Posts Tagged ‘snowflakes’

The art gallery that is The Great Outdoors is featuring a show of hexagonal plate and stellar dentrite crystals by my favorite artist.  The contrast of fire and ice was especially stunning at sunrise this morning as the sun rose through snow covered trees in the woods, but there’s still time to take in the show.  

Though all snow crystals start out as specs of dust or salt that attract moisture, you’d never suspect such plain and simple origins by looking at the end result.  Like us, each snowflake is a unique work of art.  But besides being beautiful itself, snow has the marvelous ability to enhance the beauty of whatever it touches.  Like love, it is a covering for all imperfection.  

All nature is but art unknown to thee.

~  Alexander Pope

It’s easy for Canadians to take snow for granted.  Because we are a people forever on the move, we tend to only see it as something that will slow us down unless it’s removed from our roads and pathways.  We forget about its insulating properties and how it camouflages certain wild creatures so that they have a better chance of survival during the winter months…

But mostly we forget about how perfectly beautiful it is. 

We aren’t here to make things perfect.  The snowflakes are perfect.  The stars are perfect.  Not us.  Not us!
~  Ronny Cammareri  in Moonstruck


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There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance.
~ William Sharp

With each snowfall, the forest acquires a new wardrobe.  Each branch of tree and blade of grass is covered with a new garment of white.  These evergreen branches seem to have fingers that are now gloved in snow. 

The air is cool and the snow is sparkling clean. Who would have thought that January’s white clad woods could be as refreshing to the spirit as June’s green ones? 

The positive effect isn’t just a visual one.  Snowfalls actually help clear the air of pollution.  This is especially helpful for people suffering from airborne allergens. 

Fresh fallen snow also traps sound waves between its snowflakes.  Even a light layer of snow on the landscape will absorb some of the ambient noise.  It’s no wonder that a newly snow-dressed forest seems so peaceful and quiet.

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Snows

Paper snowflakes

Growing up in Northern Ontario, snow was a big part of my life.  It usually first snowed around Hallowe’en and the last snow was inevitably well past Easter.  Since I loved being outside, I spent half the year surrounded by snow.  I loved playing in it and would stay outside well beyond the time when my fingers and toes would become numb from the cold.   How time changes all things…

The Inuit have a great variety of words to describe snow:  kanevvluk (fine snow), natquik (drifting snow), muruaneq (soft, deep snow), nutaryuk (fresh snow) and qanisqineq (snow falling on water) are a small sample.  Skiers also have an expanded snow vocabulary:  powder, crud, crust…  However, all children, in their simple wisdom, know that there are only two types of snow:  packing and non-packing.  What child has not grabbed a handful of snow and felt the thrill of realizing all of the creative potential of the packing variety?  Packing snow is the fundamental basic ingredient of snowballs, snow forts and snowmen.

As an adult waking up this morning and seeing the season’s first snow, my heart sank as it confirmed the inevitable: winter had arrived.  From opening the compost bin to getting out of the driveway, snow makes everything more difficult.  Among people who own vehicles – but not a garage – there are two types of snow also:  snow that is crusty and requires a great deal of energy and a good snow scraper to remove from the windshield (as it did this morning), and the type that falls off softly as soon as the vehicle is heated ever so slightly.  Coincidently, this last type is usually the same sort of packing snow that delights children.  Maybe time doesn’t change all things after all.

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