Hibiscus

6 07 2015

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

RedHibiscus





When a bee lies sleepin’

10 07 2012

Sometimes when I photograph an insect and it’s not moving, I consider the possibility that said insect may have expired—which is sad but also the cycle of life. I must confess that it certainly makes them easier to photograph. This morning, the sky was overcast and all the insects at Green Spring Gardens (particularly the bumblebees) seemed to be slow to wake (much like this photographer). I shot about 20 frames of this bumblebee (Bombus) on a Hibiscus (Mallow) bloom, then the fly appeared as if to check to see if it was alive, too. At that very moment, I learned that bees do indeed dream (in case you were wondering). The bumblebee’s front legs started flinching, just like my cats legs do when they’re dreaming. Then it slowly awakened and began the day’s work. (And just what do bees dream about? Abundant pollen as far as their two compound and three primitive eyes can see?)

Barbra Streisand’s version of A Sleepin’ Bee came to mind when I saw this bee. She performed the song on The Jack Paar Show in 1961—her first appearance on American national TV. The popular song was composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Arlen and Truman Capote (who knew Capote wrote music?).

Cool fact I just learned: Although hummingbirds are often thought to have the highest metabolic rate of all animals, a bumblebee’s metabolic rate is 75% higher!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





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





I’m looking for something in red…

9 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Yep, you guessed it. Green Spring Gardens again.

11 02 2011

© 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.






Ah, that September light…

15 09 2010

Every fall, I am sadly aware that there will be less and less flowers blooming for me to capture (and in case you hadn’t noticed, it is a passion for me), but the light is always exquisite when I do find a subject to immortalize in pixels. I was drawn to this Mallow flower mostly because of the light behind it, which with a large aperture, morphed into this dreamy soft background with lovely bursts of chartreuse and the rusty browns that fall brings. I’m sure this flower is in the Mallow/Hibiscus family; I just don’t know what variety it is. The flowers are considerably smaller than a “standard” hibiscus, if that helps. Anyone?

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.








Re-post: Rhymes with Orange

15 07 2009

DCUC Cover 2Why I feel the need to revisit orange: I’m working on final changes to a conference program for a client. The conference is next month in San Francisco. The client is working on conference signage and just asked if I knew what PMS (Pantone Matching System) ink color would be closest to the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. I googled “what PMS color is the Golden Gate Bridge?” Apparently the Golden Gate Bridge people have answered that question many times before. It’s PMS 173! See the background info in the two links below. Hmmm…Now I’m thinking I might change that red-colored bar at the bottom to something closer to PMS 173! I need a color pick-me-up—who doesn’t? So here you go!

PMS173Swatchhttp://goldengatebridge.org/research/factsGGBIntOrngPaint.php

http://www.flickr.com/photos/telstar/2903029/

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Original posting, 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





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

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

zenfolio-gallery





“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.

gallery-west-7

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.

gallery-west-6

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.

gallery-photo-1a

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/





Red all over

1 09 2008

This is a Hibiscus flower (also known as rose mallow or swamp mallow), but I’m not sure which hybrid it is. It could be Hibiscus x ‘Pinot Noir’ or Hibiscus x ‘Lord Baltimore.’ No matter what the lineage, it was a beautiful flower in bloom (among countless others) at Green Spring Gardens yesterday.

Most hibiscus are hardy and do well in zones 4-8. Take a look at the gorgeous red hibiscus variations available at Hidden Valley Hibiscus. Sigh…if I only had the room (and the money), I’d plant one of each.

Speaking of the color red, I just finished reading Victoria Finlay’s book, Color: A Natural History of the Palette. It is a riveting book about the origin of natural colors, and I was particularly fascinated (and a bit taken aback) by the origin of one of the reddest dyes in the natural world—carmine red (or cochineal or crimson). To quote the back cover, “Since ancient times, carmine red—still found in lipsticks and Cherry Coke today—has come from the blood of insects.” I offer my condolences to all the red-lipstick-wearing, Cherry Coke lovers out there. You’ll just have to read the book yourself to find out what I mean.

Here’s a great overview of the book on the Random House website, as well as Mo Wu’s interview with the author, and excerpts from the book (including the origin of mascara!).

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From Booklist
Journalist Finlay travels the world in search of ancient sources of natural colors, recounting along the way the surprising chemical processes by which everything from stones to insects to mummies have been transformed into precious pigments for paint, dyes, and varnish. In pursuit of art’s first color, ochre, Finlay goes to Australia, offering, as she does in each location, an agile and entertaining then-and-now look at a place, a people, and a color and its uses and acquired meaning. Explication of red made from cochineal beetles inspires a compelling tale that stretches from Central America to Scotland, and wry humor abounds in her search for a yellow allegedly once made in India from the urine of mango-leaf-eating cows and coverage of sundry poisonous pigments. Her quest for blue brought Finlay to Afghanistan in 2000, where she was the first woman ever to tour a 7,000-year-old lapis lazuli mine, and one of the last Westerners to see the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan. Curious social mores, serendipitous science, and lots of skulduggery are all part of the rich spectrum Finlay so cheerfully illuminates. Donna Seaman Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

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Despite the fact that most of my (costume) jewelry is from Sam Moon, Kohl’s, or various craft shows, I’ll still add another of this gifted writer’s books, Jewels: A Secret History, to my reading list. If I can’t spring for the jewels, I can at least spring for a book about them! Truth be told, I’d rather have a new camera lens than jewels, anyway. Tell us something we don’t already know, Cindy.

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.