It’s time to pay another visit to the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena where we’ll learn about the delicate beauty of Guttation:

Guttation is the exudation of drops of sap (xylem) on the tips or edges of leaves of some vascular plants, such as grasses. Guttation is not to be confused with dew, which condenses from the atmosphere onto the plant surface.

At night, transpiration usually does not occur because most plants have their stomata (pores found in the epidermis of leaves, stems and other organs that are used to control gas exchange) closed.

When there is a high soil moisture level, water will enter plant roots, because the water potential of the roots is lower than in the soil solution. The water will accumulate in the plant, creating a slight root pressure.

The root pressure forces some water to exude through special leaf tip or edge structures, hydathodes or water glands, forming drops. Root pressure (osmotic pressure within the cells of a root system that causes sap to rise through a plant stem to the leaves) provides the impetus for this flow, rather than transpirational pull. [Source: Wikipedia]

These photos are all beautiful examples of Guttation. In order of appearance they were taken by Luc Viatour (www.Lucnix.be), Ruth Jensen, Ursula Roseeu, Dohduhdah, AlexRK, and John Petranka.

Visit Twisted Sifter to view even more examples of this awesome natural phenomenon.

MAORI WRASSE, Napoleon wrasse, or Napoleonfish;
Cheilinus undulatus
by Luc Viatour

This fish is chock full of win - the patterning is gorgeous (even better in the shot on the other posts link) males grow to SIX FEET in length and 300 pounds.

The humphead wrasse is a wrasse that is mainly found in coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. It is also known as the Māori wrasse, Napoleon wrasse, Napoleonfish; or “So Mei” 蘇眉 (Cantonese) and “Mameng” (Filipino).

The humphead wrasse is the largest living member of the family Labridae, with males reaching 6 feet (2 m) in length, while females rarely exceed about 3 feet (1 m). It has thick, fleshy lips and a hump that forms on its head above the eyes, becoming more prominent as the fish ages. Males range from a bright electric blue to green, a purplish blue, or a relatively dull blue/green. Juveniles and females are red-orange above, and red-orange to white below. Some males grow very large, with one unconfirmed report of a Humphead Wrasse that was 7.75 feet (2.29 m) long and weighed 420 lbs (190.5 kg).

Individuals become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years and females are known to live for around 30 years whereas males live a slightly shorter 25 years. Humphead wrasse are protogynous hermaphrodites, with some members of the population becoming male at approximately 9 years old. The factors that control the timing of sex change are not yet known. Adults move to the down-current end of the reef and form local spawning aggregations they concentrate to spawn at certain times of the year.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humphead_wrasse

Other posts:

Maori Wrasse, another great shot

Titan Triggerfish

Ribbon Sweetlips

A photo of an original page from Leonardo da Vinci's journal, showing the world-renowned drawing known as the Vitruvian Man, created around the year 1492. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. Leonardo based his drawing on some hints at correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry in Book III of the treatise De architectura by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, thus its name. The accompanying notes are written in mirror writing and describe the drawing as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described by Vitruvius.

Photo credit: Luc Viatour