The New England Asters are holding out for a little while longer, but the flower parade is just about over for the year. And one of my favorite photography subjects is also about to take a break until next spring. Years ago I photographed a stand of asters through a drop of dew and every year since then I've been peering into tiny drops to see what they have to show me. Below are some of the drops of light that I found this year.

Queen Anne's Lace through dew drops, like flakes of snow or Nature's own miniature snow globes.

I once saw an inspiring exhibit of images taken through the Hubble telescope. One image showed a view through a gravitational lens, a naturally forming lens in space where the gravitational field of an object bends light. Gravitational lens provide multiple, simultanous views of a scene behind the lens. This allows the viewer to see slightly different perspectives of the same scene in one image.

A Crab Spider next to many tiny views of the landscape that it lives in.
Can the spider gaze into the drops and focus on the world beyond as though looking through crystal balls?

I've come to think of the view through dew drops in a similar way. Each drop is a lens that shows a view of what is behind the drop. Some people look at these images and think that they are seeing reflections, but what they are actually seeing is the object behind the drop. The water in the drop bends light, by looking into the drop (or focusing the camera on the light in the drop) you get a glimpse of part of the world through a naturally formed lens.

A web of silver jewels.
Gifts that the night gives the morning.
In each jewel,
a different way to see the world.

When there are multiple drops you get multiple, simultanous views of the scene behind the lens. You have to move very carefully, but if you take the time there are new views of the world waiting for you. There is no trick to this, it's just a matter of exploring and lining yourself up right with the world.

Poppy Drops, the target of many lens.

In my minds eye I see that each drop is showing a slightly different world. By shifting my view a little bit I can see the world in a slightly different way. In front of me is a wealth of different ways to view the world. Who knows what can be seen by a slight change in perspective, where a different view of the world will lead to?

Charles St. Charles