Snowflake watching is an inexpensive, easy, and simple pleasure that anyone who lives in a cold climate can enjoy. All you need is a low-cost, fold-up-magnifier.

Every snowfall is different and, in some, you can see gorgeous displays of snowflakes, with each snowflake being different. This exciting activity takes you outdoors searching for inconspicuous treasure and gives you a better sense of the natural world. A good field guide can help you identify a number of different types of snowflakes.

Some people think that snowflakes are all white when, in reality, many of them are transparent, like glass. Snowflakes have what is known as six-fold symmetry which can produce various shapes because of the structure and properties of water molecules.

Snowflakes are also frequently decorated with tiny ice particles called rime that cause them to be white. Rime grows on all kinds of things giving it a glazed appearance.

Snowflakes are like hieroglyphs from the sky. The more you know about them and how they are formed, the more fascinating they become. Young snowflakes are found in the form of simple prisms. Larger, more complex snowflakes are known as stellar flakes. The sparkle that you see in freshly fallen snow most likely comes from the light reflecting off of the basal surfaces of stellar flakes.

Snowflakes that are bigger than stellar plates are known as stellar dendrites. These snowflakes have narrow tree-like branches that form extravagant crystals. Next, there are needles that look like long, slender hairs on your sleeve. A fourth kind of snowflake is the hollow column. One particular kind of hollow column snowflake is known as a fuzzy caterpillar because it has multiple plates growing out of the side of it from built up rime. Then, there are bullet rosettes and isolated bullets composed of a collection of columnar crystals that formed around a single nucleus. There are cup shaped snowflakes, irregular shaped snowflakes, scrolls, and the list goes on and on. In conclusion, if you ever want to see one of nature’s gifts that is often taken for granted, snowflake watching is a wonderful option.