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Snowflake Bentley

January 13, 2022

Snowflake Bentley:  A Biographical, January  Poem

(February 9, 1865-December 23, 1931)

acrostic poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Snowflake Bentley from the small town of Jericho, Vermont was

Named at birth Wilson Alwyn Bentley–one day to be on a monument.

Outdoors and meteorology were his attractions and passions.

Wisely, his mother gifted him, at age 15, a microscope which he adapted.

Fascination with snowflakes and the Bellows Camera turned into his prestigious career.

Listed on January 15, 1885, as first to take detailed photos of snowflakes, he proved no two are alike.

Atmospheric ice crystal formation was Bentley’s lifelong chosen field of study.

Keeping cold, keeping records, snowflake artistry and science uplifted the famous farmer-Vermonter.

Ephemeral snowflakes, everlasting Snowflake Bentley and his amazing photos thrive every winter.

* * *

                In the above acrostic poem, the stem spells the word “snowflake.”  Each bolded letter at the onset of each poetic line forms the “stem” of the acrostic. 

                Wilson A. Bentley wrote the “Snow” entry for the 14th Edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.  Less than one month before his death from pneumonia (due to his walking home in a snowstorm at age 66), Bentley published his book SNOW CRYSTALS, which is still available today.

                I highly recommend the children’s book SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY (copyright 1998) by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.  This book was the Caldecott Medal winner in 1999 for its illustrations by Mary Azarian.  Although the book is listed for kindergarten through grade-three readers, I think it may better suit readers from grade two through five and older readers.  For patrons of BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download of the National Library Service), SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY is DBC 08707; this audio version was recorded in 2017 by the cooperating library in Emporia, Kansas, and was narrated especially well by Wendy Devilbiss (reading time of fourteen minutes).  Unfortunately, this book is not available in braille from NLS.  Most adults will thoroughly enjoy reading this informative and interesting nonfiction book to young readers.

May your January days be brightened by books!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

January 12, 2022, Wednesday


From → Uncategorized

  1. Susan McKendry permalink

    Very interesting post! And books definitely brighten January days!

    • Thanks, Sue.  I will look forward to hering what you have been reading
      this January.

      Stay warm and well!

      Alice and Willow

  2. Thanks for sharing the interesting information about Snowflake Bentley. The acrostic poem was a wonderful tribute to this special man. I’m looking forward to borrowing this book from the library to enjoy the story and the award-winning illustrations! Hope you and Willow do not have to deal with too many snowflakes in the coming weeks!
    Love to you and Willow,

    • Hi, Mary–Thanks for your comment on this post!  I will be eager to hear
      about the illustrations by Mary Azarian after you have the book from the

      Enjoy the January weekend–Alice and Willow

  3. I’ve got four children of my own, but I will have to check out that book and read it with my second grader.
    And happy anniversary, you are doing an amazing job.

    • Warm and special thanks to you, Rebeca!  I hope that your second-grader

      Take care–Alice and Willow

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