I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Monday, February 24, 2014

Water babies

Just when we really needed a reason to remember that snow can be magical, this went viral: a microscopic time-lapse film of snowflakes forming, taken by Vyacheslav Ivanov.

I grew up in a place where it never snowed, and so of course I believed that snow always fell out of the sky in the kind of perfect six-sided flakes we so industriously cut from construction paper in grammar school. (I would also never have believed you could get tired of it.)

Sadly, most of what falls from the sky is already clumped together and doesn't look that different from what you scrape off a Stouffer's lasagne that's been in the freezer for far too long. Then it sits on the ground and refuses to melt and convinces otherwise rational people that the month of February is at least one hundred days long. (This is also how Florida is able to fool people into moving there.) But I digress.

Once in a while, just for a moment, you do see them. An individual snowflake lands on your coat, or your glove, tiny and perfect, and dissolves almost as soon as you look at it. This video makes me remember that feeling.

And while I understand why water "wants" to be hexagonal when it freezes, because of the v-shape of water molecules, that doesn't explain why snowflakes are symmetrical, each of the six sides the same, and the explanations I tried to read were completely over my head. I'll try again when I've recovered my full allotment of IQ points.

In the meantime, I prefer to just credit magic.

1 comment:

Elisa said...

Magic, all of it, as your posts always are.

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