Special dedication ceremony for Water Lilies Forever Stamps

13 07 2015

The Water Lilies Forever stamps were unveiled in a special dedication ceremony on Saturday at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. In this photo shot by Mark Saunders (USPS PR Dept.), Dr. Wendy Mcilwain (USPS Southern MD Processing and Distribution Center Manager) and I unveil the stamps before the kick off of the Lotus and Water Lily Festival. It started out rainy and very overcast that morning, but about an hour before showtime, it began to clear. The weather was downright pleasant—not the usual ghastly hot temps of a typical D.C. July day! Thanks to my “entourage” for their physical, emotional and moral support—Debbie Dyer Talbert, Michael Schwehr, Greg Carlton, Michael Powell and Heather Callin.

Insert really cool fact here: The Postal Service typically prints between 20 million and 40 million stamps of an individual subject. Half a billion Water Lilies Forever stamps were printed in anticipation of extreme customer demand. (They usually only print holiday stamps in that large amount.) Mark told me that nearly HALF of the half billion have sold to date! How cool is THAT? So special thanks to all of you who have bought them—makes me look extra good!

Please join me in the next installment of the Traveling Water Lilies Forever Stamps Project by purchasing some stamps, photographing yourself with them, then emailing me at dyerdesign@aol.com with your name, city and state. Recruit the most participants and win a 20×30 gallery wrap canvas of your choice. Contest closes at midnight on December 31, 2015!

Photo © Mark Saunders

Kenilworth Unveiling

A very special thanks to Michael Powell for serving as my co-host during my 20-minute photo presentation! In this photo below, he’s holding a photo of a Lotus seed pod and I’m explaining how I learned that there is an unofficial phobia name for people who have a fear of holes—trypophobia. It is derived from the Greek word trypo, which means having holes that are punched, drilled or bored. It is considered an intense, irrational and often overwhelming fear of clusters of holes.

Michael has a really great nature-photography-related blog; check it out here.

Photo © Debbie Talbert

Michael Powell & Me





Featured in the Washington Post!

9 07 2015

John Kelly interviewed me about photographing water lilies for his column in today’s edition of the Washington Post. Read his article in the link below.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/on-hot-summer-days-the-lotus-blossoms-of-kenilworth-beckon/2015/07/08/abc180ce-259b-11e5-aae2-6c4f59b050aa_story.html

JohnKellyArticle





Save the date—Saturday, July 11

12 06 2015
Water Lily Stamps lorez

DC/VA/MD FRIENDS! Mark your calendars for the annual Lotus Asian Cultural Festival at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens on Saturday, July 11.

FOR MY PHOTOGRAPHER FRIENDS: the park opens at 7:00 a.m. (yes, that’s early but it’s also most likely to be less crowded AND a tiny bit cooler temp-wise).

JOIN ME FOR SOME PHOTO TIPS! I’ll be giving a brief photo workshop/tips & tricks session from 9:00-9:30ish.

THE FESTIVAL officially kicks off at 10:00, followed by a Water Lily Stamp Dedication Ceremony at about 10:20.

BUY SOME STAMPS! The USPS will have a mobile postal store by the curb at the entrance to the park where they will be selling the Water Lily Forever Stamps (in case your local post office doesn’t have them available). Be sure to buy some, take a selfie holding them and send them to me via email or FB so you can be part of my ever-growing Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project!
A HEAD’S UP: Water lilies and Lotus like to bloom during the HOTTEST period of summer, so dress cool, wear a hat, bring water, cover yourself in sunscreen and stay cool!




My waterlily stamps debut in March!

24 01 2015

Look what I just found! The Garfield-Perry March Party stamp show will host the First Day Ceremony for my four waterlily FOREVER stamps on Friday, March 20 at 11:00 am. The show is March 19-21 in Cleveland, Ohio. Guess who’s planning a road trip to Cleveland in March?

http://www.linns.com/news/breaking-stamp-news/1049/Special-Olympics-Robert-Robinson-Taylor-Martin-Ramirez-stamps-to-be-issued-in-2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 9.42.45 PM





Re-post: Halloween Pennant dragonfly

9 01 2015

One of my favorite dragonfly shots…previously posted in July 2008—photographed at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. For more about the Halloween Pennant dragonfly, click here. Read photographer Bill Horn’s tips for photographing them on his Photo Migrations website.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. 





Halloween Pennant dragonfly

8 07 2012

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina), photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Tropical water lily

8 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





East Indian lotus

8 07 2012

From the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens visitors center:
Clustered in a pool near the visitor center is the pink-tinged East Indian lotus, descended from ancient plants whose seeds were recovered in 1951 from a dry Manchurian lakebed. Induced into germination by the National Park Service, the seeds are believed to be one of the oldest viable seeds ever found. A recent estimate places their age at 640 to 960 years. Unlike water lilies, the lotus (genus Nelumbo) has waxy leaves that rise above the water and shed rain. Its showy flowers drop petals to reveal seedpods that look like shower heads. Its seeds ripen above water.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lotus leaf

8 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Love is in the air…

7 07 2012

Silver-spotted Skippers (Epargyreus clarus) mating on a Lotus leaf at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this morning

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A few more from the archives…

6 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Dragonfly on water lily

6 07 2012

I think this is an Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (Perithemis tenera), photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Water lily

6 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Trypophobia, anyone?

6 07 2012

I was just researching Sacred Lotus seed pods (which is what you’re looking at in the photo below) and discovered there is an unofficial phobia name for people who have a fear of holes—Trypophobia. Read this interesting article about unusual phobias by Georgie Lowery on HubPages here.

_______________________________________________________

On the subject of “trypophobia,” Lowery writes:

My grandmother had a silk flower arrangement that she often placed on her kitchen table. I remember it had pink and light blue flowers in it. It also contained something that caused me an extreme amount of discomfort. So much so that she eventually removed it from the arrangement. It was a dried lotus seed pod.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I did an internet search for ‘fear of lotus seed pods’ and came up with something called trypophobia, which is derived from the Greek word trypo, meaning having holes that are punched, drilled or bored. It’s considered an intense, irrational and often overwhelming fear of clusters of holes. It is an unofficial phobia, meaning it is not recognized as a medical condition.

Other trypophobia sufferers have reported intense phobic symptoms with other things involving holes as well, including sponges, holes in wood or honeycombs. Some people’s reactions to holes, including mine, intensify when the holes have something in them, such as a sunflower with its seeds. Researching for information on trypophobia returned some photos that officially gave me the heebie-jeebies, namely the photo of the Surinam toad, who incubates and hatches her eggs from holes on her back. There is a video that shows the tadpoles hatching, but I’m not posting it here simply because I might have to watch it to get the link.

_______________________________________________________

Granted, the little seeds do look like a multitude of creepy little alien eyes, but clearly I don’t suffer from trypophobia since I photographed it without incident. Hmmmmm…you learn something new every day, doncha?

Trypophobia-inducing photograph © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Water lily

5 07 2012

Unidentified water lily, photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Dragonfly and Sacred Lotus

5 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Sacred Lotus blooms

5 07 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Sacred lotus

23 04 2012

Photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens last summer

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





North and south of the equator

19 12 2011

Skipper Butterfly and Bumblebee on Buttonbush bloom, photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Eye candy, batch #4

14 12 2011

Sigh…culling through my archives, in preparation for my March/April 2012 exhibit, is making me want to photograph blooms and bugs right now.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

5 07 2011

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

© 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





Spent blooms

28 06 2011

In past years the Lotus flowers have bloomed just in time for the annual Water Lily Festival and Festival of Lotus and Asian Culture at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on the third Saturday in July. This year the flowers, particularly the white variety, seem to have peaked much earlier than usual. Most are past their prime blooming stage, but there were lots of opportunities to photograph spent petals in those beautiful Lotus leaves! There are plenty of pink blooms that haven’t flowered yet, though, and there are several ponds that are chock full of beautiful magenta-colored water lilies. Click on the panoramic image below to enlarge for full effect!

The place was a flurry of activity this morning, with children on field trips and student volunteers doing everything from garden chores to turtle counting. They caught the turtles in nets, pulled them up, filed a notch in the shells of those that weren’t captured previously, then released them back into the ponds. Michael saw a foot-and-a-half-long snapping turtle pulled to the surface and then released. Before I knew they were doing the turtle counting procedure, I saw a four-inch-long Red-eared slider by the edge of one of the ponds and was able to get the “record shot” at right (definition of a record shot: certainly won’t win any awards, but they’re proof I was there!). We’re pretty sure the dent on his right side wasn’t the work of a turtle counter since Michael said they were making the file marks on the shells near the back of each turtle and the notches were very tiny.

As I was wrapping up my very brief photo session at the park (it was too sunny to shoot any winners; no clouds to help out, either!), I looked behind me on the path and saw something dark, shiny, at least four inches long, with lots of legs. My first thought was “very large spider!” I moved closer and saw it was a crayfish (crawfish or crawdad if you’re a southerner like me!), hanging out on dry land. I got this one (slightly blurry) record shot of him and he skidaddled (slowly and backwards) back into the nearby pond. It was officially my first crayfish/crawfish/crawdad sighting ever!





Lotus petals

28 06 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Buttonbush

28 06 2011

I photographed this Buttonbush cluster (Cephalanthus occidentalis), also known as Button willow and Honey balls, this morning at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. A native wetland tree, it can grow 10-15 feet tall and spread 15-30 feet. The mid-summer blooms are rich in nectar that attracts butterflies and other insects.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Same time, last year: Blue Dasher Dragonfly

27 06 2011

Originally posted June 27, 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 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.





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.





The Frog

27 06 2010

The Frog
Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As “Slimy skin,” or “Polly-wog,”
Or likewise “Ugly James,”
Or “Gap-a-grin,” or “Toad-gone-wrong,”
Or “Bill Bandy-knees”:
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.

No animal will more repay
A treatment kind and fair;
At least so lonely people say
Who keep a frog (and, by the way,
They are extremely rare).

—Hilaire Belloc, 1870-1953, La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France

© 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.