In My Heaven…

27 07 2014

One of my favorite Mary Chapin Carpenter songs is “In My Heaven.” When I’m photographing in a garden, I’m in MY heaven. This is a type of sunflower (don’t know the exact name). What attracted me to this shot was the juxtaposition of the flower stalk against the trees and the bright blue sky. A fairly wide aperture created the beautiful bokeh.

UPDATE: I think these just might be Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Sunflower Sky





Re-post: Rhymes with orange

19 01 2012

Originally posted January 30, 2009

For several months now I’ve been trying to catalog my images better, bit by bit (there are thousands and thousands of photos). While organizing my garden photos folder I noticed that I have a plethora of orange-hued flowers so I put together this collage of all things orange-ish to brighten your winter day.

Tangerine. Coral. Day-glow orange. Push-up popsicle orange. Sunset. Pumpkin. 70s shag carpet orange (I did window display at a department store while in college and there was multi-shaded orange shag carpet in each window. Do you know how hard it is to design around that color scheme? I covered it up every chance I got—with a decorating budget of zilch, unfortunately. I asked for $5 once for a huge set of markers and my boss freaked out).

Orange peel. Safety orange. Salmon (did you know that the “l” in salmon is silent? The correct pronunciation is “sam-uhn.” Don’t believe me? Click here).

Frou-frou-big-bowed-bridesmaid-dress-apricot (yes, I had to wear one once upon a time).

Carrot. Persimmon. Vermilion. Orange-red. Rusty can orange. Burnt orange. Tomato. Panama Brown orange (the color Dad insists his old diesel VW Rabbit was—sorry, Dad, it was orange).

After a week of designing at the computer in a cold basement, pausing only to look out at winter gray skies (save for that remarkable sunset on Wednesday), I needed a jolt of color to inspire me. What better color than orange?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

rhymeswithorange





Eye candy, batch #2

11 12 2011

Pulled from the archives of my personal refrigerator magnet poetry, I give to you my handcrafted attempt #1:

January snow blanket melts
cold February moon gone
March winds a memory
a luscious light envelopes
tiny crocus petals whisper spring
most delicate green grass emerges
rain sweetens the earth
bird song filters down
from the impossibly blue blue sky
warm breezes weave through
a gorgeous tapestry of color

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pollen gathering + bonus bug

1 09 2011

I photographed this (unidentified) little bee (fly?) on an Aster bloom at Green Spring Gardens yesterday. It wasn’t until I opened the raw file in Photoshop that I saw the tiny white spider tucked into the petals. Love me some bonus bugs!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden: Purple Coneflowers

27 06 2011

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) photographed against a backdrop of Globe Thistle (Echinops Ritro). And yes, it appears to be more pink than purple—the petals can actually range from pink to lavender on Purple Coneflowers. I had to share my photography time with quite a number of Bumblebees today (taking care to stay out of their industrious way while crafting my images).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Pollen buffet

11 04 2011

Originally posted July, 2008

Two bees (or maybe one bee and a flower fly, perhaps?) vying for pollen on one small sunflower. See the fella on the right? Look at how thick the pollen is on his body and legs!

UPDATE: This morning I received an informative comment below from a biologist in Argentina. (Visit his/her blog at http://polinizador.wordpress.com/)  Thanks for the details—I learn something new every day!

Nice photo. The one on the right is a female bee. The males don’t carry pollen on their back legs; in the world of bees the females do all the work. The one on the left is a flower fly, Eristalis; it is a male. You can tell because of its huge eyes.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Lighter shade of pale

26 02 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

brightwhitecollage

 





Yep, you guessed it. Green Spring Gardens again.

11 02 2011

© 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.





Bee on ‘Milkshake’ Coneflower

26 08 2010

Bee on Echinacea ‘Milkshake’ Coneflower, photographed at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 8.23.2010. We just got back a few hours ago from my weekend photo assignment in Providence, Rhode Island and our short road trip to Maine afterward. More photos and a write-up about the gardens to come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Bee on Passion Flower

18 08 2010

Photographed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 8.15.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Magenta!

2 08 2010

Does anyone else find it difficult to maintain detail in flowers that are in the pink-red spectrum? This was photographed under a bright, but overcast sky.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Ant Bee

20 07 2010

Sorry, it’s late, I’m tired, and I just couldn’t think of a better title for this photo (see the tiny ant on the upper left bud?). As soon as I typed it, I thought of Aunt Bea from Mayberry R.F.D. I’m hitting the hay. Goodnight, Opie.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





In bloom at Green Spring Gardens

19 07 2010

These are images from my very brief photo outing at Green Spring Gardens this morning. When I arrived, the sun was out and the sky was just a wee bit cloudy. Just 25 minutes after I got there, down came the rain. I’m lucky I got these few images before the weather changed.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Bee on Sunflower

11 07 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Camellia

23 04 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pow!

6 10 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

NewPhotos





At Green Spring Gardens today…

2 08 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

GreenSpringSunday





Blooming in the garden today…

17 07 2009

Song of the Flower

I am a kind word uttered and repeated 
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth;
I was Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.

I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn. 

— Khalil Gibran

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.    
http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

Blooms7172009





Partake as doth the Bee

9 07 2009

Partake as doth the Bee,
Abstemiously.
The Rose is an Estate—
In Sicily.

—Emily Dickinson

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Check out my garden-photos-only portfolio at:

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

BeeOnConeflower





(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

31 07 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in the garden today…

22 07 2008

Since I began gardening about six years ago, I’ve become smitten with coneflowers (Echinacea). So much so that last year I added several more colors to the front and backyard gardens. I have the standard purple coneflower, white (‘Jade’), orange (‘Orange Meadowbrite’), buttery yellow (‘Sunrise’), deep fall gold (‘Harvest Moon’), reddish orange (‘Sundown’), a doubledecker purple one called ‘Doppelganger,’ and my new favorite—Echinacea Summer Sky, a gold coneflower that graduates in an airbrushed fashion to red toward the cone! I love growing them because a) they’re perennials, b) they are quite photogenic, c) they love the sun, and d) bees and other insects love them, too, so there’s always a subject to photograph! I also have some in partial shade but their color doesn’t seem as deep as those growing in full sun. My purple and white coneflowers are all in bloom now. I’ll deadhead the spent blooms tomorrow since I just read that the blooms could repeat if deadheaded (now why didn’t I already know that?) These North American native perennials are drought tolerant, long blooming, and low maintenance. The name ‘Echinacea’ means spiny in Greek (echino) and references the flower’s pincushion center. The name “coneflower” comes from the way the petals sweep back and down, forming a cone. If I had the room in my garden(s), I would add all of these on this site. Hmmmm…I feel a purchase (or two or three) coming on!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

20 07 2008

Bright and early this morning (too early), Michael and I headed out to photograph the sunflower fields at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, MD, then headed over to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to photograph the Lotus blossoms. We first learned about the sunflower fields from my friend Nanda, who went to see it after reading about it in the Washington Post here. We’ve gone the past two years and have gotten there either before the blooms appeared or too late in the day when they’re spent and facing downward. This year, thanks to advice via e-mail from fellow blogger and local photographer Patty Hankins, we finally got to photograph the flowers at their peak! (Patty shot some really beautiful images; you’ll see them on her blog). I’ll be posting the sunflower photos later.

After an hour and a half of photographing sunflowers, we headed to Kenilworth in Washington, D.C. And once again, we arrived during the Annual Waterlily Festival and the Lotus Asian Cultural Festival (I thought it was next weekend). Since it was later in the morning than we had expected to get there, it wasn’t the optimum time for photographing Lotus blossoms because of the harsh sunlight. Despite that, photographing the myriad dragonflies ended up making it well worth the trip anyway!

To see the Lotus blossom images I shot at Kenilworth in 2006 and 2007, click here and here.

Here’s an article from the Washington Post about this “oasis in the city.” If you’ve got the room (and the pond!) to grow these beautiful flowers, read these growing tips from Doug Green. And take a look at Patty Hankins’ Lotus blossom photos and glean some great photography tips on her blog here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The color purple

16 07 2008

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





Go toward the light…

6 02 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

gotothelightphoto.jpg