During the summer of 2014, I became entranced by Water Striders inhabiting a small brook in a natural area near where I live. As I sat next to the stream and observed the striders, I began noticing all kinds of interesting things … including the remarkable shadows they cast on the bottom of pools, the bright “starburst” reflections that are sometimes visible where their feet touch the water, and the wonderful play of light on the water’s surface when they skitter here and there.
After several visits, I was so impressed with the “water strider phenomena” that I decided to return with a small high-definition (HD) camcorder and see if I could capture some of the magic and share it with others. After just a few sessions, I managed to get some splendid footage … enough, I surmised, to create a decent video celebration of their unique “way of being”. My plan was to work up the material the following winter, when I would have plenty of time on my hands for studio work. But then I was diagnosed with major illness and had to shelve the project indefinitely.
Late in the autumn of this year, I was looking through old video footage and stumbled upon my folder of water strider clips. While some seemed a bit marginal in quality in comparison to today’s 4K video standard, it nonetheless looked plenty good enough to produce a useful celebration. So I decided to follow through with my plan. It took me well over a week to put it all together. I had to choose and prepare the clips, write and narrate a script, add nature sounds, and come up with appropriate music for the ending. A lot of hard work for sure, and numerous experimental versions. But I finally got it done, and I must say that I’m quite pleased with the result.
Without doubt, Water Striders are fantastic beings, well-deserving of our attention, and brimful of magic for those who take the time to observe them.
The Wat’ry Mirror
on this placid summer morn
meandering up a forest stream
i search for magic newly-born …
sprinklings of fair nature’s dream
and soon i find a sweet delight
drifting, darting, left and right
in pools beneath the riffled light …
water striders, skimming near
gliding on the wat’ry mirror
casting shadows, sliding smooth …
entranced, i watch their every move
poem © Lang Elliott