Wisconsin cloudscape

30 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Shell Lake, Wisconsin

30 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Last night’s sky…

19 08 2011

…courtesy of Michael’s iPhone (always work with what you have!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Every cloud has a silver lining…

13 07 2011

Yes, more clouds! Want to know where that expression comes from? Check this site out here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Wide open spaces…

12 07 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Texas sky

10 07 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Georgia sky

29 05 2011

I shot this landscape last August when I was visiting my friend Carmen in South Carolina. We were visiting her sister-in-law and nephew and his wife on their farm in Commerce, Georgia.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Foxy on the fence

14 05 2011

This is my neighbor Eric’s cat, Foxy. She is a frequent visitor to our garden (but she still hisses at me if I get too close—never did change her attitude!). No matter, she’s still welcome as long as she continues to model for me. I thought about naming this post, “Cat on a hot tin roof,” but it’s really an asphalt shingle shed roof. And it’s been raining all day long, so it’s wet and definitely not hot. And technically she’s on the adjoining fence, not the actual roof—-so Foxy on the fence, it is!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: After a spring rain

6 05 2011

Originally posted 5/8/2009

Photos taken this morning at Green Spring Gardens, just after the morning downpour. This time I was prepared—I brought a large trash bag to sit on. Unfortunately, when one sits on a slope to photograph a flower, one will soon find one’s behind sliding off the edge of the plastic and one’s pants would soon absorb the surrounding mud and water. I speak from experience. Ah, well. No pain, no beautiful flower shots, eh?

A Spring Rain by Raymond A. Foss

The world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
New leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain

__________________________________________________________

I came across the above poem and it was perfect for this posting. I looked at the name and wondered why it looked so familiar. Apparently I’m drawn to this man’s nature- and garden-inspired poetry because I published (with his permission) another of his poems on my blog in August 2007. His poem was a great accompaniment for my posting about harvesting Concord grapes in our backyard garden. Click here for that post and Raymond’s beautiful poem, Smell of Autumn. I most recently posted his poem, Chartreuse, on my blog in April. Click here for that post. Raymond has written more than 11,000 poems to date and all of them can be found here. Click on “Poems” beneath his photo. Raymond’s blog can be found here.

Thank you for letting me share your poetry on my blog, Raymond. If you ever want to publish a book of your poetry, give me a shout—I would love to design it for you!

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GreenSpringCollage





Sunset + (super?)moonrise on the Potomac River

20 03 2011

Michael and I ventured out to the Mount Vernon Parkway before 7:00 p.m. this evening to scout out a good spot to wait for the much-anticipated and much-heralded “Supermoon.” I’m sorry to have to report that I was a tiny bit disappointed. I confess that I was hoping for that end-of-the-world-large-encroaching-orb-could-swallow-us-whole-fodder-for-a-science-fiction-movie effect, but it didn’t happen.

Yes, it was a lovely moon—slightly larger than usual and a bit brighter. I guess I was expecting it to flood the horizon so fully that I would have to take off my Nikkor 80-400 zoom lens and put on the 50mm just to catch it all in my viewfinder. So large that I would hear audible gasps from the neighboring photographers, then perhaps we would spontaneously hold hands and break into song (Kumbaya, perhaps?). Didn’t happen.

The moon I photographed in Huntsville, Alabama a few years ago seemed a whole lot larger and a lumen or two brighter than tonight’s “Supermoon.” You can view that posting here. I was, however, taken in by the sunset’s show earlier.

Hey! Guess what? I was just ready to publish this post and decided to Google this search: “supermoon was disappointing tonight,” just to see if anyone had the same reaction that I did.

I found this on space.com: On Saturday night, the moon will arrive at perigee at 19:09 UT (3:09 p.m. Eastern Time). Its distance from the Earth at the moment will be 221,565 miles. But just over three years ago, on Dec. 12, 2008, which was also the night of a full moon, the moon reached perigee at 21:39 UT (4:39 p.m. Eastern Time) at a distance of 221,559 miles, about 6 miles closer than Saturday night’s perigee distance. So it seems Saturday night’s supermoon will actually be just a little less super than the full moon of Dec. 2008. (You can read skywatching columnist Joe Rao’s full article here.)

Why do I find this so interesting? Well, I photographed that moon near the Huntsville Airport in December 12, 2008! So my eyes (and my memory) did remember a more impressive sky that night than tonight. Unlike tonight, I wasn’t even hunting for it—my friend Sue had picked me up from the airport and I asked her to pull over so I could get a few shots of the spectacular moon! Who would have thought that the moon being only six miles closer to the earth would make such a noticeable difference?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.







Afternoon at Lake Land’Or

19 02 2011

Yesterday Karen and I could hardly believe it was still just February—the temperature was almost 70 degrees when we were at her lakehouse at Lake Land’Or. I spent considerable time trying to entice the ducks to come to the dock so I could photograph them up close—to no avail. So, I had to be content with capturing lovely abstract tree and water reflections instead. We enjoyed the weather while it lasted—today is incredibly windy and in the 50s.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Yearning for blooms

24 01 2011

Originally posted January 26, 2009

Sigh. How much winter is left?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

pinkwaterlily-blog





Fuji G617 archives: Yellowstone in winter

1 01 2011

It’s cold there in winter. Very, very, very cold. Fingers-and-face-stick-to-your-camera-ouch-is-it-really-worth-it cold!

Be sure to double click on the image (and bundle up, ya hear?)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


 





Flowers in the mist…

22 04 2010

Green Spring Gardens, 1:24 p.m. A steady mist on a dreary day. D300 and 105mm micro in hand, Army blanket on the ground. Sharing the park with one photographer, two walkers under umbrellas, and two grazing deer coming from the woods. Blissful in spite of the weather!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Self-diagnosed SAD

16 02 2010

Yep, that’s me. I proclaim myself a victim of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). According to Wikipedia: SAD, also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter.

As I look out my studio window this afternoon, I see more snow coming down. Projection: 4 inches of the inconvenient stuff. White stuff on top of older white stuff. It was pretty the first time it snowed this winter (Dec. 19), but after the first 4 inches, enough was enough. It was 26.4 inches total for that first snowfall alone. I think it has snowed at least six times since then, including the 30″ we got over February 5. Fortunately, we were in sunny Florida during that blizzard, but we came home to the aftermath, followed by the additional 10.5 inches we got two days later on February 10. Ah yes, it was pretty the first time. Now it is just a pain. If I wanted this kind of snowfall, I would have already moved to any one of those snowy states starting with the letter “M”—Maine, Montana, Minnesota or Michigan.

_________________________________________

Well, whaddyaknow—there is actually a named disorder for the SAD condition experienced in summer—Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is accompanied by anxiety (come experience an oppressively hot D.C. summer and you’ll know what they’re talking about!)

_________________________________________

Hmmmm…what cheers me up? The promise of spring (32 days and counting, although by the looks of things, I beg to differ). And gardening. And lots of flowers to photograph. And on that note, I leave you (and temporarily, my SAD symptoms) with a series of collages of photos I shot in my Garden Club members’ gardens a few years ago. Sigh….somewhere under the “white crap accumulation,” there are bulbs hibernating and dormant plants dreaming of the sun. Keepin’ the faiiiiiiittttth, yay yay yay yay, keepin’ the faith…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lightning, lobsters and babes in the woods…

12 02 2010

My father (a.k.a. The King of Texas) just took a stroll down memory lane and wrote a recap of our six-day camping/road trip in the spring of 1985. I just added some of my scancafe.com slides from that trip to it and wanted to share this wonderful posting with you. Click on the red link below. Enjoy!

http://thekingoftexas.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/lobsters-lightning-and-babes-in-the-woods/





Maaaaaa, make it stop!

11 02 2010

Hard to believe we were in sunny Sarasota just three days ago! Left: the view from my studio, with snow halfway up the back gate! Right: Michael shoveling snow off of the tool shed roof. Unbelievable. I may venture out in the morning to get a Currier & Ives shot for you. Cabin fever is coming soon, I just know it.





Ellie, Claire and the manatees

9 02 2010

Michael and I just got back from Sarasota, Florida, where we had been visiting his parents for a few days. Later this week I’ll be posting some images from our various adventures, including visiting the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Thursday, a windy walk through Historic Spanish Point on Friday, and showcasing and selling my Polaroid transfer notecards with his mother at an art show in their lovely community on Saturday.

On Sunday I spent a truly blissful day with my friend Camilla and her children—son Nolan and the twins, Ellie and Claire. After breakfast, we headed to the Mote Marine Aquarium and Laboratory. The twins were especially enamored with Hugh and Buffet, two manatees who were born at the Miami Seaquarium and brought to Mote in May 1996 to help teach the public about sea cows. Mote Marine Laboratory is the first facility to have been granted permission from US Fish and Wildlife to conduct basic husbandry training with captive-born manatees.

I’m not sure if the manatee below is Hugh or Buffet, but he was as drawn to the twins as they were to him (he probably thought he was seeing double!). A Mote employee told us that this one had weighed 2,000 pounds, but currently weighs 1800 pounds. The average weight of a manatee is approximately 1,000 pounds, but it can exceed 3,000 pounds. Learn more about manatees on the Mote Aquarium site here.

According to the aquarium’s website, Hugh and Buffet eat about 72 heads of lettuce a day! (Which begs the question—if all they eat is lettuce, how do they pile on all that weight? Are they going heavy on the ranch dressing, shredded cheese and croutons?)

The manatee below would grab a head of lettuce with his tiny flippers and slowly eat it as he sunk to the bottom of the tank (slow food fashion). The other manatee stayed up at the top of the tank, swimming in circles and grabbing chunks as they floated back up (drive-thru fast food style).

Interesting fact: Manatees are not aggressive and they have no social hierarchy. Humans could learn a lesson or two from them, couldn’t we?

Speaking of seeing double, the twins are identical, so it is very difficult for me to tell them apart. I learned that at this point in time, Ellie has all of her front teeth but Claire is missing a few. Unless they smiled and showed me their teeth, I kept calling them by the wrong names all day—despite my internal repetition of this refrain—Ellie Teeth, Claire No Teeth, Ellie Teeth, Claire No Teeth. I took a closeup head shot of them facing the camera and when I showed them the photo on my screen, I asked “which is which?” They both pointed to the face on the right and simultaneously said, “that’s me!” If they can’t tell each other apart, how are we supposed to?!

The Orlando Sentinel reported on manatee deaths in record numbers here. Most of the deaths have been linked to the cold snap that hit the state in early January.

It was a bit chilly that day, so you’ll notice that the twins are wearing coats. What you don’t see are their summer shoes—blue thong sandals and pink Crocs! And speaking of chilly—we left mostly mild and sunny Sarasota yesterday to return to Washington, D.C. and the remnants of the weekend’s blizzard…just in time for another possible snowstorm beginning today and not ending until tomorrow (with a predicted 10-20 inches more of the white stuff). Oh, joy.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Sunset near Arches National Park

4 01 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Shelley’s stunning cloudscapes and Texas skies

16 06 2009

With her express permission, I’m taking this opportunity to brag on my blog-buddy Shelley’s stunning storm and sky photos. I’m always amazed at how huge the sky is in my home state! 

I stumbled onto Shelley’s pbase gallery in December while I was in Texas visiting my family. Shelley is a certified storm spotter and is fortunate to witness the most beautiful, turbulent, storm-filled skies of the Panhandle (and lives to tell the tale and share these stunning photos, too).

Click on the link below and be sure to double click on each photo to enlarge.

My friend Jeff is headed west to join a storm spotting expedition and I wanted to give him some inspiration for this upcoming photography jaunt. Bring ’em back (alive), Jeff!

http://www.pbase.com/sadie04/clouds_and_storms

Photos below © Shelley D. Sparks

Shelley's Photos





Cloudspotting: spinal column

5 06 2009

Key West sky photographed Tuesday, June 2, during a dolphin-watching tour

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

SpinalColumnClouds





Water like satin

26 05 2009

Sunset begins at Lake Land ‘Or © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

The Lake. To — by Edgar Allan Poe (1827)

In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less—
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody—
Then, ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremendous delight—
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define—
Nor Love—although the Love were thine.

Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining—
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.

CanoeLakeLandOr





I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky

25 05 2009

Excerpts from “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver (my lifelong crush!)

I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky
The shadows from the starlight are softer than a lullaby.
Rocky Mountain High…in Colorado
Rocky Mountain High.

He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below,
saw everything as far as you can see.
And they say that he got crazy once and that he
tried to touch the sun,
and he lost a friend, but kept the memory.
Now he walks in quiet solitude, the forest and the stream,
seeking grace in every step he takes,
his sight is turned inside himself, to try and
understand, the serenity of a clear blue mountain lake.

Photos of Lake Land ‘Or © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

FireInTheSky





Cotton candy

25 05 2009

Another view of sunset from a canoe on Lake Land ‘Or, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Pink Sky Ball





Stairway to heaven

25 05 2009

Late Saturday afternoon Michael and I drove down to join Karen and Joe at their lake house in Lake Land ‘Or. Just before sunset, Joe took me out in their canoe across the entire lake and pointed out these unusual stair-stepped clouds on our return trip. I finally learned how to paddle a canoe (thanks to Joe’s excellent mentoring) without going around in circles. Yay to me!

Thanks to The Cloud Appreciation Society, I think this cloud formation is an “altocumulus undulatus.”

I’m also experimenting with my new software program, Noise Ninja (doncha love that name?). Noise Ninja, available for both PCs and Macs, removes noise and grain, and is particularly effective with low-light situations (such as this one). Take a look at their before-and-after samples here. Pretty impressive. You can get the program e-mailed to you for as low as $44.95 (this home bundle license includes the Photoshop/Photo Elements plug-ins as well as the stand-alone program) here. I’ll play with some of my own low-light, high-noise examples and report my findings.

More weekend adventures to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

StepladderClouds





After the rain…

8 05 2009

Photos taken this morning at Green Spring Gardens, just after the morning downpour. This time I was prepared—I brought a large trash bag to sit on. Unfortunately, when one sits on a slope to photograph a flower, one will soon find one’s behind sliding off the edge of the plastic and one’s pants would soon absorb the surrounding mud and water. I speak from experience. Ah, well. No pain, no beautiful flower shots, eh?

A Spring Rain by Raymond A. Foss

The world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
New leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain

__________________________________________________________

I came across the above poem and it was perfect for this posting. I looked at the name and wondered why it looked so familiar. Apparently I’m drawn to this man’s nature- and garden-inspired poetry because I published (with his permission) another of his poems on my blog in August 2007. His poem was a great accompaniment for my posting about harvesting Concord grapes in our backyard garden. Click here for that post and Raymond’s beautiful poem, Smell of Autumn. Raymond has written 3,974 poems to date and all of them can be found here. Click on “Poems” beneath his photo. Raymond’s blog can be found here.

Thank you for letting me share your poetry on my blog, Raymond. If you ever want to publish a book of your poetry, give me a shout—I would love to design it for you!

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GreenSpringCollage





Upside down swan

27 04 2009

Cloudspotting in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, April 23, 2009. Crazy about clouds too? Check out The Cloud Appreciation Society!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

swancloud





Spot the bugs and win a prize!

27 04 2009

I photographed this past-its-prime-time tulip bloom at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens on April 19. It had rained off and on all morning long so everything I photographed was cover in raindrops (a bonus!). Thank you to Sue, who held an umbrella over me and my beloved camera while I captured many of these images. Gardeners and photographers—neither will let rain deter them from their passions!

I was concentrating so hard on getting the raindrops in focus that I didn’t even notice any of the tiny green bugs seeking refuge from the rain on this tulip until I opened and enlarged it in Photoshop! I counted eight total. Do you see them? Some are more visible than others—in some cases you’ll see just a few legs poking out or just a dark green or brown speck.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

countthebugslorez2





Currier & Ives morning

2 03 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

snowday1





Saturday sky

17 02 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

saturdaysky1