Some of my favorite fall photos….

23 10 2012

These were taken at Lake Land’Or back in 2008. The shot of the dock with the cloud reflections is one of my all-time favorites of this place!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

ladysmithcollage1





Revisited: Shine on, shine on, harvest moon…

30 09 2012

Originally posted September 23, 2008

En route to visit Barb and Dean in Spokane on Saturday, September 13, we drove past miles and miles of wheat fields and as the land became more golden in the late afternoon light, we noticed the makings of a harvest moon.

Whenever I hear the words, “harvest moon,” I always remember a very old Ruth Etting album (heaven only knows where I found it) that I eventually gave to a friend’s husband to add to his large music collection. I just did a search and I actually found the recording! The only words I could remember were “shine on, shine on harvest moon…for me and my guy.” (I sing it true to her old-fashioned vibrato, of course).

Etting revived the song in Ziegfield Follies in 1931. Click here to find it on youtube.com. And if you’re a Liza Minnelli fan, click here for her rendition of the song.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

_____________

ADDENDUM: Thanks to fellow blogger, Deborah Rose Reeves, for her recent posting of this poem by Ted Hughes.

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can’t sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!’ and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.

by Ted Hughes.





A most perfect Sunday

24 09 2012

Yesterday Michael and I left at 5:00 a.m. (yes, you read that correctly—I got up on a Sunday at 4:00 a.m., which is unheard of for me) to drive to Newtown Square, PA to photograph a Walk4Hearing event at Ridley Creek State Park for the Hearing Loss Association of America. The weather was perfect and we shot a ton of photos. En route home mid-afternoon, we came upon this bright yellow-green field of (unknown crop) against a cornflower blue sky. The field is adjacent to the train tracks in Pocopson Township in Chester County, PA, near the crossroads of Pocopson Road and Street Road. The Pocopson Station is now home to the Pocopson Veterinary Station

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Summer afternoon on Lake Champlain

6 07 2012

Click on the image to enlarge for full panoramic effect!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Cloudscape

2 06 2012

Cloudscape over Cape Fear River © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pelican, Carolina Beach

30 05 2012

Pelican against a backdrop of storm clouds at Carolina Beach

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





From the 35mm slide archives: Antarctic Research Station of Chile

25 04 2012

I just found this image in my scanned slide archives. A Chilean Research Station was one of several zodiac boat stops on my Antarctica trip on the M.S. Disko back in February 1998. I was the only person in my zodiac who knew any Spanish (and mine is atrocious, but expectations were apparently not set so high at the time), so my boat-mates asked me to attempt to communicate back and forth. I did a decent job—I understood every three words this officer said (his name escapes me all these years later). When they unanimously crowned me to be the official translator, I just knew my father would have guffawed had he been there to witness that coronation. He is fluent in Spanish (he was a U.S. Customs officer on various Texas borders for more than two decades) and was always a bit ashamed that none of his three daughters ever excelled in the language.

I, on the other hand, do know how to ask the following things in Spanish: How much is this? Where is the bathroom? Where is the kitchen? What is your name? What kind of work do you do? What is your dog’s (pero)/cat’s (gato) name? I also know the names of many objects and can sometimes string enough words together to form an almost complete sentence. I can tell when someone is talking about me (good or bad). I also know my numbers (uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho….), colors (azul, naranja, rojo, blanca, amarillo…) and way too many curse words (censored here). I know the words for family (familia), sister (hermana), brother (hermano), father (padre), mother (madre), aunt (tia) and uncle (tio). Point at a household object and most likely I can remember the Spanish word for it. I know the words for cold (frio—very handy when you’re in the South Pole!), hot (caliente—so not needed in the South Pole), eat (comer), work (trabajo), beach (playa), skinny (flaco), fat (gordo), pretty (bonita), ugly (feo), stop (alto), and so on and so on. Although useless on their own, I could conjugate some verbs in Spanish really well—stringing them together in a complete sentence was whole ‘nother thing. I can sometimes successfully roll my r’s. Not much of this knowledge was helpful when trying to communicate with a Chilean research scientist half a world away, but somehow I managed and we all had a good laugh at my efforts. I did manage the Spanish words for hello, how are you, my name is Cindy, what is your name, mucho penguins, seals, whales, lots of ice, very cold, water, where is the bathroom, thank you and goodbye. What more did I need, really?

When I look at this photo, I see how happy I was to be so far out of my comfort zone and my comparatively ordinary life. Traveling on my own (with 79 other new friends and crew), happy that the journey involved 30+ foot waves (The Drake Shake) rather than what sounded rather dull (The Drake Lake), camera in hand, bundled up to the nines for the Antarctic “summer” (I didn’t look too cold here, though, and I wasn’t bundled up that much as I recall)…Sigh…I think I need to start wandering the world again (once I find the funds with which to do so). Where on earth did that girl go? I so want to be her again.





Sue’s spectacular sunrise

27 01 2012

On our last night on the long road from San Antonio to Virginia, we spent the night with our friends, Sue and Steve, in Huntsville, AL. We arrived at Sue’s house at almost midnight and set the alarm to get up by 6:30. I really didn’t want to get out of that comfortable bed, but when I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous pink and yellow sunrise from the guest room window, I was propelled out of bed to get this shot. Who needs sleep when there are scenes to record like this?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lake Lavon

27 01 2012

I shot this image of a part of Lake Lavon as we were leaving my younger sister’s home in Wylie, TX on Tuesday morning, en route from San Antonio back to Virginia. Despite recent rains, the lake is still 12 feet below normal. At its deepest, the lake is only 40-45 feet deep. The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) receives raw water supplies from Lavon Lake, Jim Chapman Lake, Lake Texoma, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Bonham for treatment and distribution to the region served. The North Texas Municipal Water District serves hundreds of thousands of North Texans. Learn more about the effects of drought on Lake Lavon here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Mandy Harvey: Musically Inclined

14 01 2012

Mandy Harvey, a jazz vocalist and songwriter from northern Colorado, was one of the feature articles in the January/February 2012 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published bimonthly by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). I met and photographed Mandy at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI, host to HLAA’s Convention 2010. Mandy was the guest entertainer at Friday night’s Rumble event at the Museum.

Barbara Kelley, editor-in-chief of Hearing Loss Magazine and deputy executive director of HLAA, interviewed Mandy for this issue of the magazine. Learn more about Mandy here and listen to her music and buy CDs here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Mandy showed an early talent for singing, but also had infrequent periods of hearing loss. At age ten, her family moved to Colorado. Her vocal talent blossomed and she won numerous school awards, notably Top Female Vocalist of 2006 as a high school senior.

After high school, Mandy went to Colorado State University. During her first semester, Mandy noticed she had to move closer to hear recordings. Hearing aids helped at first. Six months later, she had no hearing left. Discouraged, Mandy returned home to take American Sign Language classes and pursue Elementary Education at a local community college.

Once she returned home Mandy decided that she would take a year off from singing, but continued to play the guitar with her father. One day, while searching the Internet, Mandy and her father discovered a song titled Come Home by One Republic. Mandy’s father suggested that she learn the lyrics. Mandy thought this would be impossible but she gave it her best effort, and to her surprise she was able to learn the lyrics. She realized then that she didn’t have to give up singing.

I met Mandy in 2010 in Milwaukee at the HLAA Convention where she sang at one of our events at the Harley-Davidson Museum. HLAA photographer Cindy Dyer photographed her at the Museum before her performance. We were pleased to catch up with her recently to ask her a few questions.

Tell me about your hearing loss.
My hearing loss is due to neurological damage and the last it was tested showed it around 110 dB in both ears.

Do you use any type of assistive technology?
I had hearing aids when I was first losing my hearing, which was around winter 2006 and the beginning of 2007. Once my hearing loss progressed to a specific stage hearing aids didn’t help much. Because of the nerve damage, a cochlear implant was not an option for me. At this point I rely mostly on lip reading and American Sign Language.

Talk about your aspirations to become a music teacher.
I went to Colorado State University in the hopes of becoming a vocal jazz teacher. In all honesty I wouldn’t feel right about giving my professional opinion to students wanting to study voice. If I cannot hear them to give advice or to teach 100 percent, I would end up just getting frustrated and feeling as if I was wasting their money. Instead, I have turned my life to performing jazz as well as working in the medical field.

What about your personal life and family?
I currently live in Denver with my hearing service dog, Annie, and my love, Travis. My family is extremely supportive and they have learned some American Sign Language. My sister, Sammi, is fluent in the language now. It helps a lot to be able to communicate with your loved ones. Travis is currently learning the language for me.

Where is your singing career right now?
My singing career is in a beautiful place right now. As things stand I work a regular 8-5, Monday through Friday, job. The weekend is mine for performing. Having the regular job mixed with weekend work relieves the pressure of having to do a bunch of gigs just to be able to pay the bills. Instead I am able to do gigs that inspire me and that bring joy.

I have two albums, Smile and After You’ve Gone, which are both full of jazz standard, though the latter contains some original work by myself and Mark Sloniker. I am currently saving up to make a Christmas album this year.

Tell me something about yourself you would like people to know; something that would surprise people.
That’s a hard question. I used to be fascinated by insects and toads and non-girly things like that. When I was a child I wanted to travel the world and discover amazing finds on archeological digs.

You have a fascination with the 40s. How has this genre influenced you and your music?
I have been fascinated with the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s my entire life. I grew up listening to The Beatles, Doobie Brothers, and classic jazz. I love everything in those eras from the clothing to the inventions. It truly was a beautiful time in history…seems to have had lots of details that were not as obvious as things are today. Back then, there could be a song about someone’s smile and how it would capture the imagination. I feel music today has lost some of that mystery and has become far too blunt.

What are your favorite songs?
My Funny Valentine, Someone to Watch Over Me, Come Fly with Me, Over the Rainbow, and of course, Smile…this list is never ending. I find passion in the music and it makes you feel something different every time you sing them.

What music don’t you care for?
I love most everything but I am not a huge fan of most Rap or R&B. I will admit I do enjoy a few songs here and there but in general they all tend to feel the same.

Who is your favorite artist and why?
Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Blossom Dearie, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Thelonius Monk, Duke…oh my goodness, my list could go on and on. They are brilliant and the work they have done inspires me every time I think of them.

What one place in the world would you like to visit?
I have always had a dream to live in Scotland. The country has always called my name. My goal is in the next 10 years to have been there for at least three months continuously. If you are there for only a week you cannot understand the culture.

To find some of her recordings, go to YouTube.com and search for Mandy Harvey. You will find several videos, including her rendition of Smile.

Barbara Kelley is deputy executive director and editor-in-chief of Hearing Loss Magazine. She can be reached at bkelley@hearingloss.org.

Join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
Do you have a hearing loss or know someone who does? Consider membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America. Student annual dues are $20, individual annual dues are $35, and family/couple annual dues are $45. Fees outside the U.S. are slightly higher. All memberships include discounts on hearing-related products, convention and special event early bird discounts, AVIS and Alamo car rental, Costco membership, and the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. Sign up for membership here.





Austin sky

13 01 2012

I know I’ve said it, but I’ll say it again (and again): Texas (at least for this cloud-crazed photographer) remains undefeated for stellar sky displays, hands down. There’s an amazing show virtually every day!

Photographed overlooking downtown Austin, 1.04.2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona

18 12 2011

Saguaro cactus photographed in Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





From the travel archive: Sunset at Solomon’s Island, MD

17 12 2011

Solomon’s Island is located at the southern tip of Calvert County, where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Design Studio: Travel posters

30 11 2011

Last year I created these travel posters as a fun project for a friend who is a flight attendant. My goal was to create a series of these for various cities that she frequents and always incorporate the airplane silhouette. Some elements are original illustrations, some were rubber stamped images that I later scanned, and other elements were purchased at http://www.vectorstock.com and incorporated into the collage, which was created in Adobe Illustrator CS5.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Random shots: Baltimore’s Inner Harbor from 40 stories up

2 11 2011

This past spring, Michael and I celebrated our friend Karen’s birthday in Baltimore, accompanied by our friends Paula and Ken. I photographed this view of the Inner Harbor from the observation floor of Baltimore’s tallest skyscraper—the Legg Mason Building. At 528 feet high, it is the tallest building in Maryland. The building in the foreground houses the National Aquarium of Baltimore, located on Pratt Street. It’s most often referred to as the Baltimore Aquarium. The aquarium has a collection of 16,500 specimens representing 600 species. Coastal Living magazine named it the #1 aquarium in the U.S. in 2006 (it really is an amazing place!) The two boats adjacent to the aquarium are the USS Torsk and Lightship 116 Chesapeake.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Wildflowers in Damariscotta, Maine

28 09 2011

Originally posted 8.26.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Unidentified beetle on Japanese Anemone bloom

1 09 2011

I photographed this little bug while it was munching on fallen pollen “chips” from this Japanese Anemone flower in the Demonstration Garden of the Spooner Agricultural Research Station in Spooner, Wisconsin. I’ve made an attempt to identify it but haven’t been successful (yet).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A window of blue

31 08 2011

Beach on Lake Superior in Wisconsin

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Minong Flowage (Nancy Lake), Washburn County, Wisconsin

31 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Monarch Butterfly

31 08 2011

Monarch Butterfly on Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), photographed in the Demonstration Garden at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station, part of the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences at UW-Madison. One section is an official All-America Selections Display Garden, one of only seven sites found in Wisconsin. The Demonstration Garden showcases plants that are suitable for growing in zone 3 and is a joint effort between the Research Station, the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service and area UW-Extension Master Gardener volunteers.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Wisconsin cloudscape

30 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Red-legged Locust

30 08 2011

(unidentified) grasshopper photographed at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, a restored native remnant tall grass prairie in Shell Lake in northwestern Wisconsin

UPDATE: Thanks to my fellow naturalist/blogger/writer, Jane Kirkland, for her identification of this little critter. It’s a Red-legged Locust (Melanoplus femur-ruburm). (Thanks, Jane!) Jane was a bestselling computer book author and after sighting a Bald Eagle flying over a grocery store parking lot, she began writing award-winning nature books! She is the recipient of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Education Award, a Writer’s Magazine Book Award and two Teacher’s Choice Awards. She has been featured on PBS, Animal Planet, and is a regular guest on WXPN’s Kids Corner radio program in Philadelphia. I met Jane while I was on assignment photographing the American Horticulture Society’s National Children & Youth Garden Symposium in 2008 at the University of Delaware’s Newark campus. While at the Symposium, I bought one of her books and it helped me to identify this Halloween Pennant Dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) that I photographed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens a few years ago. Learn more about Jane on her website here and see the books in her Amazon store here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Shell Lake, Wisconsin

30 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Along Lake Superior in Wisconsin

30 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Holi “Festival of Colors” 2011

6 04 2011

After Brian showed me the UT Turtle Pond, we drove by the Tower and I jumped out to photograph this very colorful scene. I have since learned what the festival was all about. You can read more about it here.

From the UT-Austin website: Holi is a major Hindu festival that celebrates both the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil on the day of the full moon. On the day of Holi, people celebrate by throwing rang (colored powder) and water on each other, and by taking part in traditional games to the sound of the dhol (drum).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Move over, will ya?

6 04 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The UT Turtle Pond

6 04 2011

Turtles bask in the reflection of the University of Texas Tower. The Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) and the Texas river cooter (Pseduemys texana) are common to waterways in central Texas and are also the two most common species in the UT Turtle Pond.

The semiaquatic Red-eared slider is a subspecies of the pond slider and is native only to the southern United States. It is the most popular pet turtle and as a result of pet releases, it has been established in other places. It gets its name from the red mark around its ears. The freshwater Texas river cooter has yellow and black markings and is native to creeks, rivers and lakes in Texas. They can grow to a shell length of 12 or more inches.

I knew that the University of Texas Tower was infamous because of the shooting rampage by sniper Charlie Whitman on August 1, 1966, but I didn’t know many of the details. Click here for trutv.com’s Lost Innocence, a chilling account of that day by author Marlee Macleod.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Entireleaf Indian Paintbrush or Texas Paintbrush

6 04 2011

Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa); Scrophulariaceae (Figwort family), photographed at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Large-flowered buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus)

6 04 2011

Correct identification: Large-flowered buttercup (thanks, Brian). The label near the plants reads, “Prairie Goldenrod,” which is another plant entirely!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Can you spot the critter?

6 04 2011

Where is it and what is it? Photographed at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.