Mist, Dew, Fog: Rain’s Gentle Cousins

There have not been a lot of rose-smelling pauses around here lately. And I’m most of the time not knowing whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt, as some unnamed fellow-southern-person famously said.

It has been (blessedly) rainy here of late and we’re about to catch up with the deficit for the year. Some of it has come as frog-choking downpours. Some as gentle day-long mist.

The heavy-fog gentle drizzles leave a different signature on the land and vegetation than the heavy drops that come like buckets poured from heaven.

One of those signatures of mist or heavy dew overnight is this tinsel of tiny drops on the finest of grasses (I cannot identify this one yet.) We find it along the margins of the field (just cut for hay this week) or (in this image) along the edge of the gravel road, almost to the exclusion of any other vegetation.

And on this particular morning, these Mist Plants (as I call them) created what looked for all the world like a cloud lining the road. And now that I think about it, that’s what it was–water droplets suspended in space.

Next time, I’ll take the larger view and show you what I mean.

Click for larger version.

And compare to this image (now a PhotoNote Card).



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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I like this photo better than the one with the barn! It really shows how the drops are attached to the vegetation, while the other just puzzled me before today. I have never seen this phenomenon. Beautiful!