We needed it

I woke this morning to a nice drizzle of rain. Our parched lawn needed a good soak. The only downside is that the mosquitoes are probably rubbing their limbs in glee anticipating all the great spots to drop clusters of eggs.

I can just imagine the revelry and chaos in plant cells right now. Water is rushing into root hairs and whooshing up xylem vessels. Cells are frantically trying to take in as much water as they can, their cell walls turgid to the point of bursting. Up in the leaves the palisade cells are grumbling, “Come on, get that good stuff up here,”  but they are going to have to be patient.

In order to get the water up that high, they are going to need to get some heat and a nice breeze.  Once the water molecules get jumpy enough they will hop out of the stomata and fling themselves into the air. Now, those long columns of water can start clawing their way up the insides of the zillions of tiny tubes. If all the leaves cooperate just right they can pull the water up a surprising height.

It’s those greedy little green guys that are desperate for the water. As soon as they get some water they will start tossing electrons around, breaking and making chemical bonds and churning out gooey carbohydrates that are destined to be the supposed bane of human dieters everywhere.

Back down at the roots, things are getting mushy. Earthworms are gasping for breath and squirming their way skyward. The fungal mycelia are happy. They just grow and grow and digest and absorb. It’s a great life being a decomposer.

I think I better take a closer look at the water, the main player in this morning’s drama. What this? It seems the hydrogen atoms won’t stay still. They are jumping from one water molecule to another, almost like they are doing the Lindy.  And they are throwing the electrons back and forth. Naughty polar molecules, I wish you could just sit still for a millisecond. Still, you’re all we’ve got in the liquids that make life possible category so I guess we will just have to put up with it.

We did really did need a good soaking today.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply