Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Star-Shaped Snowflakes : The Day it Snowed Stars

I often say that one of the greatest things about winter is being able to play in the snow with our son.  And then I joke that one of the worst things about winter is having to play in the snow with our son!  It is easy to forget how magical snow is to kids.  As adults, we have so many responsibilities- we worry about driving in the snow, shoveling the snow, dressing for the snow, school in the snow, etc.  And although playing in it is fun, I don't have the stamina to roll around in it for hours anymore like my son does.  For kids, snow is amazing white stuff that falls from the sky and blankets the earth!  And sometimes even closes school!  I mean, what more can a kid ask for?  Well, how about stars?  How about star flakes?


In January of 2015, I was letting the dog outside (or inside, or outside again, since that's usually the way it goes with our dog) after a snowstorm (Winter Storm Juno, to be exact).  I looked down and thought to myself, I think The Jersey Momma's Boy dropped a sticker... which is totally illogical, really, since why would he have been outside in this weather with a sticker? But that's what I thought I was seeing at first.  A star sticker. This is what I saw:


I actually crouched down to pick it up, and in that split second, I realized it was a snowflake.  I couldn't believe my eyes, it was sitting there so perfectly!


It was then that I looked at the snow on the deck- really looked at it- and realized that all of the snowflakes looked like little stars, or at least perfect snowflake formations:


The Jersey Momma's Boy came over to look, too, and we grabbed the cell phone to take some pictures.  If I had a better camera, I'm sure these would have been even more amazing.  Here is some of the magic that we captured (and no, it wasn't snowing pennies, I just added that for size comparison)...

Star shaped snowflakes in New Jersey, 2015

Perfect little snowflakes on our deck, 2015

Starry snowflakes on our deck in New Jersey, 2015

I was so amazed by this that I tried to share my photos with news media on Twitter.  I tweeted to NJ.com, but they didn't believe the photos were real (actually, 'liar, liar pants on fire,' was the exact response I got from them).  Silly NJ.com, you could have scooped them all, because within a day or two, I found articles about it on HuffingtonPost, Gothamist and more.  According to the Gothamist weatherman, they were known as rimed crystals (snowflakes with cloud droplets frozen on them).  Take that, NJ.com!

Within an hour or so, the star flakes were gone or had been swallowed up by more snow, so I feel totally blessed to have seen this.  So when your winter days are long and dark, just remember how beautiful and stunning this world is.  Such rare beauty exists just beneath our noses.


If you're looking for some more information about snowflakes, or some fun books to read to the kids, check out my favorite book, Snowflake Bentley (affiliate link) about the life of a snowflake photographer.

16 comments:

  1. Amazing! Love the article and all the amazing photos!

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  2. That is the coolest thing ever!! amazing pictures!!

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    1. Aw, thanks! Maybe we'll get lucky again this year and see some more stars. Thanks for reading.

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  3. WOW! That is a gorgeous snowflake. The next time I am outside I am going to pay more attention to the snow's detail and see if I can find something like this!

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  4. Awesome! Let me know if you find anything good! They're all pretty neat when you really look at them up close.

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  5. I love snowflakes! I think that was a special experience to see the snowflakes up close and personal like that. I can't believe the paper didn't think your lovely snowflakes were credible. What a hoot!

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    1. I know, right? I was actually a little insulted. After they said 'liar, liar pants on fire,' I tried to prove it with my location and other photos but they never responded. Their loss!!

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  6. I'm so impressed with your photos! They are such a beautiful and unique thing to capture and you did it in an amazing way! So cool.

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    1. Thank you, Betsy! I'm just glad I had a camera handy! Thanks for visiting.

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  7. Wow that is soooo cool! I guess it has been awhile since I have watched the snowflakes fall. I know this doesn't happen all of the town, but they are beautiful!!

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    1. Thank you!! I am still amazed by them, too.

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  8. This is absolutely gorgeous. You got some great pics.

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    1. Thank you so much! Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. That is amazing! I can't even believe those are real, but I believe you! Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Stefanie! They are definitely real. I don't even know how I could fake something so intricate. Thanks for visiting!

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