Juvenile Widow skimmer dragonfly

13 07 2020

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. Nikon D850 / Nikkor 105mm micro

WEB Widow Skimmer





The studio effect

22 07 2016

With the sky full of clouds and very washed out during the heat of the day, doesn’t this look like I invited this Common Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) into my studio for a portrait session against a white backdrop? Pretty awesome and unexpected effect!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Studio Look Blue Dasher





Slaty Skimmer dragonfly

12 07 2016

It’s obvious I spent quite a bit of time stalking Slaty Skimmers at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens yesterday afternoon! Several of these beauties kept coming back to this same bare branch and I stayed close by to capture various angles. It was a great opportunity to experiment with varying depth-of-field, exposures and compositions.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Slaty Skimmer Radiate





One more Slaty Skimmer dragonfly…

12 07 2016

One more Slaty Skimmer dragonfly shot…I usually like to diffuse the light when I can with my tri-grip diffuser (for more saturated color and even lighting on my subject), but sometimes the sunlight works in my favor. In this case, the sunlight illuminated my subject and my background…and the shallow depth of field renders the Sacred lotus leaves as glowing abstract shapes.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Slaty skimmer glow





Slaty Skimmer dragonfly

12 07 2016

Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta); photographed against a backdrop of sunlit Sacred lotus leaves; Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Slaty Abstract





Congratulations, Michael Powell!

17 12 2015

My dear friend/neighbor (and fellow photographer) Michael Powell just won a second place ribbon for his “Baby’s Got Blue Eyes” photo of a Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly in the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park photo contest this month. (To the left of his winning entry is his eagle photo and to the right is a bluebird photo he also entered; two of the four entries allowed). I helped him prepare his four photos for exhibition and am so proud of him for placing. He’s finally getting his stuff on display! Next up—convincing him to exhibit an entire solo show of his nature photography. Thanks to Walter Sanford for sharing Mark Jette’s photo of Michael’s winning entry.

See more of Michael’s work here: http://www.michaelqpowell.wordpress.com/

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Flame Skimmer dragonfly

1 07 2014

I think this is a Flame Skimmer dragonfly. Photographed at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

RedDragonfly Web





Dragonfly on lotus bud

17 08 2012

I haven’t been able to identify the exact kind of dragonfly this one is (yet). Any guesses (other than the obvious “black dragonfly”)? Photographed at Green Spring Gardens

UPDATE: Special thanks to a visitor to my blog, Robley Hood, for identifying this beauty—it’s a Slaty skimmer (Libellula incesta).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Dragonfly and Sacred Lotus

5 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Eye candy, batch #3

11 12 2011

Pulled from the archives of my personal refrigerator magnet poetry, and created with a garden-specific set of magnetic poetry (yes, there is such a product!), I give to you my handcrafted poem attempt #2.

in my garden
through spring and summer
flower bulb root sprout vine tendril emerge
brown earth explodes with life
struggles in the harsh noon light
blooming yellow red blue fresh
quietly full and wild and fertile
bug & bee work hard & long
and a thick green eden thrives
a blanket of peace rustles
beneath sunshine and shade above
I weed cut grow protect
then breathe relax reflect listen live
murmuring come here sacred rain
water more this labor of love
this canvas my art
soft sweet sanctuary

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





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.





The culling process

1 07 2011

When I return from photographing any subject, I immediately delete (or cull) out the images that are out-of-focus, too overexposed or underexposed, and the occasional experimental image that didn’t quite pan out. I’m immediately drawn to specific images—sometimes it might be a great composition, a combination of colors that moves me, or an expression on someone’s face. These are the very first images I prepare for my high resolution stock files and for this blog. Sometimes when I revisit a session, even years later, I will occasionally find an image or two that didn’t get my attention initially but now deserve a second look. Below are just a few that made it out of oblivion to the light of day!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





From the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens archives…

29 06 2011

Since I didn’t get the photographic bounty I usually do at Kenilworth, I thought I’d repost images I’ve created in past years. Enjoy!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KenilworthCollage2





Common Blue Damselfly (E. cyathigerum)

6 08 2010

I shot this image at Green Spring Gardens this afternoon. First, this was a hard shot to get—these little guys are fast! Second, I couldn’t set up the tripod quick enough, so this image was shot handheld. Third, this was the sharper of only two shots I could fire before he flew away. Fourth, this guy is tiny—no more than an inch long and extremely hard to track. So, considering the shooting conditions were far from ideal, I think it’s a pretty decent shot!

This is a male Common Blue Damselfly. Females are usually dark with dull green replacing the blue areas. It is one of only two species of damselfly that can be found in both North America and Europe.

Know how to tell the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly? Dragonflies rest with their wings held perpendicular to the body, while damselflies hold them almost parallel. Also, damselflies are usually smaller and slimmer than dragonflies.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Water Lily and Duckweed

28 06 2010

This hardy water lily might be a Nymphaea ‘Rose Arey’, but I’m not positive. I photographed it at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this weekend. View my past posts on the gardens in the links below:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/early-morning-at-kenilworth-aquatic-gardens/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/kenilworth-park-and-aquatic-gardens/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/kenilworth-gardens-7222007/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/my-kenilworth-bounty/

http://www.cindydyer.com/KenilworthGardens/


© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blue Dasher Dragonfly

27 06 2010

I was fervently hoping to get some shots of the dragonflies yesterday at Kenilworth, but they were very active and rarely settled long enough for me to photograph them. It was getting hotter and I was just about to give up. I set my tripod down to rest and something compelled me to look to my immediate left—a little more than a foot away from my head, at eye level, was a Blue Dasher (the fella in the second photo) clinging to a bare branch sticking out of the pond. I moved really, really slowly and was able to fire off about a dozen shots before he dashed away.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blue Dasher Dragonfly

27 06 2010

The Dragonfly

Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Dragonfly on Lotus bud

27 06 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Revisiting the Kenilworth archives…

22 06 2010

Next month, the lotus blossoms will be at their finest at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. And yes, I’ll be there once again (even though these lovely blooms choose to do their thing on the hottest day of the summer, year after year. Ah, well, no pain, no gain, right? Even for photographers! Here are some images I shot last year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Post redux: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

8 12 2009

If you’re in the D.C./Virginia/Maryland area, be sure to visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, particularly in July. The main attractions are obviously the lotus blossoms, which bloom during the truly hottest time in our area (sigh), but I’m sure there are water lilies in bloom throughout the summer.

You can view my previous posts on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens by clicking on the links below:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/kenilworth-park-and-aquatic-gardens/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/kenilworth-gardens-7222007/

What a muse that place is!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KenilworthCollage2





Early morning at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

23 07 2009

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

Click here to view images from July 20, 2008.

Click here to view images from July 22, 2007.

For more Kenilworth photos, click here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Kenilworth Collage 7232009





Re-post: my favorite dragonfly photos

9 07 2009

I photographed these two Blue Dasher dragonflies this time last year. These were both photographed in natural light without fill flash. You’ll get your best shots (of almost any subject, but insects in particular) on an overcast day.

Check out Eric Isley’s article, Dragonfly Photography 101, for great tips on capturing these beautiful insects, as well as David Westover’s (very detailed!) article on How to Photograph Dragonflies with Flash.

Today I discovered 5 min Life Videopedia, which features short videos on all sorts of topics. Check out this informative one posted by Go Wild TV on photographing dragonflies (love the photographer’s accent, too!).

Click here for a list of 326 short photography how-to films on 5 min Life Videopedia.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





My Kenilworth bounty

27 05 2009

The previous posting about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens prompted me to look through my photo archives. I’ve been to Kenilworth three summers in a row (and 100% sure I will do so again this summer). While I have posted on my trips to the gardens, I didn’t gather all of them into one collage until now.

If you’re in the D.C./Virginia/Maryland area, be sure to visit the gardens, particularly in July. The main attractions are obviously the lotus blossoms, which bloom during the truly hottest time in our area (sigh), but I’m sure there are water lilies in bloom throughout the summer.

You can view my previous posts on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens by clicking on the links below:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/kenilworth-park-and-aquatic-gardens/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/kenilworth-gardens-7222007/ 

What a muse that place is!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

KenilworthCollage2





Check out my zenfolio.com gallery!

1 05 2009

I’ve been working on putting the “cream of the crop” of my garden and landscape photos into one easy-to-navigate gallery. Eventually I’ll have the gallery set up to sell prints as well as stock photos, but in the interim, this is just a way to wrangle all of my web-viewing-only images into one gallery. I’ll be adding more images in the future. Currently there are 380 images in the Botanical Gallery. That should keep you plenty busy! If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll recognize many of the photos.

Once you click on the first link below, you can click “view all” at the bottom and see everything on one page, scrolling down as you go. If you click on an individual photo, it will enlarge and thumbnails for other images will show up on the side (as shown in the collage below). You can click on any of those to enlarge, or you can just launch the slide show in the second link below. I hope you enjoy the show!

Gallery:  http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

Slideshow: http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135/slideshow

———————————————–
Open a Zenfolio account with my referral code 8B9-BTJ-6G3 and save $5.00

zenfolio-gallery





Bluer than blue

2 02 2009

Remember that 1978 hit song, Bluer than Blue, by Michael Johnson? Check out the video on youtube. Kinda low budget video, isn’t it? Ah, well, it’s the song that matters, right? Another song of his that I love is, “The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulder.”

Let’s see—I’ve received three requests in response to my “what color collage next” question. One requested a collage showing variegation. One was a request for the color teal. Uh…thanks for the challenge, gals! And the third one was for blue, which just happened to be the color I was working on! (Jan and I were on the same wavelength.) I’ll work on those first two (more challenging) requests, but in the interim, here’s a collage of nothin’ but blue! Blue isn’t a really common color in the garden, yet I was surprised I had enough images in that color to create this collage. I would love to be able to grow the extra-heat-sensitive-needs-cool-rainy-summers (which we don’t have in Northern Virginia) lovely sky-blue Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia), a native of southeastern Tibet.

Other blue flowers include:

Statice
Sea holly (Eryngium-–which I grow in my garden—and it is a beauty)
Hydrangea
Delphiniums
Chicory (shown below)
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella—shown below)
Cornflower
‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glory (shown below)
Forget-me-not
Bearded iris
Himalayan blue poppy (there are other shades of blue poppies as well)
Scabiosa (beautiful pale blue; I’ve grown them but they flop over too soon!)
Scilla
Veronica Speedwell
Globe thistle (Echinops)—I have several of these in my front garden
Muscari (grape hyacinth—some varieties lean more toward blue than deep purple)
Pride of Madeira (leans toward purple-blue—unbelievably beautiful plant—wish it would grow in our area)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

bluerthanblue22





“Four by 4” at Gallery West

13 01 2009

FourXFour LogoOn Saturday evening Michael, Regina, Karen, and Joe and I attended the opening reception of the “Four by 4” show at Gallery West on King Street. Regina’s husband, Jeff, was one of the four artists in this collaborative exhibit. Founded in 1979, Gallery West is an artist’s cooperative gallery located at 1213 King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. The “Four by 4” show runs from January 7 through February 1. All photography © Cindy Dyer.

gallery-photo-1aa

The Four x 4 artists, left to right: Parisa Tirna, Susan La Mont, Karen Waltermire, and Jeff Evans.

From the Gallery West website:

PARISA TIRNA is an emerging self taught landscape artist whose contemplative canvases evoke the classic landscapes of the 19th century. This is her first gallery show. See more of Parisa’s work at www.parisaart.blogspot.com and on the Gallery West website.

SUSAN LA MONT has a B.F.A. in art from Pratt Institute, a M.A. in illustration from Syracuse University, and a Doctor of Arts from George Mason University in higher education with a focus on art. She has won several awards and her sharply drawn realistic paintings can be found in numerous private and corporate collections. See more of Susan’s work at www.susanlamont.com and on the Gallery West website. You can watch her work on one of her paintings in a video I found here on the Artistic Type website.

KAREN WALTERMIRE studied art for several years before striking out on her own to develop a unique whimsical drawing style. She has been in several group shows in the D.C. area and was previously a member of Spectrum Gallery. See more of Karen’s work at www.inkonly.blogspot.com and on the Gallery West website.

JEFFERSON EVANS is a self taught photographer who focuses on travel, nature and fine art images. He is a member of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society and the Springfield Art Guild. His work has been in numerous juried shows, exhibitions and publications. See more of his work at www.evansimagesandart.com, on the Springfield Art Guild‘s website, and on the Gallery West website. Jeff also contributed his beautiful Monarch chrysalis photographs for a poster I designed for the Happy Tonics Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. You can see that poster here. The “Monarch emerging” photos are also used in the nameplate of the quarterly newsletter, Butterflies & Gardens, that I design and produce for Happy Tonics.

gallery-west-8

Parisa started painting as a non-objective abstract painter until her first landscape experiment showed her the rewarding spirit of nature and brought her to the world of landscape art. Her paintings are inspired by American East Coast lushness of trees and fields of wildflowers and create a feeling of open space and reverie.

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Susan La Mont’s narrative realistic style connects with viewers and encourages them to examine the details and speculate about the scenes she portrays. Susan’s work has been acquired by over 30 private and corporate collections.

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Karen Waltermire draw portraits of imaginary people in pen and ink based on people she sees, architecture, and her imagination. Her style is modern, edgy and spirited—with a sense of humor thrown in.

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Travel throughout Europe, as well as his wife’s love of gardening, has greatly influenced Jefferson Evans’ photographic eye. His images capture everything from broad vistas to lively street scenes to dewdrops on a single blade of grass. His subjects range from floral ephemeral to human transitional—from one moment to the next—from vivid colors to classic monochrome to evocative infrared. Above: Jeff and his wife, Regina

gallery-west-9

Above: Jeff with Leda (a friend from our neighborhood and also one of my “Weedettes” in the Garden Club) and Leda’s friend, Anna (right), who coincidentally was one of Michael’s co-workers when he worked for the City of Alexandria. Anna worked as a graphic designer for the City and is now a freelance photographer.

gallery-photo-2

And from Jeff’s ‘hood, a rousing show of support—Michael, Regina, Karen and Joe. Some other neighbors and friends in attendance were Tom, Holly, Mike, Janet, Bill, Jeannie and Dan—and other supporters I met but whose names escape me. Michael, Tom, Holly, Karen, and Joe and I gathered for a wonderful Italian dinner across the street at Pines of Florence after the reception. (Kudos to the gallery and the artists—they provided a plethora of things to eat and drink—best food offering of any gallery reception I’ve ever been to!)

A SHORT STROLL DOWN (BLOG) MEMORY LANE: Back in December 2007 I posted a photo I shot of Jeff in front of his winning entry at a Huntley Meadows photo contest on my “One photo every day” blog. I wrote about Regina’s garden (which is one of Jeff’s inspirations) in September 2007. I posted a sweet photo of Regina with one of their three cats, Dusty, this past May. This past June I photographed Tom’s beautiful farm and two of the creatures I came aross—a beautiful Widow Skimmer dragonfly and a hungry White Death Spider. You’ll find those three postings here. And in April 2008 I wrote about Karen’s memorial garden to honor her mother.

Remember, the show runs until February 1, so if you’re a local resident (or traveling in the area during this time), stop by Gallery West to see the exhibit. Gallery West is open from Wednesday through Sunday. From January to March, hours are 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. From April to December, hours are 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Other hours are available by appointment.

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Jeff and I often go on short photo field trips. One of our favorite local places is Green Spring Gardens, where Jeff photographed his gorgeous pink poppies photo! Here are some of my photos from our field trips:

Green Spring Gardens
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/in-bloom-at-green-spring-gardens/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/glorious-poppies/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/wordless-wednesday/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/love-in-a-mist/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/a-day-of-bliss/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/honorine-jobert/

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/kenilworth-gardens-7222007/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/worth-standing-in-the-july-heat-for/
http://www.cindydyer.com/KenilworthGardens/

Brookside Gardens
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/brookside-gardens-2/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/wings-of-fancy/

U.S. Botanic Garden
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/in-my-heaven/
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/us-botanic-garden/





Worth standing in the July heat for…

20 07 2008

While the sunlight was just too intense to photograph the Lotus blooms at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. this morning, I had a great time (often in the shade, as you might imagine) observing and photographing the dragonflies near the visitor’s center. I got my best results using a 150 macro lens on my Nikon D300.

I just found a great online resource for identifying dragonflies. It’s the Digital Dragonflies Catalog, by Forrest L. Mitchell, and sponsored by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. If I go on the assumption my dragonfly is a Skimmer, then I would click on the photo opposite the “Libellulidae” box and find one that looks like it. (I haven’t found one that matches it yet). Any takers?

Another good online reference is Mangoverde Dragonflies.

Whatever kind of dragonfly it is, it was certainly a great model. Even when startled enough to fly away, it always came right back to this spot. I think I shot well over 100 views (let’s blame my photographic delirium on the heat, shall we?). His (her?) stripes were a beautiful metallic rust-red and shimmered in the sunlight. Every shot I got shows a different position (tail up, tail down, tail straight up, just landing, flying off, etc.). He pulled out every trick in his bag and I recorded every one of them! This is one of my favorites. And, as always, a special prize (honest!) to the first person to correctly identify (with supporting evidence, of course) this beautiful dragonfly!

UPDATE, JULY 24: While photographing the American Horticultural Society’s National Children & Youth Gardening Symposium on the University of Delaware’s campus this morning, I thumbed through a book on butterflies and dragonflies written by author Jane Kirkland, who was the dynamic and wildly entertaining keynote speaker at the opening session. The first page I flipped to had a photo of this exact dragonfly! Thanks to Jane’s book, I now know this is a “Halloween Pennant” dragonfly. This was an omen that I had to own the book, so I bought it and had Jane sign it for me! Jane created a field guide for teachers entitled, “No Student Left Indoors,” and she is also the creator and author of the award-winning nature discovery books— Take a Walk Books. You can read Jane’s blog here. Jane has also appeared on Animal Planet TV and PBS.

For more about the Halloween Pennant dragonfly, click here. Read photographer Bill Horn’s tips for photographing them on his Photo Migrations site.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. www.cindydyer.wordpress.com





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.





On (Blue) Dasher…

12 09 2007

This little guy (yes, I did some research*) is Pachydiplax longipennis, or a Blue Dasher. Other common names include Swift Long-winged Skimmer and Blue Pirate. Learn more about him here: http://bugguide.net/node/view/598

*This site states that females can turn bluer with age, but they start out more amber colored.

Further research has determined the grapelike clusters attached to his belly are “aquatic mites,” and the single red one, in particular, is a “locust mite,” or Eutrombidium rostratum, the most common locust mite in the U.S. and Europe. They are often seen on the body and wings of grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and mantids.

I found some wonderful photographs and information on various dragonflies here:
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/odonata.html

In-depth details on how (as well as when, where, and why) to photograph dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies can be found at a Web site I found for JPG, “The Magazine of Brave New Photography.” http://www.jpgmag.com/stories/1246

blue-dragonfly.jpg

© 2007 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved. www.cindydyer.com/GardenPhotos