Pussy willow catkins

Wet catkins snapped with my Samsung iClone on a drizzly dog walk…”cats” in lieu of any birds, although I did see a Jay, a Green Woodpecker, Wrens, Robins, and lots of Goldfinch. Incidentally, pussy willow is a generic term for a willow tree that produces furry catkins in early spring, as do the specimens I photographed today.

The globular look of the water droplets perched on the (presumably) oily, or otherwise hydrophobic, hairs of the catkins is down to the power of hydrogen bonds within the liquid water. Indeed hydrogen bonding between water molecules although only fleeting is at the heart of why water, although seemingly mundane is actually one of the most unusual substances in the universe. It expands when it freezes, its boiling point and melting point are within our everyday experience, it is almost a universal solvent, it has an anomalously high capacity for absorbing heat.

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