Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A LITTLE DEW

Frost aster, so named because it is one of the last plants to remain in flower—even surviving through multiple light frosts. Because of this tenacity, it's an important source of pre-winter food for various insects, including wasps and bees.   

On the face of it, dew is nothing more than water droplets formed by atmospheric moisture condensing on various surfaces as they lose heat. Dew occurs when moisture forms at a rate faster than it can evaporate. Should the temperature fall below a certain point, the dew becomes frost.

A few minutes after my arrival, the morning's dew had all but disappeared from this clump of big bluestem—though you can see a few droplets on the seeds and stems, one nicely sunlit.

Autumn is the year's best time for dew formation. In turn, it's one of my favorite times for making photos, because a bit of dew on the even the most mundane, commonplace object—such as grass stems or strands of a spider's web—is at once dressed with a sparkling touch of jeweled magic.

Tiny dew droplets strung like transparent pearls along the fine strands of a diminutive web. 

A morning walk through an old field, along the edge of a wood or stream, will afford a thousand possible images to record. Of course, given the ephemeral nature of dew, your photographic time is fleeting and seldom endures long enough for you to barely scratch the surface of available possibilities.

Sunlight shining through dew-cloaked Indian grass almost looks like frost. 

That was the case this morning…I only had about fifteen minutes in which to snap away like mad before the rising sun raised the dew point, and the tiny droplets which had enacted their transformation on the everyday, suddenly evaporated into thin air.  
———————

23 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

That more or less sums up the story of my photographic life Jim - by the time I have got my camera set up and light has changed, or the dew has gone. I do agree about dew - it makes the most mundane things magical. For some reason I could not access your pictures - only the words - but I shall pop over later to see if I can have a look at them - I know they will be magic - your photos always are.

..........><((((((º> said...

Weaver…

Gosh, I hope there's not a problem posting the photos. This is the first time I've written and put up photos using Blogger's new editor. Please let me know if these don't show up, and I'll try to work it out.

And don't think being slow to get into photographic mode is your problem alone—we all do that. I was on the way to the grocery and bank this morning when I saw the dew on a small prairie patch and decided to temporarily interrupt my errands. I should have been out there an hour earlier.

Bonnie said...

I see the photos Grizz and they are simply stunning!! If that is what you can accomplish in 15 minutes - I cannot imagine what you could produce when not rushed!
Water, light, form, color all encapsulated in your compositions. Splendid!!

(Not sure your new name at the beginning of your comments is what you intended ... :-/)

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ_

oh my, these pictures are SO lovely as are your words that define them. You are so poetic and even when you "teach" about nature it is so beautiful. I love the pearls and that sunlit dew drop. Wow

thanks for the illumination this day.

love to you my friend
Gail
peace and hope.......

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Bonnie…

Well, I'm relieved no end that you can see the pix. Maybe there was just a temporary problem at Weaver's end of the blogline. Hope so, anyway.

Thank you for your comments re. photos—but you're perhaps giving me too much credit by assuming longer time to make pictures would result in even better images. More images, for sure, but better ones…who knows? I know my pantslegs would have gotten wetter! :-)

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Gail…

Thank you. I must confess, I'm not feeling very poetic this morning after a long day's work yesterday redoing several rooms in the house. (When a woman says, "This will only take a couple of easy hours…." even a semi-cognizant male knows that means from the crack of dawn until time to put the cat out and call in the dogs.)

That dew on the web shot is a favorite of mine, too.

Hope you're enjoying the start of fall…and also feeling better.

Best…

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Bonnie…

Oops, forgot to add/admit that comments name is turning into a fiasco; not what I want. I've tried switching it a bit, but will likely scrap it in the end.

George said...

Wow, wow, wow, Grizz! These are fabulous new photos, and it is great seeing them displayed on your new, wider screen. The abstract photo of the dew droplets on the spider web is just stunning. Just looking at your photos makes me want to run into the street screaming what I often try to say ever so gently on my own blog — LOOK, LOOK, LOOK. CAN YOU SEE THE MIRACLES THAT HAVE OCCURRED OVERNIGHT?

Thanks for this lovely posting, and, again, the new format doubles the pleasure. It's great being able to see a great photo with a little more enlargement.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: Lovely photos. I've never heard the term frost aster before, though we have what appears to be the same flower here. We just call them white asters or fall asters. I like frost aster much better!

Carolyn H.

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

George…

Thank you for the lovely comments. I'd have liked more time to explore and shoot additional subjects—but the dew season is just getting started, and I trust there will be further opportunities. (Wish I had a bunch more megapixels, though, to better capture the details.)

You are so right with your message…there are miracles all around if only we take the time to look and see. No matter what our focused distance, they await in abundance. We waste so much time—such a huge portion of our precious life— fretting and scheming over the inconsequential, when we could be immersed in the miraculous, washed in its daily wonder…and I have no doubt, made much the better for so doing.

I'm glad to know the new design is an improvement. The whole point is to make this a better blog for visitors. Please let me know, however, if something isn't working. I'm still tweaking and fiddling.

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Carolyn…

I was thinking fall asters had 14-or-fewer rays…but having just spent a bit of time looking at field guides re. fall aster, frost aster, heath aster, oldfled white aster, awl aster, etc. and finding their names interchangeable among the texts—as, unbelievably, are their Latin names!—I come back to the long-held conclusion that asters as simply too confusing for human understanding.

But, hey—fall is here!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Amazingly lovely jewels...your photos still what we mostly miss...

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Teri…

I think that's one of the things I love about photography—that it makes me a better, closer observer. There is so much beauty out there, and it is so often and so easily missed if we only look without really seeing.

Nature ID said...

Nice pics! Hope you get your blogging/comments issue fixed. I know you're incorrigible, but I don't know ">$It;((((((°>"

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Nature ID…

I am indeed incorrigible! And that mess of gibberish that has you puzzled is what…

¯`·.¸ ><((((((º>

…looks like after it's been composted through Blogger's profile box and spit out here in the comments section. Alas, I expect my cute little fish thingy's days are numbered—victim of a fun experiment that didn't work, and possibly doomed by a blogmaster who doesn't know much about computers, code, and all that jazz.

Glad you liked the pix.

Bernie said...

Love your pictures Grizz and your descriptions....."you had me at jewel" sorry I have missed a few post, I have not been feeling great but am on the mend. Hope you and your ladylove are well.
........:-)Hugs

Jayne said...

Oh, I LOVE this post. Those photos are amazing, truly. I thought the first one was my favorite until I saw the web... oh, my.

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Bernie…

As always, thank you for your nice comments re. the photos. It's good to hear from you, too, as I'd been wondering…

So sorry to hear you've been a bit under the weather. I do hope you're feeling better. One of the prettiest seasons of the year is now underway, and I know you'll appreciate being able to enjoy these lovely days.

Take care!

The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! ..........><((((((º> said...

Jayne…

You know, I almost didn't stick that dewy web shot in with the post. I liked it, but didn't think anyone else would. Goes to show what I know, huh?

Guess I'd still pick the first—aster—shot as my favorite. But picking favorite shots is like picking favorite kids or friends…it's about what you bring to the situation, the memory of your feelings and emotions at a given moment, plus their individual strengths and weaknesses. In the end they're all favorites, for different reasons.

Wanda..... said...

It's not a surprise, to see something shockingly beautiful, when opening your post, but I still was startled by the look of the aster, heavy with dew!

Me…the Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Isn't amazing what a few tiny water droplets can do? The dew coating absolutely made this shot—and I'm thankful it came out so well. Those little frost asters are no more than an inch across.

Thank you…

Kelly said...

...the first photo took my breath away. It's drenched and gorgeous. Also, I love that sunburst showing through on the grasses. It's so cool! I've never photographed dew drops, but I'd love to. The web looks like a string of glass beads...so pretty with the warm orange in the background.

Me.... said...

Kelly…

I've always loved close-up stuff, and bit of morning (not mountain!) dew always makes for really neat images. The sparkles and highlights are everywhere. You really need to give it a try one of these mornings—with your artist's eye you'd come back with some breathtaking images.