I’m writing this post the evening before you will actually be reading it… The forecast for tomorrow has me dreading the day…
A few showers in the morning with precipitation turning to a mixture of rain and snow in the afternoon. High 41F. SSW winds shifting to NW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 70%.
Cold and wet. Fun. Sometimes I hate winter. My brother in law asked me if I could imagine myself living in a climate where I could sit out on the balcony anytime of the year and be warm. I said yes. It seems like a no-brainer! I would have no trouble at all giving up the seasons. Christmas with palm trees? Sure, bring it on!
But then I stumbled on this photo.
At first I thought it was part of some ancient ruins of some beautiful (and no doubt warm and exotic) place. Then I looked for the context and discovered that it is a snowflake. Can you believe that?
Actually, apparently it’s called a Graupel, which is not technically a snowflake, but a snow pellet. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, since I just learned this myself, I am able to share my new found wisdom. The term graupel “refers to precipitation that forms when supercooled droplets of water condense on a snowflake, forming a 2–5 mm ball of rime; the snowflake acts as a nucleus of condensation in this process. The term is derived from German Graupel meaning the same. Graupel does not include other frozen precipitation such as snow, hail, ice pellets or diamond dust.”
That’s what they have to say about it on Wikepedia, anyway.
Actually, they also had this to say… “Under some atmospheric conditions, snow crystals may encounter supercooled cloud droplets. These droplets, which have a diameter of about 10 µm, can exist in the liquid state at temperatures as low as −40 °C, far below the normal freezing point. Contact between a snow crystal and the supercooled droplets results in freezing of the liquid droplets onto the surface of the crystal. This process of crystal growth is known as accretion. Crystals that exhibit frozen droplets on their surfaces are referred to as rimed. When this process continues so that the shape of the original snow crystal is no longer identifiable, the resulting crystal is referred to as graupel.”
That is certainly a snowflake. Or at least, I am fairly certain that that is certainly a snowflake. The above image was obtained using a Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope. I have no idea what that is.
But I hadn’t intended for this post to be a science lesson…
The point was supposed to be that suddenly, I realized how ungrateful I am for snow. Honestly, I don’t suddenly feel grateful, just because I found those incredible pictures… it’s just that I feel like I should feel grateful, and I will try harder to remember that.
Isn’t it just amazing that God put all that detail into something so tiny, and melty? Snowflakes melt in seconds – and yet every one of them is that extravagantly structured! I think He must be pleased when we observe His handi-work and enjoy it with Him.
It’s not like we have to look at it that closely to see the beauty, either… Even I, who hates winter more than most, must admit that this is beautiful. The fact that it is beautiful on so many levels is just something I can barely get my brain around.
So, I’m challenging myself to try to see the beauty in things. Even if I can’t constantly do that, I should be able to trust that there is amazing, complex beauty and purpose to all things…