Yellow Wild Indigo ‘Screaming Yellow’

19 05 2011

Yellow Wild Indigo ‘Screaming Yellow’ (Baptisia sphaerocarpa), sometimes called Horsefly-weed, is native to the south central U.S. This smooth, bushy perennial has elongated clusters of yellow pea-shaped flowers that bloom from May to September. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pink Columbine

15 05 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Columbine

15 05 2011

The Columbine gets its common name from the Latin columba or dove. The genus name for the plant is Aquilegia (derived from the Latin word for eagle—aquila—named this because the shape of flower petals resemble an eagle’s claw).  This herbaceous perennial is rated hardy to zone 3 and prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It is very easy to propagate from seed and will self-sow. The seeds and roots are highly poisonous.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden: Iceland Poppy ‘Champagne Bubbles’

12 05 2011

The Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule), a hardy but short-lived perennial, is native to subpolar regions of North America and northern Europe. This cultivar is ‘Champagne Bubbles’ and the flowers bloom in orange, pink, scarlet, apricot, yellow or creamy white. They prefer full sun but are not hardy in hot weather. The wild Iceland Poppy species bloom in white or yellow.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Woodland Phlox (again)

11 05 2011

I just noticed that the top left bloom only has four petals (instead of the usual five). Wonder if that’s a good luck sign? Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Woodland Phlox

11 05 2011

Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata), also known as Wild Blue Phlox and Wild Sweet William, photographed at Green Spring Gardens. This herbaceous perennial wildflower blooms April-May in part sun to full shade, in zones 3 to 8.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved





Bluebells at Green Spring Gardens

17 04 2011

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), are also known as Lungwort Oysterleaf, Virginia Cowslip and Roanoke Bells. The pink-tinged buds turn sky blue as they open. I photographed Bluebells for the first time last year. See my post on the Bull Run Regional Park Bluebells here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Bluebonnets aplenty!

14 04 2011

Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), photographed at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. (Now if I could just get that jingle, “everything’s better with blue bonnet on it,” outta my head) Did you know that the flower gets its name from the shape of the petals? They resemble bonnets worn by pioneer women to shield them from the harsh sun. Even though I spent more than 20 years living in Texas, this year was the first time I had seen these lovely flowers up close and en masse!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

14 04 2011

Also known as Showy evening primrose, Mexican evening primrose, Showy primrose, Pink ladies, Buttercups and Pink buttercups, this perennial plant spreads to form extensive colonies that are hardy and drought resistant. Most evening primrose species open their flowers in the evening, then close them in the morning. The farther south they appear (in this case, Austin), they will open their flowers in the morning (as shown here) and then close them in the evening. Photographed at the Mueller Prairie

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.








Spiderwort studies

12 04 2011

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

© 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.






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.






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.





Spring in Texas: Bluebonnets!

28 03 2011

Photographed in Austin, Texas, 3.26.2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






And finally, Purplelicious Installment #4

6 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Last year I wrote a newsletter article for the FlowershopNetwork.com. Check out “A Passion for Purple Flowers” here.





Purplelicious Installment #2

5 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Last year I wrote a newsletter article for the FlowershopNetwork.com. Check out “A Passion for Purple Flowers” here.





Purplelicious Installment #1

4 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Last year I wrote a newsletter article for the FlowershopNetwork.com. Check out “A Passion for Purple Flowers” here.






Chrysanthemum ‘Single Apricot’

30 10 2010

Chrysanthemum ‘Single Apricot’ photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Yin and Yang

19 10 2010

Japanese Anemone (hybrid unknown), photographed at Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pink Anemone

15 10 2010

Hybrid unknown, photographed at Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Bee’s knees

23 09 2010

And speaking of my friend SueBee—-I was going down blog memory lane and came across this posting back in September of 2007:

This is one my favorite garden photos. Sue grew one of the Mammoth Russian sunflowers last year and called me over to record it. I would like to claim that I saw this little bee “coming in for a landing,” bee’s knees bent for impact, but that would not be true. I was shooting madly as the afternoon light was fading. It wasn’t until I browsed the images later that I noticed this little guy in flight. I had gotten numerous other shots with the bees already in place, gathering pollen, but this was pure serendipity.

© Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved. Check out my botanical photography portfolio here.

knees-bees.jpg

 

I did a little research (not surprised, are you?) on the origin of “bee’s knees” and found some interesting tidbits:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-bees-knees.html

And, speaking of sunflowers, here are some interesting facts:

—The scientific word for sunflower is Hellianthus, referring to the ability of the sunflower bloom to follow the sun from sunrise until sunset. The word is derived from helios, meaning sun, and anthos, meaning flower.
—Argentina is currently the largest grower of sunflowers.
—The sunflower is grown for the seeds and oil it produces.
Each mature flower yields 40% of its weight as oil.
—The tallest sunflower grown was 25 feet tall and grown in the Netherlands.
—The largest sunflower head was grown in Canada and measured 32.5 inches across its widest point.
—The shortest mature sunflower was just over 2 inches tall and grown in Oregon using a bonsai technique.
—Sunflower stems were used to fill lifejackets before the advent of modern materials. —Low-pollen sunflowers have been developed in recent years which not only helps asthma sufferers, but extend the flower’s life.
—The flower was cultivated by North American Indians for many years as a food crop.
— The sunflower is not one flower, but a cluster of more then 2000 tiny flowers growing together.
— The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas and the national flower of Russia.
— The French word for sunflower is tournesol, or literally “turn with the sun.”
—The sunflower has been around for at least 8,000 years. Archeologists believe that Native American cultivated sunflowers as early as 2300 B.C., well before corn, beans, and squash.
—There are over 2,000 varieties of sunflowers identified to date. Unfortunately, many varieties have not been located and may be extinct.





Re-post: Cabin in the woods

23 09 2010

I’m reposting a collage of photos from one of our favorite road trips with my friend Sue and her mother, Wanda. I think we’re overdue for a trip, SueBee!

Originally posted 9.22.2008
One of our favorite treats during our recent vacation was a night’s stay at Jim and Anne’s cabin in a park near Mt. Rainier. We headed to the cabin on Friday morning, September 12, stopping along the way for huckleberry ice cream (which is delicious, by the way). Learn more about huckleberry harvesting in the Cascades here. In the first photo, Sue tries out a chair fashioned from snow skis at the ice cream store in Enumclaw. (If you have a hankering for this type of furniture, check out Snow Shack and Snow Source.)

Michael and I kept Sue quite enthralled, if somewhat frightened, with our stories of “when, not if, Rainier (an active volcano) blows…” She was pondering the possibility of it blowing that very night. We told her to relax. At least her best friends and mamma were with her and her last supper was huckleberry ice cream. How bad is that?

Some time ago, Michael and I had seen a documentary on tv hypothesizing the outcome of such an event. I did some further research and found these articles:

Vocanologists keep wary eye on Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier will blow, that’s a given. (How’s that for an opening line?)

Under the Volcano—the danger of living near Mt. Rainier

Hmmm…now that I’ve done this research, I’m rethinking how good that huckleberry ice cream was after all!

___________________________________________________

Photos, second row: Sue sits on a bed on the enclosed porch. What a view we had in the morning! The cabin was built by Anne’s father and grandfather when her father was a teenager, so it’s over 70 years old. It’s a beautifully rustic cabin with modern conveniences, of course, such as electricity, a detached bathroom and shower, and appliances. I found lots of things to photograph within the cabin itself, such as the blue bottle still life by the living room window (3rd row, right). Fifth row: Wanda climbs the ladder to check out the sleeping alcove in the cupola. Next, I photographed her “hiking” shoes by firelight. Those city girls sure do hike in style, don’t they?

After settling in, Anne and Jim lead us on a hike up to Goat Falls, which runs down the hill past their cabin. Sue had to keep Wanda from her “mushroom tipping” tendencies because she knew I would be coming up behind them, photographing everything along the way. Apparently, Wanda has an aversion to wild mushrooms (not to mention snakes).

Later, Jim and Anne prepared a wonderful dinner. After a great night’s sleep, the next morning Sue and Wanda wanted their photo taken at the outhouse, which, thanks to the modern conveniences, we did not have to use. And yes, Sue is acting—not really utilizing—the facilities in the photograph toward the bottom!

The trip to the cabin, hiking to the falls, and staying overnight in that beautiful cabin was a really nice and unexpected treat, thanks to our wonderful hosts, Anne and Jim!

And in the “how away far was it” category—I am happy to report that this trip was a “one-hat” trip, since I finished a “special order” crocheted black hat as a gift for Anne en route. Learn more about my exclusive “how many hats trip measurement system” here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Newest additions to my Green Spring Gardens zenfolio gallery

16 09 2010

I just added more photos to the Green Spring Gardens-only gallery on my Zenfolio site. Click on this link here to view all 191 photos in thumbnail size. If you double-click on a photo, it will enlarge and a sub-gallery will show on the right side of the screen. You can also select “slide show” at the top. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did photographing them!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Aptly named ‘Heavenly Blue’

10 09 2010

This is the view I had outside the front door this morning—more than 100 beautiful blue blooms on my ‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glory vine (and many more buds yet unfurled). I didn’t plant any seeds this year, but apparently seeds from last year’s vine thrived this year! And can you spot the “bonus bug” in the top shot? I didn’t see him until I zoomed in on the image in Photoshop.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Skipper Butterfly on ‘Zowie’ Zinnia

7 09 2010

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Skippers on ‘Zowie’ Zinnia

3 09 2010

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens, 9.3.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Common Buckeye on Gomphrena

3 09 2010

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens, 9.3.2010

© 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.





Maine wildflowers

28 08 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.