The other night I was enjoying a nice cigar and a cold beer outside on my patio. It was almost 9:00pm and the air was still hot. A bug expertly flew into my mouth, and I had to spit several times on the deck to dislodge this irritating creature. Why do bugs do that? Then I stepped on it. I just couldn’t see risking allowing such an annoying bug to perform this trick again.
After a few minutes I looked down and the spit was gone, the dead bug was still there, but the ground was dry. Where did the spit go?
Of course it evaporated and joined the soup that is our atmosphere. The air we breathe is not only composed of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, and a host of other minor gases, but air holds lots and lots of water. In Colorado the air is quite dry and thin, in other places it is simply saturated with the stuff. Does other stuff get carried away with the water when it evaporates?
Cooking dinner during cold weather demonstrates an interesting psychometric phenomenon. When soup evaporates (boils) it gives off soupy smells. So some soup gets carried along with the steam (water vapor). On a cold day the humid air comes into contact with near by windows. The water vapor condenses back into liquid water on the glass, diluted soup under glass as it were.
That just got me to thinking of all the other things that evaporate, like water from moist dog crap, dead bug guts, and the slime that snail and slugs leave behind. I am sure that some of the icky stuff evaporates with the water content. This stuff joins the air through evaporation, but inevitably water also condenses out of the air. Rain is the first thing that comes to mind, but also water condenses on cold surfaces, like in and on my glass of ice cold beer.
Yep, that bug I just spit onto the ground may have had some of its guts mixed into the spit that evaporated into the air. Then through the magic of condensation the bug guts and spit may end up back in and on my beer glass.
Hmmmm…. I think I will clean the cat box before I drink a nice cold beer in the garage.