December 08, 2009

A Snowflake.

Nature has always held my fascination. The most beautiful works of art I know are created by natural processes. The colours of plants and animals, the small wonders in rain and snow, the forces of winds and water. The painted skies in sunsets and sunrises, the show of a thunderstorm. The miracle of life. It is all leaving me astounded at all times.

Such as the beauty of snowflakes. A masterpiece not visible to the human eye, however under magnification, a geometry pattern appears so perfect in its creation.

There is nothing more magical then seeing snow falling during the month of December. And I recall fondly running outside as a child, trying to catch a snowflake into my hand. Never able to hold onto it, but watching it melt in my palm into a drop of water, with a sense of utter fascination. The flakes could be small, tiny, ice like, but then again, they could be large and fluffy, light as feather. They could come down slowly and lightly, or heavily and fast, landing on trees and sidewalks, making the landscape white, as if covered in whipped cream.
Even today, the best thing I know is to drive through a falling snow after dark, making me feel like I am moving through the darkness of outer space with light speed, passing galaxies and stars...

So what is a snowflake? Snowflakes are really ice crystals that are formed in the clouds by water vapor. When the atmosphere's temperature dips to below 0 degrees Centigrade (32 degrees Fahrenheit), moisture changes to ice. Their formation depends on a variety of factors including air currents, humidity and temperature and even particles trapped in the water. All this contributes to the fact that no two snowflakes are exactly alike, even though there is no scientific reason that prevents it. This is similar to the human fingerprint.
Snowflakes can be categorized into six main types, plate (flat), column, stars, dendrite (lacy), needle, and capped column. When it is extremely cold the snow is very fine and powdery and snowflakes become quite simple in design, usually needle or rod shaped. When the temperature is near to freezing point (0 degrees Celsius), snowflakes become much larger and a lot more complex in design, for example, a star.
The largest snowflake recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records fell at Fort Keogh, Montana and was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick.

For more beautiful pictures such as these posted here, of magnified genuine snowflakes, please visit SnowCrystals.com

32 comments :

Elizabeth said...

Good morning,

Just a few days ago I found this in my mailbox: www.accidentalmysteries.blogspot.com/2009/12/snowflake-bentley-in-chicago.html

Without a doubt you are gonna love this post. Enjoy and have a lovely, snowflakeday.

xox Elizabeth

Nessa said...

This was s cool and interesting. That was a huge snowflake in Montana.

Yes, We Have No Bananas

1ondoncalling said...

Nature is wonderful!
Few years ago, I was given a book about snowflakes from a friend as my Christmas gift.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

But snowflake research must be maddening--frustrating!! They are so fleeting! Amazing, though. C

Bachelor said...

Zuzana,
You are truly an inspiration. You make me want to appreciate the good earth and all the beauty it holds... and its view, stillness, and vastness is ours but to stand in awe and wonderment drinking it in to restore a good healthy outlook on life. Especially when we get so busy and wonder what happend to the stillness and the joy of nature. The snowflake is truly a miracle. Everyone is different as we are and yet serve the same purpose... its wonderful when each of us find that purpose in life... to love, to enjoy, and have a caring spirit toward our fellowman. Keep up the great posting! The Bach

Sandi McBride said...

I remember at the age of 11 as I looked at my grandmother's beautiful Lantana (Fiesta was it's name) wished for a dress that exact print. She nodded wisely but advised me that no man could recreate what nature had painted...great post.
Sandi

Michelle H. said...

Snowflakes. There isn't anything more wonderful to look at, and now I know even more interesting things about them. Thank you! :)

Cottage Garden said...

Snowflakes are so fascinating - nature's intricate work of art in miniature. Some very interesting facts here Zuzana - thank you! I'm off to check out Snow Crystals now!

Jeanne x

♥Mimi♥ said...

Right now - in my yard - I must have billions of those little stinkers. My dogs love to play in the snow but this morning was much too cold to allow them much outside time. Their paws get too cold and then before I know it someone is holding up a foot and then another and then another - like a little dance.

Keith said...

Great post. Very informative. Thanks for sharing that with us. I've always love the snowflake. It's such a fascinating and beautiful thing of nature.

Susan Deborah said...

Snow does not exist in my part of the world. I have seen snow but not seen it falling every year.

Your post fills me with longing for snow.

Wish I live with the snowfall.

Joy always,
Susan

Calli said...

You, Zuzana, are a wealth of information and creativity combined. Wonderful and refreshing combination!

Calli xx

Julie Hibbard said...

I have only seen it snow three or four times in my life. (As it is always 72 degrees here in Southern California...)
But I remember distinctly the feeling of amazement as I watched the snow fall...the beauty, the softness, the sheer delight of the snow covering the landscape.
Thank you for the reminder. Oh, and for the warning! Geeze! A 15 by 8 snowflake...YIKES!! Hope I never see one of those...

Claus said...

I have always been curious about snow. Coming from a tropical-weathered country, snow is not part of our seasons, though there have been cases of snowy-looking frosts in the highest departments, where temperatures might drop below 0 in December and January.
I hope to meet snow someday. Would I bear the coldness? Could I feel it in my hand?...Indeed, I am curious about snow.

Kath said...

I'm looking forward to a good few snowflakes here in England this winter! Kath

Rosezilla said...

Well, I guess they are beautiful, if you look at them one by one... but all together, they are just cold. (Just kidding, but i am a wimp when it comes to the cold; I guess snow is a compensation for the cold temps, though).

Brian Miller said...

i love driving in the snow...it makes me feel the exact same way. hoping we get some white stuff this year!

Jill said...

HELLO! So glad to pop in and visit after having been gone! Just in time for your snowflake beauty! I am eager for a "blanketing" of snow!

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

How interesting! I didn't know all this. I do remember as a kid turning my face up to the sky, opening my mouth, and letting a snowflake fall inside to melt down my throat.
Brenda

Helen McGinn said...

I think you'd like the snowflakes me and the kids made the other day; I'm posting them later. I'm a big fan of snowflakes and still stand outside in the snow, catching them on my tongue.

Hilary said...

Zuzana, my friend, only YOU could give a snowflake warmth.

Doreen said...

we will be getting plenty of them soon.big storm coming here for the next few days.

hope they aren't as big as the one in your story!! snowflakes are pretty cool!

jeannette stgermain said...

We lived in the forest for 1 1/2 year, and to be in the house and seeing snowflakes fall on the trees whenever you look out of one of the windows is almost like one is taken up in another world-experience. (somewhat like you you seen in the movie of C.S. Lewis, Narnia). Ah, to be there again...

Vagabonde said...

I found your blog through Mimi of Our Family Attic – which I have just found as well. I love the snow but here in Atlanta, Georgia, we don’t get much unfortunately. I read your post on the Slovak soup Kapustnica and that brought back souvenirs of my first Christmas in the USA. I had come from France and was invited in Montana by my boyfriend’s family. His mother was of Slovak descent and she did make a very good soup but I could not remember its name until I saw your post. She also made a very yummy sweet nut bread, I believe she called is Povatitsa or Povatica or something like that. It was so delicious. That was many many years ago, but I can still remember the food she made that first Christmas.

Michael Manning said...

Protege: We'll see where I wind up. Could be where snow is a familiar and welcomed friend. The Bulgarian sculptor Christo once secured permission to cover mountains with a white material in the name of art. From afar, it appeared like a blanket of snow. However, like you...I prefer the real scientific marvel.
xoxo!
Michael

sprinkles said...

Snowflakes can be so beautiful as evidenced by the website referenced in your post.

I've never done any real research on it but how do scientists know for sure that no two snowflakes are alike? Because no one has seen every single snow flake that has ever fallen!

Wow, that's a huge flake that fell in Montana!

sprinkles said...

Oh, I meant to also say thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog the other day!

Protege said...

Elizabeth, Nessa, 1ondoncalling (welcome!), C, The Bach, Sandi, Michelle, Jeanne, Mimi, Keith, Susan, Calli, Julie, Claudia, Kath, Rosezilla, Brian, Jill, Brenda, Helen, Hilary, Doreen, jeannette, Vagabonde (welcome!), Michael, sprinkles – thank for your comments, as always, your visits are the best feedback and inspiration for my writing at all times.
I am so happy and honoured that you find the time to stop by.

xoxo
Zuzana

Sumandebray said...

that is a sizable piece of snow from the sky... a brick.
there are snow flakes falling in your blog .. setting the right mood for the season, I believe

steviewren said...

A fifteen inch snowflake.....oh my gosh...that sounds like a snowball!

Protege said...

Sumandebray and stevie,
glad you enjoyed my snowflake post.;) And my new snow widget that makes it snow in here too.;)

Gal Friday said...

My mind boggles at the idea of a snowflake as big as the recoreded on at 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick!!
Our first snow of the season was last Saturday night when we drove home from the train station and it was a slightly scary ride because the swirling and blowing snow sort of hypnotises you when you are driving in it at night and I was glad to make it home so I could enjoy the snowfall without driving in it.