Saturday, March 1, 2008

Webs in the Mist...

This morning we were in the clouds – the sun didn't burn them off until about 9 am. Just a few minutes after the sunshine broke out, I went for a walk (with our oldest field spaniel, Lea) in the hills behind our home.

The chaparral is home to a great many spider species, most of which are specifically adapted for the dry climate. We often see their webs, especially those of the many species that build webs to trap insects near ground level. Even without being misted, these webs stand out brightly – but today they sparkled and glinted like diamonds cast on the earth. The display only lasted about 30 minutes, as by that time the warmth of the sun (and the suddenly arid air) had evaporated every trace of the droplets left by the morning's mist.

But for that brief period we had a real visual treat! My favorite effect is captured (poorly, I'm afraid) in the photo at upper right. We saw this when looking at a web near the shadow of our head: a sort of rainbow effect, with all the colors from purple through red showing up across the web...

No comments:

Post a Comment