Water Drops on Leaves

December 17, 2021



Photographer: Menashe Davidson 

Summary Authors: Menashe Davidson; Jim Foster

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." (Albert Einstein)

On a wonderful spring day this past May in Rishon LeZion Israel, I sat in my home garden surrounded by beautiful blooms all around me. Suddenly I saw shiny strips on the top of a flowering hollyhock that were illuminated by the Sun as it lowered in the western sky. This glow was due to sunlight scattered by drops of water on the tips of the bristly surface of the colored flowers and buds. Since the soil in the plant container was quite humid, the plant was simply removing excess moisture from its pores as a result of root pressure. This is the process of guttation. Because the temperature during the late afternoon dropped, the humidity was higher, and the hollyhock plant had no recourse but to ooze out excess moisture (top photo, taken on May 3, 2021). The camera is facing the Sun. Note that the tiny drops are easiest to detect on the tips of the hairs at lower left.

A few days later and again enjoying my garden but this time during the early morning, my attention was attracted to tiny glowing spots over the wrinkle petals of an amaryllis plant. The brightness of these spots is a function of the sun angle in relation to the surface of the leaves (bottom photo, taken on May 8, 2021). The camera was facing away from the Sun. In this case, the drops are dew drops, which forms all over a leaf’s surface, and not just at the tips, from condensation of atmospheric moisture. The more I understand nature, the more I feel at home in my heart.