Science and Beauty

I am not usually one to wax on about science. Don’t get me wrong. I love science and I think it’s perfectly marvelous. People who do science (wait, that’s everyone!) are amazing and clever and inspiring. But usually, I don’t consider myself a science geek …

Except sometimes, when science and beauty intersect. There! Right there is where my interest is captured fully and profoundly.

Enter my latest scientific fascination: W.A. (Wilson Alwyn) Bentley. Mr. Bentley was 17 years old in 1885 when he first paired his love of snowflakes with this newfangled gizmo called the photographic camera. He created on his Vermont family farm the very first photo-micrograph of a snow crystal and thus launched his career. In 1931, the year he died, he published Snow Crystals, in which he published 2,500 of his some 5,000 photographs of snow crystals.

I checked out Bentley’s book (Dover, 1962) from my local library.

And it is AWESOME.

Snow Crystal Photos by W.A. Bentely

Snow Crystal Photos by W.A. Bentely

Snow Crystal Photos by W.A. Bentely

That’s it. Page after page after page of white snow crystals on a black background. Perfect and fragile and exquisite. Fascinating and mind-blowing. Two hundred and one such pages, depicting unique crystals, including snowflakes, ice flowers, windowpane frost, rime, glaze, and graupel. There are only eight pages of text in this miracle of a book.

My dear Mr. Bentley, I think I love you.

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4 Responses to “Science and Beauty”

  • Liz
    January 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I think I’m in love with his brain…

    Reply

  • kelly
    January 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    oh…I adore the inquisitive mind.

    Reply

  • rae
    January 15, 2011 at 8:02 am

    neat! i have been seeing the children’s book about him around blogosphere and been curious. this book looks fabulous!

    Reply

  • Sara
    January 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Liz, that’s exactly what I mean. Amazing.

    Reply

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2017 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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