I have always associated Christmas with hot chocolate, warm fires and snow. It rarely, if ever, snows where I live. Oh, we can find snow alright, but to do so we would have to take a two hour drive to the mountains. Alternatively, there are plenty of paper and plastic "snowflakes" hanging in all of the local stores. Some of these "snowflakes" are really beautiful, and some...not so much.
Although real snowflakes are ephemeral, they are beautiful and mesmerizing in their complexity. In 1885, Wilson A. Bentley of Vermont produced actual photographs of snowflakes. "Snowflake" Bentley, as he became known, created a process using an old microscope, a bellows camera and a black velvet surface to capture over 5,000 images of snowflakes during his lifetime.
|W. A. Bentley Snowflake, 1890|
Bentley described snowflakes as "tiny miracles of beauty" and "ice flowers". I have included a few selected images on this page. You can view many other Bentley snowflakes, however, by browsing The Bentley Collection website here.
Sadly, "Snowflake" Bentley died as a result of his work. He contracted pneumonia after walking for miles through a blizzard to capture more photographs of snowflakes. He passed away just two days before Christmas in the year 1931.
|"Snowflake" Bentley at work|
MERRY CHRISTMAS SNOWFLAKES TO ALL!