Today’s Science Lesson…DEWPOINT!

It was yesterday, last night about sunset, and I noticed a really strange cloud on the eastern horizon.  A thunderhead in the clear blue sky, rising over the horizon, tinged in orange and pinks and looking quite aloof and grand.  Certainly not ominous, and totally unconcerned with the hovering streaky gray clouds all around it.

After a few moments of argument with myself about heat, humidity, lack of clothing close by, I picked up my camera and headed outside.

Dew Point, according to the KARE meteorologists, is the temperature at which the water in the air turns to liquid.  Or the point at which dew/ condensation forms.  It is an excellent measure of how much humidity is in the air.

Last night, according to my camera lens, the dew point at our house was 79 degrees.  I know this because upon taking my camera from its case in the house and moving it outside to the top of the yard, dew formed on all the surfaces of the camera including the view finder, the LCD display and the lens.  Not just a little haze, but actual dew drops which required serious and repeated wiping.  Which led to another trip to the house and another serious debate on the necessity of going out into the excessive heat again for a photograph!  The photographs would have been lovely, unique and memorable, except the dew kept forming and so all pictures taken (including those on automatic focus) are blurred and hazy.  In  several the dew drops on the lens are very distinctive, but detract from the subject, a really interesting looking cloud.

This after noon Dennis took his camera out to photograph the serpentine arch in the lower yard.  The clematis are in full bloom and covering the arch.  He experienced the same dew point/ camera reaction.  It took him about an hour to get the pictures, and three lens sodden lens cleaning cloths.  He was also soaked, but it wasn’t from the dew.

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