Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Water Beads

I’m not sure why it is but I am endlessly fascinated with beaded water, especially on flowers and leaves. It is like miniature magic show the way the water magnifies and rolls around in a ball. After the rain stopped on Sunday, I took a walk and found super sized drop on a tall leaf of grass.


I love the way the lines of the leaf are magnified on this one.

But why does it bead up on some species of leaves and not others? I found some scientific reasons I could not understand and one called the “Lotus Effect” or “superhydrophobicity” which made sense to me. It turns out that the microscopic bumps on the leaf surface of Lotus and other leaves trap air which enables the water to float on top as a bead. When the water rolls off it can also take dust with it keeping the leaf clean and ready to receive the benefits of the sun. This is so useful that engineers and scientist involved with Biomimicry are developing ways to treat plastics and metals to have the same effect. Imagine never having to wash your car or the siding of your house ever again. Now that’s what I call big top magic. I love learning about and from nature, don’t you?

Be sure to visit other blogs who have participated in Watery Wednesday.

13 comments:

Lara said...

beautiful, and magic. like small little diamonds!

Woodswalker said...

Yes indeed, we have lots to learn from nature. And lots to love, as well, such as beautiful surprises, like your photograph.

Squirrel said...

Lara and Woodswalker, thank you both for the thoughts and compliments.

Karen said...

I love to see the drops of rain too.
Thanks for the info about them.

I actually like to wash my car though! :-)

Wanda said...

I like how a bead of water hangs from the very tip of a leaf and I've seen beads clinging like magic underneath leaves also.

Coffeedoff said...

Wow great close up photo!

eileeninmd said...

Fantastic closeup. Thanks for sharing.

Micah said...

This is a great post.. Very informative... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your every post that's why I think I'd come here more often. Keep it up! By the way, you can also drop by my blogs. They're about Vegetable Gardening and Composting. I'm sure you'd find my blogs helpful too.

James said...

That is a really nice and very interesting picture.


"superhydrophobicity" if you add a few letters to that word it will sound like Mary Poppins song title.

MyMaracas said...

That is indeed beautiful, and you've done a great job of capturing the magical quality.

~Cheryl said...

Can't beat Mother Nature, that's for sure! You have such a gift for capturing these itty bitty details. Bravo!

SquirrelQueen said...

I love studying and photographing water droplets on plants, especially in the sunlight.

Yes, nature can teach us so much if we just take the time to listen and learn.

Judy

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

So much TEXTURE in your recent photos. WV is the best!