December 16, 2012

Is Each Snowflake Truly Unique?



Wilson A. Bentley, a Vermont farmer, had a passion: snow crystals.

Acting on this passion was what led him to conclude that no two snowflakes can be the same.


The splendor of the first snowfall of each season awes me. This awe is stretched to infinitesimal levels when I realize that each snowflake is unique, not matched by any other snowflake.

Earth has hosted more than seven billion persons…

Earth has been decorated by an uncountable number of snowflakes…

Only God could create each uniquely.

Each year since 1972 I our family has substituted a handcrafted ornament for a Christmas card. In 2011 I chose a snowflake cutout for a theme (it truly is truth that all we need to know we learn in kindergarten…so true, I thought, as I cut out numerous paper folded snowflakes).


The snowflake is noted for its uniqueness among the trillions and trillions of snowflakes that have fallen on earth. Likewise, each of us—as one of seven billion persons—is unique, although our commonality is being made in the image of God.

Our family recently incorporated two sisters into the family. They were released for adoption as infants. As startling as the similarities of appearance Darlene has to her newly discovered family members, she is distinctly different. Sister #2 (not using her name) appears very dissimilar physically, but has characteristics that tie her into the family fold where seven of their new-found siblings have similarities and differences.

securedownload  snowflake

What made “Snowflake” (Bentley’s a. k. a. moniker) conclude that no snowflake is identical? He combined a bellows camera and a microscope and used it to snap more than five thousand photographs, which he found match-less. He determined that each snowflake is unique due to crystal-forming possibilities.*

Although we had a little snow earlier in the season—just enough to whiten the ground and melt away swiftly—snowflakes haven’t arrived yet this year. It is predicted that the Greensburg, Pennsylvania, winter will be colder and drier than normal, with above-normal snowfall. How many trillions of snowflakes will fall just this season a person can only guess. I wonder if Snowflake is correct in stating that crystal-forming possibilities allow each snowflake to be unique.

securedownload  snowball tossingEither way, I will be outside during the first snowfall, sticking my tongue out to catch a few of these white wonders. Perhaps I will even make a snowman this year. I will enjoy that first snowfall but will come to want the white-flaked precipitation to quit after the third event.

And I will wonder at the uniqueness of each snowflake, and the uniqueness of each person on earth.

In spite of his being considered crazy in his time, 1865-1931, the Old Red Mill, a museum in Snowflake’s town, Jericho, preserves the spirit of a Yankee Original.*



Glimmers of Hope in This 2011 Christmas Season

A Record for the Most Santa Hats on Two Continents Simultaneously

Christmas. Whose Season Is It?


Houses convey the majesty of the past, Jack Markowitz, April 7, unknown year, Greensburg Tribune-Review



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