The Snowflake (Redux)

This is a re-posting. I am adding two photos of snowflakes I took yesterday (Dec 4, 2010) in Durham, NC. I could not believe we had snow! I ran outside and shot these macros hand-held. Not great, but I was so excited. Will get out more this winter and work on some new techniques.

Snowflake I captured in our yard, Durham, NC, December 4, 2010.

Snowflake melting. Durham, NC, December 4, 2010. Camera: Panasonic GF1 (Micro-four thirds).

It’s no secret that I love snow. One of the best books that I’ve seen about snowflakes is The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty by Kenneth Libbrecht (photography by Patricia Rasmussen). If you’ve ever been mesmerized by the shape of a snowflake that has fallen onto your gloved hand, then this book will delight you. The stunning photography of individual snowflakes is complemented perfectly by excellent explanations of the science behind the beauty.


  • The Creative Genius
  • Snowflake Watching
  • Snow-Crystal Symmetry
  • Hieroglyphs from the Sky
  • Morphogenesis on Ice
  • Snowflake Weather
  • A Field Guide to Falling Snow
  • In Search of Identical Snowflakes



I particularly like the chapter on all the different types of crystals: stellar dendrites, sectored plates, columns and needles, bullets, split stars, twinned crystals, twelve-sided (!) snowflakes, chandelier crystals, and triangular crystals. The photos of the rimed snowflakes and hoarfrost are exquisite. Share this book with a special young person in your life (of any age). You will eagerly anticipate the next snow shower (or storm) so that you can begin to find some of these treasures yourself!