Stack ‘o butterflies

10 09 2019

I think the top and bottom ones might be Clouded Sulphurs, middle one is a Variegated Fritillary; feasting on Purple coneflowers (with purple Lantana in the background)

Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm micro lens, 1/250 sec, f/14, ISO 400

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Stacked Butterflies WEB

Daring Jumping spider

26 06 2017

Daring Jumping spider (Phidippus audax) on an iris (unknown cultivar)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Daring Spider Iris 2 lorez

Cicada on ‘Sweet Kate’ spiderwort

16 05 2017

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Cicada 1 web

Cicada on Love-in-a-mist

15 05 2017

Ah…finally out and shooting flowers for the first time this season, thanks to the urging of my dear friend Michael Powell on this beautiful Sunday. We went to Green Spring Gardens to shoot and although it was pretty windy for photography, we both still managed to capture some images in between blusters! Here’s a shot I got of a cicada making its way through a cluster of love-in-a-mist blooms.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Cicada love-in-a-mist lorezCicada love 2

Pineapple lily

10 08 2014

Closeup of Pineapple Lily (Eucomis comosa); one of my favorite plants to photograph—the flower stalks are like high rise condominiums full of ants, beetles and other critters, weaving in and out of the blooms!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Pineapple Lily

In the studio: Mary Ellen Ryall

1 11 2013

Butterfly posterMary Ellen Ryall and I crossed paths more than eight years ago when I purchased milkweed seeds from her through eBay. This connection quickly morphed into a frequent e-mail exchange and a great friendship! I do volunteer design and photography for her environmental education organization, Happy Tonics. For several years, I designed and produced her quarterly 4-page newsletter, Butterflies & Gardens, as well as other marketing materials. I also designed a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Poster for her a few years ago. The poster included original photographs by me and my friends Brian K. Loflin ( and Jeff Evans (

I had the chance to visit Mary Ellen in her former home base in Minong, Wisconsin, in August 2011. (Sidebar: at the time I was making the three-hour drive from the Minneapolis airport to Minong, I called Michael and learned that I had just missed a big earthquake in the D.C. area; it was enough to scare both him and our cat, ZenaB, and for a vase to fall off a bookcase and break!). While in Shell Lake and Minong, I visited Mary Ellen’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat and met many of her friends, most notably Diane Dryden, a published author and feature writer for the Washburn County Register. Diane’s novels, The Accidental King of Clark Street and Double or Nothing on Foster Ave., are available on Amazon here.

About a year ago, Mary Ellen relocated to Fitchburg, MA, to be closer to her sister. She talked of slowing down, but I knew she wouldn’t—she’s brimming with far too many ideas! An author and truly dedicated environmental educator, Mary Ellen’s first book, My Name is Butterfly, was published by Salt of the Earth Press in 2011. This teaching book about a little girl and a Monarch butterfly was illustrated by Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza and is available here.

TwoBooksEarlier this year, I assisted Mary Ellen with producing The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book. Written by Mary Ellen Ryall and illustrated by Moira Christine McCusker, It is available for purchase here. It is published by Mary Ellen’s new company, Butterfly Woman Publishing. Our next project is a plant guidebook, which we hope to debut in 2014. She visited the D.C. area a few weeks ago to attend a three-day conference for the North America Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC). She is presently on a task force to design a smart app called S.H.A.R.E. (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment). This app will allow gardeners around the country to list their habitats on a national map. Mary Ellen blogs about organic gardening and open pollination for diversity on her blog here.

After seeing the portraits I did of her while she was in town, Mary Ellen said, “now I see that I have to go out and buy a new wardrobe!” The outfits she is wearing came from my “modeling rack” as well as my closet. She feels I captured her energy in the shots—and if you’ve ever met her, you know how high-energy this woman is!

P.S. Butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators after bees. Butterflies as pollinators are in trouble too. The Monarch butterfly population is down to only five percent in 2013. The Monarch and other butterflies need native host plants. We need to plant native wildflowers to bring butterflies home. Milkweed is the only host plant of the Monarch butterfly. If you would like to be part of the solution to stop the decline of Monarch butterflies, plant some milkweed seeds in your garden! Mary Ellen sells seed on her website here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



21 07 2013

My friend Michael and I think this might be a tiny Handsome Meadow Katydid nymph (Orchelimum pulchellum) because of the blue tint to the eyes. I photographed it at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area this morning.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.