from: Snowflake Bentley
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
illustrated by Mary Azarian
Houghton Mifflin, 1998
All of Winter is white. Fresh snow, clouds so thick the sky is white with them. My breath is a cloud, too, on those cold, cold mornings when I have to go outside.
Here in the midst of winter, lawns and lakes and park paths are blanketed in inches and inches of snow. The air smells fresh right after a new snow. And it really is quieter. Light, fluffy snow absorbs sound. Even an inch makes a difference, but more snow means more quiet.
So while the snow itself reflects light, making the world brighter, it absorbs sound making the world quieter.
All snowflakes have six sides forming the crystal, but each formation is different. Its size as it arranges itself into the hexagonal molecule, how fast it falls through the cloud, the cloud’s temperature and humidity, and the path the crystal takes through the cloud all determine the snowflake’s final shape.
Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley (2/9/1865 - 12/23/1931) was fascinated by each snowflake’s individuality. He took thousands and thousands of photographs of snowflakes. He made it his life’s work to study them and share what he learned with the rest of the world.
Every snowflake just like every person is unique. Some of us like snow, some of us don’t. It is estimated that about half the earth’s population has never even seen snow.
Some of us are athletic and some are not very good at moving through space.
Some of us are word wizards and some of us struggle to say what we mean.
Some of us always find the silver lining around a dark cloud and some of us concentrate on the cloud itself.
But whether we are helping others or are in need of help ourselves, we all need each other. Now maybe more than ever, it is important to "be there" for our friends and strangers, too.
Here’s a Youtube site you can click on to see a snowflake slideshow. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIbPQUdwnKw