The first pictures of snowflakes were taken by Wilson Bentley who is remembered as Snowflake Bentley. He was an amateur photographer--a farmer by trade really he became interested in snowflakes in his youth and poetically referred to them as "tiny miracles of beauty" and snow crystals as "ice flowers." Adding poetry to the actual process he caught them on a black velvet in order to photograph them before they melted away. Ever since reading about him in junior high I still have this image imprinted in my mind of a simple man dancing wildly through a field in winter with a blanket of black velvet in his arms and smiling blissfully as he carried each small collection of snowflakes back to be photographed almost as some would carry a lover. Although he was an amateur his photographs were so detailed that there were no new attempts in snowflake photography for nearly 100 years. Sadly and ironically, Bentley died of pneumonia at his farm after walking 6 miles through a blizzard--surrounded by the the "ice flowers" that captivated him so completely. I don't have a microscope or Bentley's dedication, but I do understand his passion when it snows. It's incredibly beautiful on the large scale and so much more enchanting when I think about how many tiny, flower-like shapes make up the piles of snow outside my door right now.
ASOS sweater (old, similar)
*pictures by Jon