the eye of the beholder

We see them every day, from the moment we step in front of a mirror or say good morning to a partner, friend, cat, dog, colleague, bus driver. Or when we’re taking a really close look at a fly, or a spider, or a frog. That’s something everyone does every day, right? Sometimes we see them even when there are none.

The eyes are the instruments of vision, but they’re also great sources of information. By looking at each other’s eyes, we can find out what others are looking at (a kind of non-verbal communication), their state of excitement and health status. Also, the eyes are, of course, a great inspiration for poets, romantics, painters and photographers.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder can be understood in two ways, and here, I want to share the beauty I’ve found in those beholding eyes.


A pool of glacial water. Did you know that there are no blue or green pigments in our irises, only light brown to black? What we see as eye colour comes from the pigments in combination with the scattering of light in the stroma, which is why we can observe eye colour changing with lighting conditions. This photo was taken by a glacial river after sunset.


A window reflected in the window of the cat soul.


The compound eye of a dragonfly. The black spot is a pseudopupil, which gives the impression that the dragonfly is looking straight at the camera – but in truth, it’s only because the ommatidia (the units of compound eyes) which are aligned with the camera lens don’t reflect light.


The common toad (Bufo bufo) may be common, but its eyes are still incredibly beautiful.


If eyes were windows to the soul, I find it a bit strange that I always seem to find myself on the other side.


Wonky eyes in a Spanish mall.

7 thoughts on “the eye of the beholder

  1. A reminder of a note about eyes, blue in particular: All human eyes were variations of brown, until a color mutation occurred in one individual – from whom all of us people with blue eyes are descended. Hello, to all my fair-eyed cousins! 🙂 pip

  2. Pingback: en rundvandring | hanneles resor

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