Drizzle drops on spider silk

Today has been a drizzly day: the kind of day when you don’t mind staying inside grading papers. After lunch, I went outside to photograph drizzle-drops on spider silk:  dewy jewels that draped our backyard shrubs with webs of wonder.

This is a test entry posted from the Flickr app on my tablet, just to see how and whether it works.

Raindrops on hosta leaves

The past few days have been drizzly in Massachusetts, with an almost continual mist that intermittently, without warning, erupts into downpours. I don’t mind walking in mist even though it eventually soaks you through, and I enjoy the challenge of photographing raindrops. Apparently I enjoy photographing raindrops on hosta leaves so much, I took (and blogged) nearly the exact same photos last May as I did this past weekend. April showers might bring May flowers, but apparently May showers bring deja view all over again.

Rain-dotted

This morning, I dropped my camera…again. Today was another gray, drizzly day, so I was taking more pictures of raindrops, and while I was fumbling with one gloved hand trying to slip my camera into a rain-protected pocket in my purse, my camera slipped out of my hand and crashed onto the wet sidewalk below.

Rain-spotted

Again. My everyday-use camera already looks like it’s been through a battle, and perhaps it has: I use it, after all, nearly every day and in nearly every weather. I first dropped it last December, when I fell down some steps while taking an oddly angled shot, and ever since my everyday-use camera has had a badly dented lens housing that prevents the lens cover from opening and closing completely. Today, at least, my camera was off when I dropped it, so the telescoping lens-housing wasn’t extended and thus didn’t get banged up any more than it already was. But the impact of the drop was hard enough to jostle the memory card out of place, and now the lens cover doesn’t move at all when I turn the camera on or off. Ooops.

Green and gold

The camera itself continues to work, however, as these shots prove. I’ve learned over this past year that a camera doesn’t have to look good to take decent pictures as long as you remember a few simple things. If your automatic lens cover no longer works, for instance, you’ll occasionally have to open it by hand; otherwise, you’ll get shots with a dark shadow in one or more corners from where the lens cover was still partially extended. Similarly, if you’re shooting with a banged-up camera, you have to remember that a camera without a fully functional lens cover will fog up after you come inside from carrying it in your pocket on a cold day. But these limitations aren’t too troublesome if you accept them as a necessary part of using a well-used camera.

Now that I’ve taken a year’s worth of pictures with a banged-up camera, I’ve grown rather fond of the thing. We all have our battle scars, and I’d like to think that they attest to the strength of our character as well as the depth of our experience. Now that I’ve taken a year’s worth of pictures with a banged-up camera, I’ve determined to continue using it until it is truly is worn out…or until I’ve dropped it one too many times and dies completely. In the meantime, I’ll keep shooting in all weathers, undeterred.

Bejeweled

Saturday was rainy, so I spent a good part of my Sunday morning taking pictures of raindrops.

Bejeweled

Raindrops are difficult to photograph with a point-and-shoot camera, as the shiny reflective surfaces that make drops of water so interesting to look at often stymie a digicam’s auto-focus. This is part of the reason, I think, I like to take pictures of raindrops: I appreciate a good challenge.

I also like the way that simply adding water to something makes it look different and even strange, as if this most common of substances is actually a kind of elixir, transforming yesterday’s plain old leaves into this morning’s bejeweled beauties. It’s good every now and again to look at the same old world through different eyes, and if you can’t find new eyes, the distorting lens of an ordinary raindrop will serve a similar purpose.

This morning was sunny and clear, so yesterday’s raindrops have long since evaporated, leaving nothing to commemorate this weekend’s rain except Monday morning mushrooms.

After the rain, the mushrooms