Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunrise Dew on Spider Webs, Flowers , and Damselflies

 Sunrise comes very early this time of year at Springbrook--before 5:30 AM, but the rewards were worth it this morning, with heavy dew on everything.  The spiderwebs look like jewels as the sun comes up and shows them off.  I was trying out a new macro camera lens this morning, so lots of close up pictures.
The horizon line is inverted in each dew drop as it functions as a lens until the warmth of the sun evaporates it away.
The mosquitos were pretty intense after the sun came up with no wind, so it was with a great deal of pleasure that I found several in the spider webs.  This little web had three of them stuck fast.  Go spiders!
The Large Flowered Penstamon are blooming now in the south prairie.  There are more than I have ever seen, and each large flower head was completely covered with large dew drops.  I took a lot of pictures. This plant is smooth and waxy, so large droplets form, unlike the Prairie Smoke below.
Prairie Smoke is almost finished blooming at Springbrook, but the seed head stage is the most noticable and is the reason for the name of the plant.  Looking across the prairie the bunches of seed heads look like smoke, especially on a misty morning. This morning the dewy seed heads were visible all across the prairie.  Tiny hairs on each seed plume only allow very tiny droplets of dew to form, making the seed head look frosty.
 Here I have enlarged the center of the picture above so the tiny droplets can be seen.  They make the seed plumes look like delicate glassware.

It was only after I took this picture this morning and then enlarged it that I was able to see this fine detail with the dew.  I won't see Prairie Smoke the same again, though it has always been one of my favorites.
The damselflies were covered with dew this morning, and hard to find on the grass stems.  This is one of the few pictures I was able to get of one from the side.

They are too wet and heavy to fly until the sun removes the dew, but they rotate around the grass stem trying to hide. It works pretty good, except their eyes really stick out, as you can see below.
The little black dots in the globe like eyes follow you whereever you move.  I'm sure it has something to do with the way light is reflected in the eyes, but it feels like two tiny pupils keeping watch on your every move.  These little predators eat mosquitos too, yes!!

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