About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nature up close: Snow Crystals

Wilson Alwyn Bentley (1865-1931) was frustrated by his inability to sketch the snow crystals that he was examining on his microscope before they melted. At the age of seventeen he decided to learn how to use a relatively new device called a camera. Finally in 1884, after two years of trial and error, Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley became the first person to successfully photograph snow crystals, which are commonly known as snowflakes.

Through remarkable determination he went on to become a true pioneer in the field of atmospheric science, as well as an innovative, talented photographer.

Over his lifetime, Bentley published sixty articles on snow, dew, frost and raindrops. In 1931, Snow Crystals, a book with 2,435 illustrations was published. Unfortunately he died that same year from pneumonia.

The black and white photos are samples of Bentleys work. The link to the Bentley Snow Crystal Collection by the Buffalo Museum of Science is http://bentley.sciencebuff.org/
Another informative website on snow crystals is Snowcrystals.com.

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