Geranium Daffodil (Narcissus ‘Geranium’)

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





‘Jack Frost’ Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla)

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hellebore

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Afternoon sun on Summer Snowflakes

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


 





Summer Snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum)

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Holi “Festival of Colors” 2011

6 04 2011

After Brian showed me the UT Turtle Pond, we drove by the Tower and I jumped out to photograph this very colorful scene. I have since learned what the festival was all about. You can read more about it here.

From the UT-Austin website: Holi is a major Hindu festival that celebrates both the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil on the day of the full moon. On the day of Holi, people celebrate by throwing rang (colored powder) and water on each other, and by taking part in traditional games to the sound of the dhol (drum).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Move over, will ya?

6 04 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The UT Turtle Pond

6 04 2011

Turtles bask in the reflection of the University of Texas Tower. The Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) and the Texas river cooter (Pseduemys texana) are common to waterways in central Texas and are also the two most common species in the UT Turtle Pond.

The semiaquatic Red-eared slider is a subspecies of the pond slider and is native only to the southern United States. It is the most popular pet turtle and as a result of pet releases, it has been established in other places. It gets its name from the red mark around its ears. The freshwater Texas river cooter has yellow and black markings and is native to creeks, rivers and lakes in Texas. They can grow to a shell length of 12 or more inches.

I knew that the University of Texas Tower was infamous because of the shooting rampage by sniper Charlie Whitman on August 1, 1966, but I didn’t know many of the details. Click here for trutv.com’s Lost Innocence, a chilling account of that day by author Marlee Macleod.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pennybacker Bridge (Austin 360 Bridge)

6 04 2011

Sonya and I hiked up a rocky slope to view this panorama of Lake Austin (unfortunately, I was not wearing rock-climbing-appropriate shoes—thank you, Sonya!). The Pennybacker bridges Lake Austin to connect north and south Loop 360 highway, also known as the Capital of Texas Highway. Finished in 1982, the bridge was named for Percy Pennybacker, who designed bridges for the Texas Highway Department and was a pioneer in welded structure technology.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Chartreuse

6 04 2011

A palette of green in the hills of Austin. Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

A Line of Chartreuse Blooms

Chartreuse blooms, living for a week at most
maple trees lining Maple Street
little bells, like green lilies of the valleys,
bright yellow-green buttercups
bouquets shining in the April-May sun
Soon they will fall and the supple new leaves
will stiffen, turgid with Kelly green, darker hues
But for a regal moment, even the trees bloom
in vivid bright colors

—Raymond A. Foss


I met Raymond online a few years ago when I asked for permission to use one of his poems to accompany a post about growing grapes in our tiny townhouse backyard garden. I’ve kept in touch with him regularly and enjoy reading his new works. He is one of the most prolific poets I have encountered—more than 11,000 poems to date! Check out more of his work here.





Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…

6 04 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Signs of spring in dad’s backyard

6 04 2011

When I was photographing my niece Lauren wearing the necklaces (see previous post), we startled a tiny bird nesting in one of the hanging ivies on the back porch. I took a peek and noticed this perfectly-formed tiny nest with three little eggs. We don’t know what kind of bird she is—she’s very small, slimmer than a sparrow. The eggs have a slightly blueish tint and some dark speckles here and there. Any guesses? It’s not the best photo in the world (certainly won’t win any prizes), but I didn’t want to disturb the nest to get a better shot—I just held the camera up above the ivy and photographed it without looking. This is the best shot I got!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft project #956: Crocheted wire & bead necklaces

6 04 2011

Last Friday my sister Debbie and I took a jewelry-making class utilizing wire, beads and simple crochet chain stitching. I had seen these types of necklaces before but couldn’t figure out exactly how they were made. They are not quite as complicated to make as I had assumed they would be. I made five this past weekend and can now make them in two hours or less (that is, when someone isn’t talking and interrupting my bead and stitch counting)! Debbie made the top two necklaces (as well as the bracelet) and I made the bottom three. Her daughter (and my lovely niece) Lauren graciously modeled them for us (of course, the first four items were made especially for her, so she had an incentive to do so). Thanks to our great instructor, Leticia, for her expertise and to Diana, who hosted our little creative get-together. Yes, thanks. I really needed another hobby. Seriously. Etsy, here we come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Entireleaf Indian Paintbrush or Texas Paintbrush

6 04 2011

Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa); Scrophulariaceae (Figwort family), photographed at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Here’s your sign…

6 04 2011

Great sign posted at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Rest in peace, Elizabeth Taylor

6 04 2011

A live oak tree is reflected in etched glass windows at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin campus

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Large-flowered buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus)

6 04 2011

Correct identification: Large-flowered buttercup (thanks, Brian). The label near the plants reads, “Prairie Goldenrod,” which is another plant entirely!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Can you spot the critter?

6 04 2011

Where is it and what is it? Photographed at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






A little paint, a little paneling…

6 04 2011

I told Michael that he could easily set up a PC repair business on the cheap in Austin—for a fraction of the cost of renting an office space here in Northern Virginia. Case in point:





More Austin graffiti

6 04 2011

Graffiti on the “permission wall” and an artist in action (the blue building with the mad bulldog is a nearby bar)

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Austin graffiti

6 04 2011

Most of the artwork below was painted on the walls of bars, restaurants and stores. The Carmen Miranda illustration and the last painting was done on what is called a “permission wall”—a long warehouse wall near the railroad tracks.

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Graffiti in Austin

5 04 2011

My friend Sonya took me on a tour of the graffiti walls (some are called “permission” walls, some aren’t) in Austin. This is a shot of one section of a warehouse that we believe is one of the “permission walls” on the south side of town. Permission walls are meant to encourage artistic expression and (hopefully) deter graffiti in other areas. Wonder if it has cut down on graffiti on private property or “non-permission” walls? I’ll post more images from our graffiti shoot, including one of an artist in action (we asked his permission to photograph him), armed with a huge box of spray paint cans in the back of his SUV.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Kato & Lulu (again)

5 04 2011

Brian and Shirley’s five-month-old kittens in Austin, Texas (If they wouldn’t have noticed them missing, I would have stowed these cuties away in my suitcase on my way out the door!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spiderwort

5 04 2011

Photographed at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lulu & Kato

5 04 2011

Lulu (left) and her brother Kato are five months old and live with their humans, Brian and Shirley, in Austin, Texas. I flew into Austin on Thursday, March 24. Brian and I attended Joe McNally and David “Strobist” Hobby’s Flash Bus Tour 2011 on Friday (recap and photos to come—it was one fantastic day-long workshop!). I stayed with Brian and Shirley and had an event-filled, fun and informative weekend. Every night Lulu and Kato slept at the foot of my bed and made me feel quite welcome—and they were quite photogenic, to boot!

My week+ away was full and I’ll cover several events in future postings, including a recap of the energetic Flash Bus Tour 2011 workshop on Friday with Joe McNally and David “Strobist” Hobby (read Joe’s recap of the Austin workshop here); a wonderful sneak preview at the University of Texas campus of Dinomorphosis, the upcoming National Geographic film by filmmaker Jenny Kubo, followed by Dinosaurs in Living Color, a lecture by Dr. Julia Clarke, Associate Professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, UT-Austin; visiting the wonderful Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin to view the first photograph ever taken (1826)—by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce on his country estate near Chalon-sur-Saone, France (awe-inspiring for this photographer!) and see The Gutenberg Bible, one of only five complete examples in the U.S.; a grand tour of Austin the morning of Sunday, March 27 with Sonya, my dear friend/fellow graphic designer-artist/former college roommate (check out her adorable Bugs with Attitude in her etsy store here), followed by an afternoon photo excursion with her to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (my first visit there); then on to San Antonio to visit my family for the rest of the week (which included a fun wire crochet/beaded necklace class with my sister this past Friday—the process is actually easier than it looks and I’ll share our results in a future post—yeah, as if I needed another hobby).

From the “It’s a small world after all” department: Sonya and I reconnected as a result of this blog! She was looking for photographs of goats to use as reference in a clay sculpture project when her web search led her straight to my blog. I had just posted a photograph of cute goats in Nova Scotia. She saw my blog name and thought, “could this be my Cindy Dyer?” Indeed, it was! And the rest is history…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.