Raindrops along edges of leaves of plantEarly each spring, when I begin cleaning up and weeding our garden beds, I tell myself that as soon as the sodden clay soil in the perennial bed dries out just a bit, I should dig up most of the Lady’s Mantle.

For despite its genteel name, in our garden this muscular plant is highly invasive. Its roots take hold with superglue strength, its foliage spreads like wildfire, and it readily self-sows if its flower heads aren’t cut off quickly. No matter how hard I’ve tried to keep it in check, Lady’s Mantle has had the nasty habit of crowding out other, more delicate flower species that I’d hoped would flourish.

So each spring I say to myself, “Enough!”

But then it rains – and I can’t help but notice the sheer beauty that emerges when water droplets shine like strings of pearls along the edges of the Lady Mantle’s water-repellent leaves. Apparently I’m not the only one who has appreciated this: according to Wikipedia, alchemists used these beads of water, which they considered to be totally pure, in their efforts to turn base metals into gold (thus giving rise to the plant’s Latin name, Alchemilla mollis).

It rained the other night. So once again, the Lady’s Mantle has won a reprieve.

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

11 responses »

  1. […] Transformed by the Rain – Laurie MacBride shares a delightful image captured with a very shallow depth-of-focus to accent the tiny water droplets that adorn the edge of the leaves of a Lady’s Mantle plant in her garden.  As she notes in her article, the drops take on the look of a strand of pearls as they encircle the composition. […]

  2. Fred Bailey says:

    Great blog…as ever. Your photography is a standard of excellence.

  3. Really, really beautiful, Laurie, what a delightful image with some great writing to really frame it! I love this!

  4. I never knew there was a connection between alchemy and water droplets on Lady’s Mantle. Awesome post and photo. May I repost the link with attribution?

  5. Robin says:

    Such a beautiful image, Laurie. I understand how hard it can be to pull something that needs to be pulled. I think Mother Nature purposefully made it that way. She’s tricky like that. 🙂

  6. kimmanleyort says:

    What an amazing photograph too – translucent pearls.

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