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Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to


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Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to


Review posted December 6, 2014.
Voyageur Press, 2006. 112 pages.
Starred Review
2014 Sonderbooks Standout: #7 Nonfiction

I finished reading this book exactly when the last snowfall of the winter happened in early 2014. So I wrote the review, and now I'm posting it in time for next winter's snow. In fact, this would be a wonderfully appropriate Christmas gift for snow lovers everywhere.

We’ve all heard that no two snowflakes are exactly alike, and Ken Libbrecht asserts that, at least for all but the tiniest snowflakes, that is probably so. However, there are distinct types of snowflakes, which depend on the conditions under which they are formed.

This field guide first explains the general mechanics of snowflake formation. Then it gives detailed explanations of 35 different types of snowflake forms. There are beautiful example photos of each type, along with an explanation of how they are formed and under which conditions you’re likely to find them.

I thought this book was completely fascinating and beautiful, and it gave me a whole other reason to love snow. Best of all, at the back of the book, he explains how you can become a snowflake watcher – or photographer – too.

He has a wonderful website that will give you the idea of what’s in this book, I think I am going to have to buy my own copy so I can keep it handy and take it out in the snow next winter.