119 responses

12 08 2007

Paying the bills: self-employed graphic designer and photographer (mostly print; professional and trade associations, and small businesses—magazines, newsletters, brochures, annual reports, logos, posters)—celebrating 24 years on my own this year—2014!

Family: by far the best Mom and Dad on the planet, two sisters, two great brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, and my sweetie, Michael…wonderful friends who are always there for me…an ode to my Garden Club Weedettes as well, who were always eager and willing to dive into a project with me, dress up for a party, whip up a potluck contribution, or get their hands dirty doing something crafty.

Never, ever bored: Oil and acrylic painting, photography (portraits, glamour shots, nature, macro, floral/botanical, travel), cement leaf casting, crocheting hats like crazy come winter time (what else can a gardener do when it’s cold out?), needle felting, sewing, murals, faux painting, Polaroid transfers (if it’s something crafty, I’ve probably at least tried it once), biblioholic (any topic, you name it—we probably have at least one book on the subject…don’t even begin to guess how many gardening books I’ve amassed!), animal lover—currently three cats (ZenaB—a b&w tuxedo diva cat, almost 16 years old); Pixel (black/brown striped tabby, about three years old); and Lobo (a Nebelung—long-haired pewter gray boy, also about three years old); lost my beloved muse Jasper (black/brown striped tabby) four years ago; mom to other critters who crossed over to Rainbow Bridge: ferrets (Ginger, Jessie Belle, Missy, Pogo Diablo, Ben, Callie Jo, Silver, Bandit), one white rat (Lucky Fred Chewy Ratatouille), countless goldfish (Calico Joe, Dorrie, Nemo, Suebee, Debbi, and Regina) and one very old 20+ year old pleco (Spot). Also handy with power tools and do-it-yourself projects…

Magnificient obsession: Gardening! As the “Head Weed,” I started a garden club in my community more than five years ago and I was surrounded by an amazing group of Weedettes!…and gardening books (reference, how-to, essays by other gardeners)

Always on my radar: Gardens, nurseries, plant sales! In my travels, I always look for the local nurseries and botanical gardens to visit.

And another obsession: BOOKS! I love to read and subjects include nature, science, gardening (I especially love personal essays by gardeners); photography; graphic design; nature and travel writing essays; how-to books on writing, editing, crafts, journaling, cooking, designing, decorating; biographies…sometimes a book just has to be beautifully designed for me to want to possess it! I never met a book I didn’t like (um…scratch that. If it relates to math, I’m outta here). And when I travel, I always look for new bookstores. What could possibly be better than Powell’s Books in Portland, The Tattered Cover in Denver, Elliot Bay Bookstore in Seattle, or any Half Price Books & Records in the south?

Other diversions: writing poetry, entertaining (all my parties must have a theme, dress code, and guests pose in front of related theme backgrounds for their photos!), animal lover; magazine addict (covering photography, graphic design, Photoshop, Mac, home and garden, travel). I also love to research the things I photograph.

Oh, and just a few more obsessions: Yarn, fabric, bead and craft stores!

Globetrotting: I love to travel (so far: Italian and French Riviera, Rome, Chile (Buenos Aires), Argentina (Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia), Antarctica, Alaska, the islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. John, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, St. Barts), southwest U.S. several times over (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah), all the eastern states, Ohio, California (San Diego, Monterrey, Carmel, San Francisco, Napa/Sonoma Valley, Death Valley), Texas (mostly South Texas and Mexico), Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Point Pelee for bird migration, Maine (and all the other New England states), Maryland, West Virginia, New York, Louisiana (lived there when I was in 5th grade), Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Montana, Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Victoria/British Columbia)….love a good road trip…need to do more! Just returned from my first big trip in 17 years (June 2014)—Iceland! Put it on your bucket list; you won’t regret it. It’s truly the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen!

Music: Lifelong John Denver fan, Tingstad and Rumbel, Eva Cassidy, Christine Kane, Katie Melua, Cheryl Wheeler, Janis Ian, Barbara Streisand, Karla Bonoff, James Taylor, Trisha Yearwood, Carly Simon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Josh Grobin, any acoustic instrumental music (particularly guitar and piano)

In a nutshell, I live to create.

27 02 2008
Marcelino Reyes


I love your garden photographs. Where can I buy prints?


12 05 2008

Hello, your site is great. Regards, Valiintino Guxxi

15 05 2008
Dave DeLude

Cindy, your site is great. But your smile and personality and kindness are much more than anyone could ever ask for. You and Gina made our outlook on the fact that there are still KIND and CARING people out there. You two will always be in our hearts. Thank you so much. Love, Dave and Bob

16 05 2008

Hey Sydney, what’re you gonna do when the Polaroids run out?……..
… are probably buying them all up…..

16 05 2008

PS: I think your reverse polaroids are some of your best work.

28 07 2008

Beautiful closeups!

2 09 2008

Thanks for the comment Cindy. Glad I found your blog, gardening, ferrets, books and photography.. All my favourite things too. Although the photography is just happy snaps of the garden and my daughter, and I don’t have any ferrets anymore!
I look forward to reading more Cindy blogs.

12 09 2008
Erik Thomas

I was looking through some of your beautiful pictures of butterflies with my youngest son the other day and noticed that you had some area of your site for links for (shopping). Would it be possible for you to add an additional link to our website?

Kind Regards,

Erik Thomas

24 09 2008
Ernie Clyma

If it hadn’t been for your Dad, I would not have known about your site.

Expected less as fathers are prone to brag, but I’m very excited exploring your photography expertise and gardening blog. As an old retired Army man with a photography as a hobby, I have fallen in love with your work and will continue exploring your blog. Thank you for going on line.

24 09 2008

Hi Erik,

I appreciate the compliments! I visited your site and your bulb site is now under my Shopping category.


1 10 2008
Deanna McLean

What about GEORGIA?

1 10 2008

Hey Deanna!

Sorry ’bout that….thanks for pointing out that I left out Georgia, where I spent two weeks almost every summer visiting you and all the relatives (Deanna is my favorite cousin, FYI….still are!). Whatcha been up to?

17 11 2008
Bob Baran

Hi again Cindy,

Thanks for the nice comments you left on my site. Of course you can add me to your blogroll. I will do the same if you don’t mind.

You should really try to get out to Anza Borrego this Spring when the flowers start. It is so amazing!

Regarding the Solar panel it has worked good so far. We took it on a trip up to the Central CA coast and used it for 4 days. Worked great and it folds up really small.

There is a higher output panel ( Brunton Solaris 52) but the price is pretty high, unfortunately.


18 12 2008

Hey Cindy,

How are you?!?! I do remember you! Sorry I didn’t see you message on the flickr site until now. I was just searching for pic. of my 20 year high school reunion and not sure how I got to my pics, but there was your message. Very cool. Well, I am living in Ashburn now with my hubby Jimmy and one son, Ethan, who is 10 now. Wow, how time flies! Well, let me know if you have a myspace or facebook acct. (I have both) 🙂 Oh, and I still chat with Bill too, remember him? He is married with 2 little girls. Well, hope to hear from you soon.


26 12 2008

Cindy, I don’t follow too many blogs, so my list is short for those I can tag. If you want to play, join in! I think your “About” page covers it all pretty good, but if you think of something random and weird to add, it might be fun.
happy holidays : )

Here are The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

27 12 2008

Hi Cindy, I know we had a brief ‘chat’ before…I can’t remember exactly, but did you say you are in No. VA? I’m not too far south of you, if I remember correctly. I really need to visit your blog more often. It is filled with so many interesting things. It will take me forever to explore! I’d give you a fave in blotanical, but I have none left! Gotta get more points…I will do it…but it may be quite a while! Hope you had a Merry Christmas! Jan

22 01 2009
Bill Sapp

Hello Cindy:

Greetings from your cousin, Mr. Bill Sapp in North Carolina! Do you realize April will be the 15th anniversary of our first trip together? Thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of the Southwest. You may not realize it, but that first adventure started me on a love of travel.

Your mother was talking to my mom this morning and told her to be sure and check out her pictures here so that is what we have been doing. I decided while on here, what the heck, I’d send you a little message.

I am not sure if my traveling companion of the last few years is going to make another trip overseas, or for that matter, any more trips of a worthwhile duration. Hopefully we can take another trip together sometime in the future. Little tidbit for you—the Blanding Sunset Inn, in beautiful downtown Blanding, is still in business as of 2007 and they even have their own website, if you can call it that. No phone in the rooms, no substantial locks on the door (back in 1994) but today, they have a website.

We were congenial traveling buddies. Sorry about the time I was smacking popcorn in your ear and the time I broke your lens filter. (HOWEVER, I PAID FOR THAT) Maybe sometime you can write about some of our past trips.

Thought about you many times when my friend Cal and I were in Arizona back in 07. Especially driving through Oak Creek Canyon on our way to/from Sedona. You would have been proud of me with Hertz. When I rented the car for the trip, I made it clear at the beginning, no burgundy color and the car must have a “regular” license plate. Surely, you haven’t forgotten that.

Take Care and Love

Your Cousin Bill

PS: If Deana is your favorite cousin, I hope I fall in somewhere not too far down the line (smile)

23 01 2009

Hey Bill!

Thanks for the nice long comment on my blog. I really enjoyed it. First, Deana is my favorite FEMALE cousin, so you can be my favorite MALE cousin. How’s that? To be honest, you two are really the main cousins I would want to hang with in the first place! Wouldn’t it be fun if we could entice Deana to joining us on a southwest trip? I think she’d go if the timing was right. Give her a holler and ask her what she thinks.

I’m still amazed at your memory/recall of our past trips. And I’ll have to check out the lovely Blanding Sunset Inn. I should blog about that, but I might need to call you to refresh my memory of some of it, if you don’t mind! I just remember indoor doors for the main door, jamming the tripod at an angle in the window (thinking that would stop an intruder), and telling you that you had to take the bed closest to the door (so the intruder would get you first!). I also remember you saying, “it can’t be all that bad; there’s a Cadillac in front of the office.” Then the owner of the motel (who owned the Cadillac) shut off the office light, got into the car, and drove away. I also remember making a phone call in the middle of the “courtyard” since there was no phone in the room. Brings back memories…I should write about them…and scan the slides from our trip. And yes, I do remember the “no burgundy color and regular license plate” request. I still occasionally get the red or burgundy car—it’s so predictable!

Where are you off to next?

24 01 2009
Calvin S Gay

Hi! I’m your cousin Bill Sapp’s friend. Yes I enjoyed our trip to Arizona. My first trip ever out in the west. Also my first ever flying. It was a wonderful experince for me. One that I will never ever forget. I took many photos of our trip while out there. Just been reading your blog where Bill sent you his letter. I say your mother’s photos and she looks good in them. I hope for her the best with her health. My prayers will be with her. Thanks for what you do and all your photography is so great. Cal, Bill’s friend

1 02 2009

Hi Cal!

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed the wild, wild west with Bill. He’s fun to travel with, isn’t he? We have had some great adventures together. Hope you and I get to meet some time! Thanks also for the well wishes for my Mom’s health.

6 02 2009
buy soma

nice site you have!

1 03 2009


8 03 2009

Hi Cindy! Thank you so much for your comment on my blog.
Thought I’d come and check out yours, and your nature photography is just beautiful.

28 03 2009

Great work, photos and so on… so much inspiration and creativity boost, must be in favourites, greetings !

1 04 2009

I’m here becuse of Chloe. We were actually discussing about a micro lens. She asked me to have a look at your blog. And I think your blog Rocks! You seem stuffed with talent too. I’m also into photography, drawing and designing and a globe trotter too. BTW Nice to meet you. I’ll keep visiting.

7 04 2009
Anne Murray

Could I use your spooned Osteospurmum image for my Spring Home & Garden section. I don’t have a fancy photo budget, but I would gladly give you a photo credit!
Anne Murray
The Patriot Ledger
Quincy, MA.

25 04 2009
Gary Binley

Could I use your “Bees (and Wasps) I have known” collage for the May cover of our “Beelines – Journal of the Ulster County Beekeepers Association” newsletter? We would be happy to give you photo credit and publish links to your wonderful work!
Gary Binley
Beelines – Journal of the Ulster County Beekeepers Association
Rosendale, NY

4 05 2009
Paul Barden

Hi Cindy,
Thanks for your comments on my blog. You asked about my location and whether I’d do an interview. Can you please contact me privately, via email? Thanks!

paul at agora dot rdrop dot com [ you put it together 😉 ]

6 05 2009

I am in the process of starting a new business around unique custom perfume. I was recently laid-off and decided it was time to follow my dream. I would love to use your lily of the valley picture on my website, the one with the black background. Please let me know if that is possible. Your work and site are awesome!! Love it!!


16 05 2009
Lynn Rousseau


I think it needs to be said that you have a wonderful, uplifting personality and your smile lights up the room! Am sure everyone who meets/knows you will agree. Even though we only met once and I had no sleep from the missed flight to Denver and managed to make it to the luncheon in time to “speak” in front of a crowd…..yikes.
I felt wide awake talking and laughing with you! You were magnificent and deserved the award from Oticon. Next time we can eat anything and not worry about food between our teeth!
See you again soon I hope!

17 05 2009

Hi Lynn!

What a sweet thing to write! You have certainly made my day. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you, too, and wondered why we hadn’t kept in touch after that (life gets in the way, I suppose). If you’re going to Nashville, then we’ll definitely see each other! Thank you again for the lovely comment and looking forward to seeing you again, too.

26 05 2009
Richard Dennis

Hello Cindy,

I stumbled upon your site while looking at a review request on Linkedin.
I don’t often write on blogs but I felt the need to do so on your blog.

Your images on ZENFOLIO are simply spectacular. I’m not easily moved but your images moved me. Continue the great work Cindy.

I’m a freelance photographer/ photojournalist living in Sweden though I’m from New York City. Traveling is my life and taking images is my passion.

Thank you for your website, images and this blog.

Richard Dennis

27 05 2009

Wow, thank you so, so much, Dennis. I am moved that you are moved, and it means a lot to me that you took the time to express that sentiment. Thank you.

I’m looking at your beautiful images right now…what is that music playing in the background? It’s as beautiful as the images are!

How did you end up in Sweden?

6 06 2009
Calvin Gay

Hi Cindy, I’ve always been a gardening guy. Flower gardens that is. I love to landscape. Daylilies are my passion. I have some pretties I’ve bought at different garden centers and even flea markets. Our weather changes year to year and it gets hard to keep my flower beds looking good. I’m planning on a major makeover. So hopefully I’ll get them looking good again. Bill said to tell you hey and hope things are going ok for you. Cal, Bill Sapp’s friend

13 06 2009
Bill Biggers

Hi Cindy, Your blog is fantastic, superb photography. I’ve been searching the net for Passion Flowers, and/or images of “Unearth Your Passion,” the theme of the Greenville, SC Master Gardner’s Association’s next symposium… I hope to enter a painting (of theme’s subject) for competition for the event’s poster, brochure… etc.

I wanted to ask if it would be OK for me to use one of your flower images – as inspiration. As a watercolor painting it would surely be very different from your photograph; so, if approved, I’d alter, yet use one of your Passion Flower images as reference for the painting. I’m also open to any creative ideas you may have regarding gardening and: “Unearthing Your Passion” – the event’s theme.

Thanks for consideration! All the best

30 06 2009
Richard Dennis

Hello Again Cindy,
re: May 27, 2009

I made my way to Sweden by way of World Maritime University.
In December 2005, I quit my job of 5 year as Director of It and decided to follow my passion, photography.

Many thing occurred while working the last 5 years and I decided life was too short. So I quit and headed out for an around the world trip.

While on the road and photographing Ireland, I received a phone call from a recruiter who had seem my resume on-line. She asked me if I would be interested in living in Sweden working for an UN sponsored University.

I accepted the invitation on postponed my trip for 2 years and took he job.

Now I make my home Sweden, but I continue to travel all over the world trying to scratch out a living.

The ride has been bumpy but I’m a better person for it. In July 2009 I plan on driving across the US with my Danish girlfriend seeing America through her eyes.

To date, I have amassed over 11,000 images from over 65 differents countries. I rotate the images every week…

You only see a small sampling on

The music is from Pans Labyrinths movie.

14 07 2009

Hi Cindy,
I just found myself on your blog webpage when I was doing some google image searches to identify some garden stuff, and just have to compliment you on your fabulous photographs. I’m no photographer, but I love to take macro pictures of flowers with my little Canon snapshot camera, and thought it took pretty good macro pictures for what it is… then I came across your photographs! Wow, my flower pictures are woefully inadequate compared to yours! Just beautiful—so crisp, bright and detailed. Really wonderful.


14 07 2009

Hi Jannette,

Thank you so much for the compliment on my photographs. I appreciate the feedback anytime! Do you have a blog with photos?

15 09 2009

Is your maiden name Cindy VanZandt from the Jackson/Clinton Mississippi area?


15 09 2009

Hi Mike,

Nope, Dyer is my last name (which is still my maiden name). I have relatives (on the Dyer side of the family) in Mississippi (and Alabama and Georgia, too), however. Maybe that’s the connection?

18 10 2009

Really like your work.
It is nice to see other artists that love the garden.
Have you any interest in trading plants or seeds?

25 10 2009
craig johnson

Cindy, i have read your information and report on the blog below…

i’ve unfortunately had the same experience with brian skooks…were you ever able to resolve your situation with him satisfactorily ?

Craig Johnson

31 10 2009

Hi Craig,

Nope. As of today, I still have nothing to show for my $750 down payment. He should be avoided at all costs. His claim of “satisfaction-moneyback guarantee” is bogus. He has more excuses than I have patience. And that’s all they are—excuses. I’ve asked repeatedly for a partial refund (stating I would pay him his $300 for SEO services), but he has refused, stating “I’ve already done most of the work; let’s just finish it.” The last time I was in contact with him was about a month ago, to inquire about “we’ll finalize it in the fall.” Here it is almost November. Nothing. I am now writing the $750 off as a total loss. I will never work with someone online (that I don’t already know) unless I have thoroughly checked him out first. Had I done a Google search, I could have found all these negative comments about him. He can apologize all he wants or make excuses or condemn his critics, but if you’re good at what you do and are HONEST in business, you will NOT get the numerous complaints he has. It just would NOT happen. There are too many similar complaints against him. Having gone through the same with him, I believe every last one of them. I chatted with one of his “victims” and although he has done more for that photographer than he did for me (and others), I was told I was one of the lucky ones—having lost under $1,000. It still sucks—-he should be run out of town and business. I would love to have my money back, but he won’t do the right thing. I’ll just hear yet another excuse. He should be ashamed of his behavior to all of the people he has scammed. I’ve given up trying to get a refund OR some service from this man. I’m sure he’ll find/read this comment I’ve written to you and find some lame excuse to explain away his behavior. You just can’t defend yourself when you have DOZENS of people singing the same tune about you. Sorry, Brian, but you just can’t. Get a real job and stop leaving a trail of victims in your wake.

31 10 2009
Calvin Gay

Hi! I saw all your beautiful flower pictures. They are really beautiful shots. Bill your cousin has put a lot of our Southwestern pictures on his facebook page. I really enjoyed seeing all the sites out there.

6 11 2009
Lori Butler

Dear Cindy,

I’m a painter searching the web for images that I can use for the purpose of painting them during worship service at my church. I was wondering if I may have permission to use your photograph of the baby robins. Please reply soon as I am currently planning my works for the season of Advent. The title of the work would be, “rejoice”.

-Lori Butler

15 11 2009

Very nice site!

25 11 2009

Your photos are incredible sharp with awesome tones. Specially I like Your garden photos.

16 12 2009

Dear Cindy,
Currently I am doing an art project on natural forms in school.
Photography features as part of the art course, and I was inspired by your work. I have to research two photographers, and take some photos in the style of them. I would love to use your work in my project, but am aware that I need your written permission. All that I intend to use your work for is to stick into my work book and then to analyse the photos.
I hope that I will be able to use your photos in my project


3 02 2010

your photographs are absolutely amazing. my favorites are the shots of the bees- i kind of love bees and think they are such strange cool creatures. thank you for sharing! You clearly love what you do and it really shows.

30 03 2010
Philip Kelly

Hello Cindy,
May I introduce myself to you.

Although I am not applying for employment as such,
I wonder whether my freelance services might be of interest to
your studio in the near future?

I specialise in typeface and font file services.
Such as the manipulation and design of new and existing typefaces,
conversions and custom digitisation of logotypes etc.

I have many years experience in this area, working with advertising agencies,
calligraphers, type foundries, book publishers and individual designers.

Some examples:
Digitising both calligrapher’s and illustrator’s hand-drawn lettering
artwork and making fonts for advertising agencies or the designer’s own use.
One such font was then used in an extensive campaign in Latin America for The
Sony Corporation. Another exciting project involved developing a typeface family of
some beautiful hand-lettering for a British stone carver. I also completed
a set of four typefaces for a leading London calligraphy studio’s wedding lettering.

Building client’s Adobe Illustrator outlines into typefaces,
spacing and kerning them; then generating final font files.

I have worked with type and lettering for packaging and drinks labels.

For translators and typesetters, I am able to add signs,
symbols and non-English language accented letters to your fonts.
I can also add the Euro sign that might be missing on older font files.

Would you be interested in details about my services please?

If you wish, I would also be happy to email a pdf portfolio (4.5 Mb).
(An amazing wide range of interests that you list. On the music front, have you heard of Ofra Haza?…take care Philip).

Kind regards
Philip Kelly

Philip Kelly Digital Design
CT21 4DS
01303 269452 (PHONE & FAX)

1 05 2010

I love your photos!
I am interested in your magic rose photo 🙂
I am thinking of starting another side business and am thinking about a possible logo 🙂 …. let me know if I can consider your photo as one of my options 🙂 Thanks – Veda

12 06 2010

Hi Cindy,

Greetings from London Ontario Canada, WOW!!, your garden pictures are absolutely gorgeous!!! I really enjoyed viewing them and would LOVE to be able to frame some of them for art in my den. I’ve been searching and searching for beautiful macro photography of flowers and can’t find anything that even compares to what you have taken! Are your pictures available to buy for print?

12 06 2010
robert greenfield

Hello, i came across your blog, and was interested in your friend Cam’s painting. Do you have any contact info for her, that you’d feel comfortable sharing ? I’d appreciate it. Lovely site, and I was happy to stumble upon it.
Your description of graphic design school made me laugh ! Cut and paste days…… Thank you! Robert

30 06 2010

Wow, Cindy, I don’t know why but I’d not seen your ‘stuff about me’ page before. And that’s strange as people’s ‘about me’ pages are usually my first stop! You’ve got some amazing links I’m going to have to look at.

Thanks for comments in my blog, nice to see you there. And – I do love your photos.

I noticed you like needle felting in your interests. Have a look through my links for Fadeeva – her stuff is just amazing!

9 09 2010
Omar Hasan

Cindy, I am trying to set up a non-profit website to engage people in activities such as sponsoring refugees in the Houston area, providing free matrimonial services, self-development through learning etc.

Your pictures are truly stunning. My compliments on capturing the natural beauty around us in such a vivid manner.

I was wondering what you would charge for a picture that visually complements a logo along the lines of: halalworks … deeds that multiply (or halalworks … deeds that bear fruit, or deeds that blossom). Not sure what would be best, but the intent is wake people up from the monotony of daily life and do things that make a difference. I have registered both domains and and am working on this project in my spare time.

Incidentally, the word halal means pure and positive. Best regards,


4 11 2010
Betsy S. Franz

Hi Cindy. You have absolutely beautiful photos. I was wondering if you would be interested in writing a post or sharing a post on the Metro DC Lawna and Garden blog. Would love to share your Fall photos with a link to your site. Please let me know if you are interested.


11 11 2010
Jenn Moore

Hi, just wanted to say great site! I love your photos!

14 12 2010
Stephan Pendarvis SSG, USA

Hello Ms Dyer.
My name is Stephan Pendarvis. I am in the Army and had the wonderful opportunity to know and take care of your mother. She was a beautiful lady and I will miss her very much. We had many great talks and she has enriched my life in many ways.
I am sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences.

Your friend,

10 01 2011

I was looking for a photo of cyclamen and found your blog. Fantastic and inspiring. I’ll visit here regularly.

10 01 2011

Hi Lula,

Thanks for the visit and comment! I’ll go check out your blog, too—you obviously like photographing flowers as much as I do!

3 02 2011
Andy McGee

Hello Cindy!

I have been reading your blog and have really enjoyed it so far. As an avid gardener, I always appreciate entertaining, accurate information. I have been doing extra research lately, to prepare for spring in my garden.

Since your blog is well-informed and well-followed, I wanted to ask if you would test a product. It’s called John and Bob’s GrowGreen Smart Soil Solutions. It’s a four-part soil amendment system that completely revitalizes all types of soil, eliminating the need for other supplements. It’s an organic system, containing concentrated humus, minerals and live microbes. The live microbes really play a huge role in conditioning and fertilizing the soil. They break apart clay particles, build up sandy soil and provide extra nutrients to plants.

The system is really easy to apply. Three products, Maximize, Optimize and Nourish, are dry, granulated ingredients that are simply sprinkled on top of the soil. The fourth, Penetrate, is a liquid fertilizer that is sprayed on. Because they are highly concentrated, they come at a fantastic value to customers. A little goes a long way! John and Bob’s Grow Green Smart Soil Solutions is a unique, integrated system of fertilizer and live microbes that work together to both change the texture of the soil and add vitality, growing stronger, healthier, more productive plants! It’s starting to make a huge difference in my clay-heavy garden.

We would like to send you a free sample of the John and Bob’s four-part system to try in your garden. All we ask in return is that you review it on your blog and, if you liked the products, recommend it as well. We would appreciate your feedback! You can visit our website to learn more about the system, how it works and why it dramatically improves the health of soil and plants.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Let me know if you have any questions and if you would like a free sample (enough to treat 1,000 square feet).

Thanks for your time!

Andy McGee

4 02 2011

Hi Cindy,
I’m a poet, and would like to use your magnificent rose photo (described below) for a poetry booklet in Hebrew (in Israel.)

I photographed this gorgeous (and intensely fragrant) hybrid tea rose at Filoli last week. This one is very sensitive to sunlight and turns different colors depending on how much it gets. Z 6-10, continual bloom, 35 petals

Class: Hybrid Tea Rose (Modern Large Flowered)
Hybridizer/Date: Warriner, USA 1978 Introduced by Jackson and Perkins
Fragrance: Mild, fruity
Awards: All America Rose Selection 1978

13 02 2011
Molly P.

my name is Molly and i am just getting started in photography. i really admire your photos and was wondering what type of camera you use? also i was wondering what would the best camera be for a beginner photographer?
thanks so much,

15 02 2011

Hi Molly,

Thanks for the comment on my blog! I have always been a big fan of Nikon cameras, so of course I’m going to recommend a Nikon to you. 🙂

I don’t know how much you have to spend, but if you’re looking for a camera that can capture everything from portraits to sports to bugs and flowers, you’ll want a 35mm SLR (and not a Coolpix, which are good cameras if you’re looking for something for quick snapshots—but it won’t be able to capture closeups and things that move. I have several that I carry in different bags but I know their limitations).

Nikon D5000 kit with 18-55mm VR lens is $629 at B&H (Costco also sells this model; might be a little cheaper there?). This is a good starter lens that will allow you to do landscapes and portraits easily.
Nikon D3100 kit with 18-55mm VR lens is $579 at B&H (I think Costco also sells this kit)
Nikon D90 SLR, body only is $799.95 at B&H Photo (there’s a $100 discount until the end of this month)

The newest Nikon camera, a replacement for the D90, is the Nikon D7000. It also does high quality digital video and is very reasonably priced for what it does. If you have the money to splurge, you won’t regret this choice! Ken Rockwell ( gives it very high marks and loves this camera. He says it does a lot of the things the more expensive models do (like my D300, which ran about $2200 (body only) new!). Having the digital video is a huge plus! The BODY ONLY will run about $1100 for this particular camera. You would have to add lenses to it, of course.

Bottom line? If you get one of the cheaper bodies (like the D90, D3100, or the D5000), you’ll be in good shape—-you would just need to add on lenses when you can afford them. Yes, the body choice is important, but all of Nikon camera bodies are fantastic, no matter how many bells and whistles they do or don’t have. I subscribe to the theory that the LENSES are the THE most important part of the equation! High quality lenses will make the difference.

Without knowing how much you have to budget for, I can’t make a specific recommendation. If you really want to keep costs down, you can do with the D3100 or D5000 kit with the basic lens and then add on lenses later. If you do that and you later decide you want to do closeups (like my bugs and flower shots), you would want to add Nikon’s 105mm micro lens. That will set you back about $800-850, but it is WORTH EVERY PENNY! It’s great as a portrait lens, too, so you’re not limited to just shooting bugs and such with it. You can shoot great head and shoulder shots of people without being right up in their personal space to get the shots (like you would if you shoot portraits with the kit lens).

If you get the body/kit lens, then add the closeup 105mm micro, the next purchase after that could be a prime lens like the 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. Yes, your kit lens will cover that 50mm range, but this is a prime lens (very sharp and fast)—it will allow you to shoot in much lower light with wider apertures than most lenses. From that point, you would move on to some longer zooms (70-300mm and the like). You’ll see a big discrepancy in the zooms—you’ll wonder why some are only in the $300-500 range and some are in the $1000+ range. The more expensive ones are heavier and have more rugged casings. The cheaper ones have hard plastic shells and more suited for amateurs—but I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in a pinch—and I’m a professional photographer! The glass is still very good in these lesser-priced Nikon lenses.

I hope I haven’t completely overwhelmed you with all this information! There are many more options, but without knowing how much you have to spend, I can’t give a specific recommendation. The beauty is that nowadays, the prices of REALLY good Nikon SLRs is so low that they really are more affordable. If you can tell me what your budget is, I would be happy to do a little research for you and make a kit recommendation for you. Just let me know!

29 03 2011
Captain Obvious

I’ve given you a versatile Blogger Award… Go to to claim your award.

19 04 2011
Shaun Dobkowski

Hi. I treasured to drop you a quick note to impart my thanks. I’ve been following your blog for a month or so and have plucked up a heap of effective information as well as relished the way you’ve structured your site. I am attempting to run my own blog however I think its too general and I would like to focus more on smaller topics.

19 04 2011
Denna Lofredo

Are you making this up as you go along?

7 05 2011
Lizette Eriksson

Hi Cindy!
I have a crafting blog here in Sweden Trass and Trussel.
The purpose of this blog is to collect the best crafts around the world on this blog. I wonder now if I could take part in your craft on your blog, translate into Swedish and post it on the Trass and trussels blog page. Of course I link to your site and provide the source of all the crafts and pictures thats yours.

Yours sincerely // Lizette Eriksson

20 05 2011
Marianne Bjerre-Jepsen

I found your lovely picture of the magic rose on google images when searching for the perfect picture to decorate a psalm sheet for my beloved mother-in-law’s funeral next Wednesday. The attendance will be the family circle and of course free of any commercial interests. Would it be OK with you if we use it?

My mother-in-law was a rose lover if there ever were one, and roses will be the theme of the laste tribute we shall be able to pay her.

Kind regards Marianne Bjerre-Jepsen, Denmark

20 05 2011

Hi Marianne, I trust you got my direct e-mail giving you permission to use the flower for the psalm sheet. My sincerest condolences for your loss.

21 05 2011
Bill Biggers

YES Cindy, bored by nothing; I don’t understand boredom… you keep creating jaw droppin’ photos.

23 05 2011

You must participate in a contest for among the finest blogs on the web. I will suggest this web site!

25 05 2011
ifeoma in Sweden

Hi Cindy, I accidentally discovered your awesome blog while searching for images of red tulips. What fantastic inspirational images and write-ups! Awesome to say the least. You also seem to have a bubbly personality.

I reside in Sweden and though I’m a Pharmacist by profession, I’m also interested in graphic arts, photography and gardening. What type of camera do you use? Any tips on photography on your blog? If yes, how can I easily navigate your blog to find them?

Keep up the good work.

25 05 2011

Hi there (don’t know your name—is it Ifeoma?—saw that in the comment, but am not sure). Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog. I appreciate it so much.

I will look through my blog and pull out the detailed tip postings and send you links to those via e-mail (so you don’t have to hunt for all of them). I’m doing more lately than in the past, feeling more confident about telling people how to do the more technical things. I’m largely a self-taught photographer, although I have had mentors and jobs that involved my photographic skills.

I’ll send you those links in the next day or so. In the meantime, do you have a camera/lenses? If so, what type? I make recommendations all the time for family and friends who are either looking to purchase their first digital SLR or want to upgrade their current one. It also helps to know what your budget is (I know prices in Sweden would be different than here in the states, but it helps to have a general idea of what your bottom line budget is to get started). Let me know that and I can recommend something to get you started. Invest more in the lenses than the bodies—I always start with that. You can get really good Nikon bodies (yes, there are other brands, but I’m a Nikon girl!) for very inexpensive prices—it’s the really good lenses that will cost you. I use the Nikon 105mm micro f2.8 for all of my macro work—in the U.S. it runs about $850-950. I use it ALL the time and it is great for portraits, too. It’s a big investment, yes, but it is my favorite lens, hands down. If you want to do macro like I’m doing a lot of, that’s what you need (yes, there are Tamron and Sigma equivalents for lenses and I do own some of their products—they are usually 1/3 less or 1/2 less—I bought the wider angle ones and so far, I can’t tell a huge difference in quality than their higher-priced Nikon counterparts. But if anything ever happened to this Nikon 105, I would go out and replace it like for like—no matter the price. It’s THAT good a lens!

Let me know what kind of camera gear you have now and what your starting budget is—I’d be happy to make recommendations. Thanks again for the lovely comment.

25 05 2011

Thanks, Bill. My passion shows, doesn’t it? I’m beginning to see that. Too bad I can’t make any money on it (yet)! I wish someone would pay me to shoot growing things every day.

8 06 2011
gta 4 cheats

Hey there I wanted to take a moment to say I love to read your website.

17 06 2011
Myong Promer

Amazing! Your site has a ton viewers. How did you get so many people to view your article I’m very jealous! I’m still learning all about blogs on the web. I’m going to view pages on your website to get a better understanding how to achieve success. Thanks for the help!

1 07 2011

I love your blog — just discovered on a sunny morning in Maine.

15 07 2011

Visited your site today. Amazing painting on the concrete leaves. I have been wood working rustic furniture for a few years and just started the whole concrete leave thing last year. If your ever in southern Indiana look us up.
Good work!

7 09 2011
James, Irma and the girls

Great cover cindy. how did you guys fare w irene we were thinking of you and hope everything is good texas is on fire way too damn dry let us know j

13 09 2011
dilan suranga

hi… i want by some photographs. how can i buy. i’m sri lanka


13 09 2011
Coco Rivers


I have just spent some time perusing your work and must tell you again how wowed I am. You have a wonderful eye and your photographs are like sugar melting on the tongue, deeply sweet and satisfying. I spend alot of time looking at garden’s and studying flowers so I draw great enjoyment from your blog. 🙂 I can only imagine how gorgeous your garden must be.

Do you have any pics of Jack in the Pulpit? I’d also like to know how, if, I can buy any as I may need some for my website.



28 10 2011

You take incredible photos!
Thanks for visiting my site and subscribing 🙂

16 11 2011
shayne sherman

I like this weblog very much, Its a real nice spot to read and get info.

16 11 2011
bill biggers

Hi Cindy,

Glad you liked the lion cub rescue …truly amazing. It’s always great to view your blog. BG

22 11 2011

Hi Cindy,
I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Love your blog and thanks for following Walking Papers. Have a lovely Thanksgiving.

22 11 2011

Thanks for the nomination, Suzanne. And thanks for following my blog as well. Hope you have a great holiday, too!

23 11 2011
Bill Biggers

Cindy, congratulations on a nomination for BEST blog. Since it is the best, the award is sure to be forthcoming. Kudos and Cheers

15 12 2011
Jesse Jaca

Magnificent shots!

17 12 2011
Jesse Jaca

Hi Cindy,
Thank you for dropping by my blog and the message. thank you for the tips especially the diffusing lights.
Saw your blog from one of the blogs I’m following.
I am currently here in Thailand, just a hobbyist. am using a basic DSLR (Nikon D40X). i just shoot about anything, i am always “themeless” when it comes to shooting. just pressing that shutter makes me happy already.

I haven’t actually decided what kind of photography to focus on but i really love to do street photography except that i am very shy doing it. scared might be the correct term. Any tips for me?

20 01 2012
Ben Cohen-Leadholm

What a terrific site, Cindy! So glad to have found it. You have wonderful taste and a great diversity of interests. My main focus is fun, unique family activities, but I also keep an eye out for compelling design that’s relevant to parents. Here are some things I thought might interest you: great works of literature on single poster sheet, beautiful and crafty wall murals for kids’ rooms, impressive pirate ship kids’ room. Thanks again for sharing your own content! Love it! Cheers, Ben

21 01 2012
Bill Biggers

Seems like you have a steady supply of admirers, I for one. It’s always great to visit your blog. Thanks for sharing.

20 02 2012
Margie Sauceda Marks

Hi My Dear Friend,
I know your life is great. I was thinking about you and thought what if I put her
name in on google, so you came up. I wasn’t sure if it was the same Cindy. I know now it is. Your pictures are beautiful but of course, everything you did was always wonderful. I hope to hear from you. Miss you.
Margie Sauceda Marks

27 02 2012
Steve Thomas

I would love to ask you about using one of your photos for the basis of an illustration. I searched around for a contact email, but had no luck (unless I missed it). I’ve entered my email address in order to leave a comment. If you could contact me through that I would sincerely appreciate it.

Thank you,
Steve Thomas

1 05 2012
Cornel Apostol

I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award.

4 06 2012
Stephen G. Hipperson

Nice pictures of a small world.

11 09 2012
Karen Putz (@DeafMom)

Hello from another life long John Denver fan!

13 10 2012

Love your work as well.
Inspires me to keep trying with my little camera so I can get good enough for a BIG ONE lol
Do you have a sister L who skis and also is an ARTIST?

5 05 2013
Michele D'Acosta

Of course I don’t need to tell you that your work is extraordinary. Thank you so much for the blessing of your creative gift. I am now following your blog with great enthusiasm. Peace and blessings, Michele

11 05 2013

Hi Michele, what a lovely comment! I found it in the SPAM folder and am so glad I did. Thank you for following my blog!

20 05 2013
KG Visions

Hi Cindy, I have been following you for some time via email. You are one reason I decided to let my photos out of the hard drive 🙂 Thank you for sharing so much knowledge.

20 05 2013

Wow—what a lovely comment! Thank you for it and for following my work. I’m glad I’m inspiring you to show your work as well!

3 07 2013
liz read

Super super work and so nice to see you use Nikon! Am writing to request using some of your images in a presentation on flowers/gardens/etc which I’m putting together for senior residences locally. Entitled Down the Garden Path since it is NOT specifically about flowers (but it is) but the people who painted them, wore them, grew them, found them and the gardens in which they’ve been growing for the last several thousand years. It may turn into 2 or 3 presentations (big surprise) and if I can roll in some of your beauties it will draw many gasps and lots of delight. I do some of my own pix (Nikon D90), but nowhere close to as great as yours – and I so so appreciate the bugs…real vanitas stuff there.
liz read motnreal readATvideotronDOTca

14 07 2013
The Mystical Mansion and Garden

Great blog! I will be back soon to browse more!

29 10 2013
Elizabeth Duker-Gold

Dear Cindy Dyer,

I am a gallery assistant at Agora Gallery, a contemporary fine art gallery in New York. Can I send you some information about our
gallery and promotional services that you might be interested in?

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kind regards,

Elizabeth Duker-Gold
Marketing Assistant / Agora Gallery
Phone: 212.226.4151 ext. 202
Fax: 212.966.4380

19 05 2014
River Tam

Dear Cindy,

Since you are concerned about the copyright of your pictures, I hope this company

is using your picture

with permission.


9 06 2014

super pictures cindy. very glad to have found your blog

19 11 2014
Kathryn Swantee

lol, Mary Ellen (Ryall) was right, I’m going to enjoy working with you…we are two peas in a pod. I can’t believe you have a Nebelung, I had one named Sasha. Now I have 3 orange tabbies. John Denver is the reason I started playing guitar, still play and sing with a group in Fitchburg. I’m glad you like my work and I will take your advice on the modifications. Looking forward to working together. Kathy

21 11 2014

Hi Kathryn, it does sound like we have a lot in common. I look forward to working with you, too!

10 06 2015

Eva Cassidy – a playlist for you:

25 06 2015

Hi Cindy,

I absolutely love your photos! They’re absolutely beautiful!

I did not see any contact information to reach you, so I’m hoping here is okay to talk. I would love to use your image from this post for my blog:

I’m writing a post on all that I was able to overcome in life and in completing my final semester as an undergrad, and your image of the gladiola flower is perfect, as it symbolizes strength and courage. I will, of course, include a link to your site if given the permission to use the photo.

Thanks so much!


6 04 2016
Spring playing hide and seek | From guestwriters

[…] photographers like Mike Powell, Cindy Dydyer, Cindy Barton Knoke, and sites like Purple Rays are there on the net to bring beauty for beauty and […]

24 06 2016

Hello, I ran across your website because it mentioned my great grandma’s name – Lila Prater. How did you know her? I remember spending time in her studio when I was young in Weslaco. Chris Smith

13 02 2017

I love your designs on i think they will stand for themselfes as wallart . :)^^ ziggeman. Have a nice day

1 04 2017

Dear Cindy,
I have a question. Your post on the Unusual sister violets…is it true there rare??? Because all the forest around me are full of them. And they are a very good medicinal herb btw.

7 04 2017

Hi Kiyata, I don’t know if they are rare everywhere, but they are not common in my area (northern Virginia). They are the prettiest little flowers. Where do you live? I didn’t know they had medicinal properties!

9 03 2018
Garden Photography: Capturing the Beauty of Your Garden | Views Infinitum

[…] by Cindy Dyer • Photography by Cindy […]

24 11 2020

May I which you lots of succes with this blog and with all your other websites. I would like to follow this blog if you don”t mind. Kind regards, Rudi

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