Chrysanthemums

16 10 2011

I believe this is a Chrysanthemum x grandiflorum ‘Hillside Pink Sheffield’ variety of garden mum. There wasn’t a label on the plants at Green Spring Gardens, but my research took me to Monrovia’s site and these flowers look much like the ones shown here. The blooms attracted a bounty of honeybees as well as many butterflies, including Fiery Skippers (Hylephila phyleus), Common Buckeyes (Junonia coenia), Cabbage Whites (Pieris rapae) and Monarchs (Danaus plexippus). I didn’t get too many shots of the insects due to both the windy conditions and their way-too-quick movement!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Sedum and Lantana with Bumblebee

28 09 2011

Can you spot the tiny “bonus” bug in this photo? Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hide ’n seek

31 08 2011

Photographed at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





How many more days until spring?

11 02 2011

These images were all shot in one my most favorite photography spots in the world—Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. When things are in bloom, I escape to this place as fast and as often as I can, even if it’s just for a half hour of shooting. It is my respite, my calm, my own private paradise…just me with my camera, surrounded by bountiful blooms and bustling bugs under a balmy blue sky. It is where I go to think, to dream, to regroup, to create. Spring can’t come soon enough for me!

See more images shot at Green Spring Gardens here.

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.






Think pink, updated series #2

9 07 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Widow Skimmer dragonfly at Springwood Farm

30 06 2008

This dragonfly was so large I didn’t even need my macro lens to capture it full frame! This is a female Widow Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctosa). Learn the differences between a dragonfly and a damselfly here.

There are approximately 5,000 named dragonfly species in the world. In North America, there are about 450 species, making them (a little) easier to identify. They hail from every continent except Antarctica, with life span ranges from about six months to several years. They don’t bite or sting and are considered beneficial insects because they eat harmful insects such as mosquitoes, gnats, ants, and termites. They’re fast (30-60 miles per hour), move in all directions like a helicopter (including hovering), and their eyesight is amazing—each eye contains up to 30,000 tiny lenses.

The largest dragonfly recorded from fossil records had a wing span of about two and one-half feet. It was a prehistoric insect from 300 million years ago. Read more about it here on Wikipedia and on this blog– The World We Don’t Live In.

I definitely wouldn’t need a macro lens to record that!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

See another dragonfly I photographed at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden here.





How can something this beautiful…

12 09 2007

…be so destructive? I know when I first sent this photo out to Debbi (our resident Rose Queen), she probably passed out in shock when she saw it. One must admit that they really are beautiful, despite how destructive they are. I’m happy to report that I have never seen one in my own garden (and therefore I don’t have to deal with critter elimination!).

japanese-beetles.jpg

© 2007 Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Popillia japonica is a beetle about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) long and 1 cm (0.4 inches) wide, with shiny copper-colored elytra and a shiny green top of the thorax and head. It is not very destructive in Japan, where it is controlled by natural enemies, but in America it is a serious pest to rose bushes, grapes, crape myrtles, and other plants. These insects damage plants by eating the surface material, leaving the veins in place, producing a curious, but alarming “transparent leaf” effect on its victims.

For more photos of this insect, visit http://bugguide.net/node/view/473/bgimage

Excerpt below from The Urban Pantheist.

In 1916, America’s most densely populated state (New Jersey) became the first place in North America where a certain exotic Asian scarab beetle was found. This beautiful but destructive animal is now well-known to gardeners in the eastern states, and is becoming familiar in more places every year. Increasing amounts of regulation and use of biological controls (a bacterium and parasitic wasps) are the official weapons in use against the Japanese beetle. Still they seem to have a robust population in areas where they occur, including urban centers that have the plants the adults feed on (over 400 species documented) and grassy soil for their grubs to overwinter in. And they continue to spread, being found in San Diego for the first time in 2000, and at an airport in Montana in 2002.

Japanese beetles are often encountered in what appears to be mating groups. Females produce sex pheromones that attract many males, who compete for the opportunity to mate in large clusters. According to one researcher, relatively little mating actually occurs in these groups. Males will guard their chosen female from other males until she is ready to lay her eggs. At least while clustered, they can be easily picked off of plants.