October 27, 2008
A particularly heavy dew covered nearly all of Sydney, Australia, on the morning of May 14, 2008. The sky this mid autumn morning was clear and bright, and the contrast between shade and sunshine was just right for close up photography. The dandelion shown above was ripe with seeds ready to take flight, once the dew drops, temporarily weighing them down, evaporated. I managed to capture this image just before my dogs came over to investigate and trampled it in their enthusiasm to join me for a closer inspection. Dew is a liquid that condenses directly on to grass and other surfaces from water vapor in the air. For dew to form, the temperature of the surface objects must fall below the dew point, which is the temperature to which air must be cooled, at a constant pressure and vapor content, in order for saturation to occur.
The common name Dandelion is given to members of the genus Taraxacum, a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. In the Asteraceae family (formerly Compositae), the flower head consists of many tiny flowers called florets. Dandelions are native to Africa, Asia, and Europe, and have been widely introduced elsewhere, including Australia.