Nursery web spider

15 07 2014

Nursery web spider (Pisaurina mira), photographed at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens on Sunday morning. Located in that darker blob area directly under the top curve of the leaf are her babies (some already moving around). What you might not notice directly below and left of the spider is the solitary wing of a damselfly, remnants of a past feast.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Beige Spider





Tiny spider (species unknown)

6 08 2013

Tiny spider (species unknown); photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Green Legged Spider lorez





Ditto

7 05 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spider on Spiderwort (how befitting!)

7 05 2012

Unidentified spider on Spiderwort (Tradescantia); photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Same day, 2008: Spider on Chrysanthemum

20 10 2011

This is one of my all-time favorite spider + flower shots, taken on October 20, 2008, at my favorite local photo haunt—Green Spring Gardens, in Alexandria, VA. With my Nikon D300 and Nikkor 105mm micro lens mounted on a tripod, I shot directly overhead (which puts the flower, spider and top of the bud on the same plane, focus-wise) and fairly wide open aperture-wise (which gives the flower that look of floating because of the out-of-focus background).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Egyptian Star Flowers (with bonus bug!)

17 10 2011

This one is for Galen, expert bug-spotter. Can you spot the spider (that I just now discovered!) hiding in this photo? Photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pollen gathering + bonus bug

1 09 2011

I photographed this (unidentified) little bee (fly?) on an Aster bloom at Green Spring Gardens yesterday. It wasn’t until I opened the raw file in Photoshop that I saw the tiny white spider tucked into the petals. Love me some bonus bugs!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Same time, last year

14 05 2011

On this same day in 2010, my White Spiderwort plants were in full bloom. They appear to be running behind this year, but I expect them to bloom sometime this month. This blog has been a great diary with which to compare what bloomed when in previous years. (P.S. I still don’t know if that was a tick or not!)

Originally posted May 13, 2010

White Spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersononia ‘Alba’). Insect identity unknown (actually, he looks suspiciously like a tick, but it could be a spider or a mite—your guess is as good as mine—this one was red with a black splotch on its back, and quite tiny). Two of them shimmied down the vertical leaf and onto the flower just as I was focusing on the stamens.

Spiderworts are very easy to grow—adapting to many types of soil (but preferring moist and well-drained) and tolerating full sun to full shade (can’t say that about many plants). I bought this plant at the annual Green Spring Gardens plant sale last year—and I plan on being there this Saturday for this year’s event!

(Update: Tomorrow is supposed to be their annual plant sale, but there is a forecast for much rain. Stay tuned!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Eensy weensy spider

20 04 2011

Wheeeeeee! A tiny spider navigates a stalk of Spring Snowflakes against a backdrop of green and white Hellebore blooms.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spider posterior!

10 04 2011

This spider was extremely tiny and very quick—hence why I only had time to get a sharp shot of her backside! She was weaving a web on a Spring Snowflake bloom in my garden.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Lighter shade of pale

26 02 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

brightwhitecollage

 





Re-post: Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’

30 10 2010

Previously published August 31, 2008

…otherwise known as a “Japanese anemone.” The common name for this plant is “windflower,” and if you have ever tried to photograph this plant when there is a breeze, you’ll find windflower an appropriate name! Another common name is thimbleweed.

‘Honorine Jobert’ is a vigorous, mounding, compact Japanese anemone hybrid best grown in zones 4-8. It was discovered in Verdun, France in 1858. This herbaceous perennial from the Ranunculaceae family reaches 3-4 feet high and spreads 1.5 to 2 feet. The beautiful 2″ snow white flowers bloom from August through September and the plant likes full sun to part shade. Low maintenance and easily grown in average, well-drained soil, ‘Honorine Jobert’ does best in part shade to protect it from wind. Once established, the suckering shoots will spread, so plant it where it has room to grow. Divide in early spring or autumn or take root cuttings in the spring.

Summer for thee, grant I may be

Summer for thee, grant I may be
When Summer days are flown!
Thy music still, when Whipporwill
And Oriole—are done!

For thee to bloom, I’ll skip the tomb
And row my blossoms o’er!
Pray gather me—
Aenome—
Thy flower—forevermore!

—Emily Dickinson

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

18 08 2010

This beautiful spider, Argiope aurantia, is commonly known as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Writing Spider, Banana Spider or Corn Spider. This common orb web spider (orb means the web is spun in a circle) is a female. Females are about an inch and a half long; males are about 3/4 inch long. And despite their menacing size and appearance, they are considered harmless to humans. Click here to learn more about this spider and how it builds its web to catch prey. Photographed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 8.15.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






In bloom today at Green Spring Gardens

16 05 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden: White Spiderwort

13 05 2010

White Spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersononia ‘Alba’). Insect identity unknown (actually, he looks suspiciously like a tick, but it could be a spider or a mite—your guess is as good as mine—this one was red with a black splotch on its back, and quite tiny). Two of them shimmied down the vertical leaf and onto the flower just as I was focusing on the stamens. 

Spiderworts are very easy to grow—adapting to many types of soil (but preferring moist and well-drained) and tolerating full sun to full shade (can’t say that about many plants). I bought this plant at the annual Green Spring Gardens plant sale last year—and I plan on being there this Saturday for this year’s event! 

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The spider who (could have) swallowed the fly(ies)

2 04 2009

To give you a sense of scale, the out-of-focus bud at the bottom is about 1/2 inch in diameter. That means this is a pretty tiny spider, albeit quite a long-legged one! I haven’t been able to identify it yet. This spider was initially inside a bud right near the “trysting flies” I posted about earlier. Fortunately for the amorous flies, I don’t think he knew they were so close by. (Or did he?) Lots of activity going on in that bed of Hellebores!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

skinny-spider1





A very fine (birth)day, indeed!

20 10 2008

On Sunday my friend Karen treated me to a day-before-my-birthday lunch and a matinee showing of The Secret Life of Bees. Michael and I read the book, written by Sue Monk Kidd, when it came out in 2002 and loved it! I vowed that if no one ever made a movie based on this story, I would scrape together enough money to buy the rights and make it myself (pipe dream, I know). Thank goodness I never had to do that. The screenplay writer, director, and actors did a superb job bringing this story to life.

Then this afternoon Michael and I spent several hours at one of my favorite places to photograph, Green Spring Gardens. Although Michael and I had grand plans this morning to hit the road on a day trip, I’m glad we spent the time rambling around this local garden instead. There was so much still in bloom and so many bugs and butterflies to photograph. The afternoon light was amazingly golden, too. I was happy to see two new butterflies I hadn’t seen before (don’t worry, I’ll identify them later—unless someone wants to beat me to it—consider it my birthday present!).

I started preparing these images when I got home. The doorbell rang and I was the recipient of the most beautiful bouquet of flowers from Elizabeth and Rob, proud new parents of baby Josie. Thanks to you both for such a lovely birthday gift! And it was pure pleasure to photograph Josie. (And you know I’ll be photographing the bouquet you sent as well, so stay tuned.)

View the sweet photos of Josie in the links below:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/daddys-very-little-girl/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/josephine-margaret-and-family/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/josie-au-naturel/

To top off my perfect day, I had dinner at Macaroni Grill with Michael, and dear friends Regina, Jeff, and Tom. I had the parmesan-crusted sole—it’s a new item on the menu and it was delicious!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Honorine Jobert

31 08 2008

…otherwise known as a “Japanese anemone.” The common name for this plant is “windflower,” and if you have ever tried to photograph this plant when there is a breeze, you’ll find windflower an appropriate name! Another common name is thimbleweed. I photographed these at Green Spring Gardens this morning.

‘Honorine Jobert’ is a vigorous, mounding, compact Japanese anemone hybrid best grown in zones 4-8. It was discovered in Verdun, France in 1858. This herbaceous perennial from the Ranunculaceae family reaches 3-4 feet high and spreads 1.5 to 2 feet. The beautiful 2″ snow white flowers bloom from August through September and the plant likes full sun to part shade. Low maintenance and easily grown in average, well-drained soil, ‘Honorine Jobert’ does best in part shade to protect it from wind. Once established, the suckering shoots will spread, so plant it where it has room to grow. Divide in early spring or autumn or take root cuttings in the spring.

Summer for thee, grant I may be

Summer for thee, grant I may be
When Summer days are flown!
Thy music still, when Whipporwill
And Oriole—are done!

For thee to bloom, I’ll skip the tomb
And row my blossoms o’er!
Pray gather me—
Aenome—
Thy flower—forevermore!

—Emily Dickinson

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Resourcefulness in a very tiny package

6 08 2008

Here’s another (but probably not for long) unidentified critter in my backyard garden. I noticed a web being spun in the top of a tomato cage about a week or so ago. Next, in the middle of this highly intricate web appeared a curly cone-shaped dry leaf, suspended in mid-air like a tiny chandelier. Upon closer inspection, I saw a little spider hiding inside. This afternoon, just before the rains came, I caught him wrapping up a nice and tasty black ant, which he then lowered into the web “pantry” (to eat later, I suppose). My friend Jeff happened by after I got the shot and when I pointed out how strong the outer part of the web was, he informed me that spiders can vary the strength of their webs: stronger fibers for the outer walls and then sticky, lightweight skeins for the interior (for catching prey). That skill, combined with recycling a perfectly curled leaf as a protective home base, makes this a pretty resourceful creature, wouldn’t you agree? I couldn’t get any closer without damaging the web, and since he was so tucked into the leaf, I couldn’t see much detail to help identify it. To give you a sense of scale, the leaf is about 1/2 inch long. Any takers on this one? (And yes, I’ll still be offering prizes!) Dalogan? Care for another prize?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.