16 January 2011

Picturing Snow

We have gotten an above average amount* of snow so far this winter. I have a love/hate relationship with snow. It is beautiful, but it causes way too much trouble, especially in a southeastern state that doesn't have the resources to deal with it.

One day last week, during our snow break, Isaac asked me if you can take pictures of snowflakes. After I told him that is it possible, but not something we have the equipment to do, I remembered a book that I had at school about a man whose passion was doing just that. So I brought it home to read to Isaac.

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is about Wilson Bentley, a Vermont farmer who dedicated his life to studying and photographing snow. It is fascinating to read about his process and even more fascinating to look at his photographs of snowflakes.

After we read the book, Isaac and I looked at some of his photographs online and then perused some more modern snowflake pictures. It was one of those rare times when the perfect book was available to answer Isaac's question and broaden his knowledge.

Snowflake photographs are stunning and the complexity and variation of the crystal formations is amazing. But I am content to look at them on a computer monitor. I have no desire to see anymore flakes up close, thank you very much.

*I have no actual data to prove this, but it certainly feels like it is true.

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