Friday, October 3, 2008

casting shadows

The ordinary man casts a shadow in a way we do not quite understand. The man of genius casts light.
--George Steiner (b.1929) Author

Above: A 'water strider' and its shadow. Also called 'pond skaters,' these fascinating insects are able to walk on water because their legs are covered with microscopic, water-repellent hairs that hold tiny air bubbles allowing them to float. As they do so, you can observe the surface tension of quiet waters by the little dimples or impressions in the surface of the water they create.

1 comment:

  1. Re: casting shadows
    Doug Cox Diary 7-1-11
    Continued loafing down a small trail leading to a stream. Water striders left their shadow on the creek bottom, six symmetrical ovals where each leg touched the water. I could not see, however, any deformation of the water at the surface where the legs touched. Back and forth my eye went between the surface and the bottom, leg to shadow, trying to make the two realities click into a mental stereoscopic AH HA, now i get it! . It never happened and I became more content with the wonder of this small microcosm which expanded to fill me in all ways that were important. Nothing was missing from the family of water striders and me and my eyes and the creek and the sun....the galaxies were all there in their spiral mysteries, revealed then and there, perfect.


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