Female Blue Dasher dragonfly

26 06 2017

Female Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) on Sacred Lotus leaf

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Female Blue Dasher

 





Blue Dasher dragonfly

26 06 2017

Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) on water lily bud

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Blue Dasher 2





Koi study #1

17 02 2017

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 6s / Snapseed app border

koi-study-1-lorez





Six-spotted Fishing Spider

26 07 2015

Six-spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton); it’s so hard to get perfect depth-of-field with these tiny subjects, but I’m happy with the overall look of this shot regardless (thanks to my friend Michael Powell for the identification). Re: size—this one was probably about an inch or so long (they can get up to 2.5 inches!). The lily pad was a smaller one.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Fishing Spider





Itsy bitsy frog

26 07 2015

The teeniest of frogs—barely a 1/4″—in one of the ponds at Lilypons this morning

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

TinyFrog lorez





Mirror, mirror

8 07 2015

Now for something really different…when my friend Michael and I were photographing at Kenilworth yesterday morning, the sun finally peeked through right before we were leaving and I saw the waterlily pond looking more like a mirror than water. I positioned myself so that the reflection of the sun was directly beneath this waterlily, which made it look like it was outlined in glowing light and floating on glass. I kind of like it!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Waterlily Mirror Like





Hah! I briefly distracted you….

20 08 2012

with feline and feathered friend photos…but now I’m back to yet another Blue Dasher dragonfly photo! 😉

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blue Dasher dragonfly on lotus seed pod

18 08 2012

Okay, the lure of photographing dragonflies again was just too much to resist today. I’m on a roll (couldn’t you tell?). I called my “grasshopper” photography student, Michael Q. Powell, and although he had already been out shooting by himself this morning, it didn’t take much cajoling to convince him to come out again with me. Since it was very late in the afternoon (after 4:00 p.m.), it was more overcast, which made for great lighting for photography. The background is a large lotus lily pad leaf—see the lighter center of the leaf peeping through the upper wings? Yes, this is a warning that there will be just a few more dragonfly posts (I shot nearly 400 images just in today’s session). So, dear readers, I ask that you bear with me until I’ve overcome my (most likely temporary) obsession with dragonflies.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Incoming!

17 08 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





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.





Runway traffic

17 08 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We’re next in line for takeoff.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Ready for my closeup!

17 08 2012

I read that Eastern Amberwings are some of the wariest of all dragonflies and rarely land, preferring to hover over the water instead. I was lucky that this particular one kept coming back to the same spot and kept still long enough for me to focus for this closeup portrait.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Distracted by dragonflies and damselflies

17 08 2012

This much is true—I think photography has made me a more patient person (I think I just heard my dad mutter “hmppph” all the way from Texas). It is all at once stimulating, frustrating, exhilarating, overwhelming and all-consuming—and it requires immense patience. No more so than when I’m trying to photograph dragonflies! Today I sought a little time out of the studio at lunchtime—taking advantage of cooler temperatures—and headed to my favorite spot, Green Spring Gardens.

Mid-August is a time of fewer blooms, so I headed down to the ponds, which I rarely frequent when the gardens are ablaze in color. I found a semi-shady spot at one end of the pond where a few lotus flowers were in full bloom, spread out my traveling cushion (a plastic trash bag) at the edge of the bank, and set up shop to try and capture some dragonfly images. It was full sun—never my favorite for shooting outdoors—but I decided to work with what I had at the time, shadows accepted begrudgingly.

The pond was a flurry of activity with what seemed like hundreds of dragonflies and damselflies—staking out their territories, looking for love in all the right places, dipping into the surface of the water to drink and knocking fellow insects off their perches.

The first thing I did upon my return was ask Michael to set up my Nikon D300 so that I am unable to shoot without a card. Why was this important to do? Well, after the first 10 minutes of my photo session, I tried to review my images and got that dreaded “NO MEMORY CARD” alert. I actually said out loud, “Are you kidding me?” I am truly fortunate that this is only the second time I have forgotten to put in a memory card. Michael set it up so I can’t even shoot without a card now! I shot some truly spectacular images of dragonflies and damselflies in that brief 10 minutes. Alas, they are now just committed to my memory. I think I made up for the loss, though, by deciding to shoot continuously for the next hour to make up for my ineptness.

I tallied up the total of clicks—728—more than 8 gigs of images in just over an hour of shooting! These include overexposures, underexposures, out-of-focus, just-missed-its, but there are definitely some keepers, which I’m sharing below. I’ll have many more to share in future posts.

© 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.





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.





Humor in the garden

29 06 2011

Photographed on a rainy day at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens in Huntsville, Alabama

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Maine wildflowers

28 08 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Just updated my online photo galleries!

2 07 2010

I’ve added more than 50 new images to my Botanical Portfolio on zenfolio.com. Many of the photos were shot in my own front and back yard townhouse gardens, while others were shot in gardens across the U.S. and Canada. In every city I visit, I make an effort to visit a botanical garden or nature preserve to capture new images. I recently added the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) and Boerner Botanical Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to my roster of gardens I’ve visited. Both were worth the visit, but Mitchell Park really needs to do something about the exterior entrance of their conservatory. When we drove up, we noticed weeds growing up through cracked sidewalks and the shallow ponds on either side of the door were drained with weeds growing in them. We almost didn’t stop to get out because the place really looked abandoned. The inside, however, is a completely different story—beautiful, lush, and well-maintained. We read in their brochure that they recently renovated the place and added LED lights to the domes so they can be viewed at night in the Milwaukee skyline. I’m sure it’s beautiful lighted at night (never mind that it’s not actually open at night unless there’s an event), but they really should have set aside some of those funds to fill the ponds with water, plop in a few inexpensive water lilies and 49 cent WalMart goldfish, and do some weeding and cement repair. (Psssst! Hey, Mitchell—I’m available for consultation and implementation!)
http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

And to see why I love my local Green Spring Gardens so much, visit my Green Spring Garden photography folio and see the plethora of photographs I’ve shot exclusively there over the past four years.

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p787446313





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.






Goose and gosling

24 04 2010

While I was photographing the ‘Blue Moon’ Siberian Iris, a pair of Canadian geese waddled across a boardwalk near the Martha and Reed West Island Garden at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Mom and Dad were trying to keep up with their baby gosling, off exploring the world in all directions. I got this “record shot” (not award-winning by a long stretch) when the mother (I presume) and baby slid into the water and began grazing in the vegetation.





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





Re-post: Cool and Green and Shady

15 07 2009

This shot of one of our pond plants (the center “poof ball” is a type of Dwarf Papyrus, as I recall) reminded me of a song from John Denver’s “Back Home Again” album. It’s called “Cool and Green and Shady.”

Saturdays, holidays, easy afternoon
Lazy days, summer days, nothing much to do
Rainy days are better days for hanging out inside
Rainy days and city ways make me want to hide
Someplace cool and green and shady

Find yourself a piece of grassy ground
Lay down, close your eyes
Find yourself and maybe lose yourself
While your free spirit flies

August skies, lullabies, promises to keep
Dandelions and twisting vines, Clover at your feet
Memories of Aspen leaves, trembling on the wind
Honeybees and fantasies
Where to start again
Someplace cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady

Words and music by John Denver and Joe Henry






Yearning for blooms

26 01 2009

Sigh. How much winter is left?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

pinkwaterlily-blog





Another golden pond

12 11 2008

Views of Lake Land ‘Or in central Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

ladysmithcollage1





On Golden Pond

8 11 2008

Michael and I noticed the beautiful fall color around this retention pond—less than a mile away from our home—so we hurried back home to grab our photo gear and go back to capture some images. The light was glorious, the weather was mild, and the wildlife was most cooperative.

Last year the leaves peaked for us much later (Nov. 17), so one afternoon I took advantage of the perfect light and shot some images in our neighborhood. See those photos in my posting here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

fallducksbasincollage





Cool and Green and Shady

17 07 2008

This shot of one of our pond plants (the center “poof ball” is a type of Dwarf Papyrus, as I recall) reminded me of a song from John Denver’s “Back Home Again” album. It’s called “Cool and Green and Shady.”

Saturdays, holidays, easy afternoon
Lazy days, summer days, nothing much to do
Rainy days are better days for hanging out inside
Rainy days and city ways make me want to hide
Someplace cool and green and shady

Find yourself a piece of grassy ground
Lay down, close your eyes
Find yourself and maybe lose yourself
While your free spirit flies

August skies, lullabies, promises to keep
Dandelions and twisting vines, clover at your feet
Memories of Aspen leaves, trembling on the wind
Honeybees and fantasies
Where to start again
Someplace cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady

Words and music by John Denver and Joe Henry






See Spot do a trick!

24 05 2008

Spot, our “$500 free fish,” gets into the oddest positions (such as his “Look Ma, no hands” headstand shown here) to hunt for yummy algae in the tank. There’s nothing to show you scale or size, but he’s over a foot long now! In the background, you see my other 55 gallon tank with two 59 cent Wal-Mart goldfish—Calico Joe (almost 11″ long) and Dorrie (8+” long). (Do you know how hard it is to measure a moving goldfish?) They used to be in the backyard pond, but we brought them in for the winter a few years ago. I’ve long since bonded with them, so in my studio they will stay.

Learn why we call Spot our “$500 free fish” here:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/12/07/the-500-free-fish/

Learn more about plecos here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecostomus

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Ode to Clyde

23 04 2008

In reference to some recent photos I sent out, specifically one I titled, “Clyde Just Hanging Out,” my Dad had this to say:

LoughLough,

I looked Clyde over very carefully, and I could not see the “hanging out” part—of course, I’m not a frogologist, so I may have overlooked it.

I believe the term “hanging out” has fallen into disfavor in the ‘hood. “Hanging out” has been shortened (just the term, not the part) to simply “hanging.” The preferred expression now is simply “hanging.” The change probably came about because “hanging out” generated all too many smart-alec responses.

I did notice that Clyde has that tell-tale glint in his eye (both eyes, actually) and it is springtime, so you may well soon suffer as the Egyptians suffered when Charlton Heston got pissed-off at Pharaoh and turned all those frogs loose in the land.

Yeah, I know, I know—some people have far too much time on their hands.

clyde.jpg

© 2006 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved.





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