unopened buds on this monster! I can’t imagine a garden without these beautiful blue blooms. Take a look at my first posting on morning glories last year here (that day I counted over 300 blooms; it was a real traffic-stopping sight) and some I photographed in August here.

Learn more about growing morning glories here and here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hmm. I don’t remember planting that.

16 10 2008

Honestly. Although I have been known to squeeze plants into every square inch of our gardens, I have no recollection of planting this one. I just noticed it blooming last Thursday. It looked familiar. It looked just like beautiful purple Ageratum, which I no longer even bother to grow. Why? It never thrives in any place I put it. It’s an annual. It looks terrible when it’s not in bloom. Yes, it’s beautiful on the nursery shelf. It’s a whole ‘nother thing when I add it to my garden. So each year when I’m out buying plants to fill all those imaginary holes in my garden, I put blinders on when I see that spectacular flash of purple-blue.

So I’m walking around the garden Thursday morning and see this familiar plant—the one I no longer purchase each year. Only this one is huge. Shrub-sized. It can’t be Ageratum. But it really looks a lot like Ageratum. When I was at Nalls Monday photographing baby Jonathan, I saw the same plant. The tag identified it as a Hardy Ageratum (Eupatorium Coelestinum). Hmmm. Didn’t know it even came in a non-annual, hardy version. Finally, an Ageratum that thrives despite neglect. I do not remember purchasing it. I do not remember planting it, either. Perhaps a garden fairy brought it here? A wayward Weedette from my Garden Club, looking for a caretaker for her overages? Anyway, here’s a photo of said plant—and yes, I am aware that this photo won’t win any awards.

By the way, in my online research I learned that although this plant’s common name comes from its remarkable resemblance to the annual Ageratum, it is not related to it. Hardy Ageratum prefers moist soil, and although it likes shade for most of the day, it will tolerate some sun. (I question that fact since it is thriving in full sun all day long in my garden!). Forming a clump about three feet tall, it begins to bloom in September. A member of the Aster family, it is a magnet for butterflies. How fortunate is that for this butterfly-crazed photographer?

P.S. I also read that, after a few years, it can expand aggressively via underground runners. Rut roh.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Much more Monarch mania

15 10 2008

Yes, more Monarchs. I can’t help myself. They’re everywhere! I learned a technique from my friend Mary Ellen of Happy Tonics about how to “stalk” Monarchs with a camera. Wait until they have their proboscis inserted into a flower and they become completely distracted by the task at hand—then move in closer, staying as still as possible. They won’t even notice you’re there. This one sure didn’t. I was able to shoot about 50+ images of this Monarch in less than five minutes.

Want to learn more about the senses of a Monarch? Click here.

Here’s a surefire way to attract Monarchs to your garden—plant milkweed!
Mary Ellen sells common milkweed seeds in her eBay store here. Milkweed is the sole food for the Monarch caterpillar. Adult butterflies can feed on other plants such as this butterfly bush, but the caterpillars only eat milkweed.

Mary Ellen and I crossed paths a few years ago when I purchased seeds from her through eBay. This led to a frequent e-mail exchange, and now I do volunteer design and photography for her organization. I design and produce her quarterly 4-page newsletter, Butterflies & Gardens, as well as other marketing materials. You can download the latest issue of the newsletter in pdf format here. I also designed a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Poster for her this past spring.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. www.cindydyer.com/GardenPhotos