Welcome to Storytime for the week of June 10th
Well, it might seem silly reading a book entitled Snowflake Bentley (by Jacqueline Briggs Martin) in June but the story is just soooo good and the message it presents is timeless and perfectly fitting for any season. Wilson Bentley (born in Vermont in 1865) was absolutely passionate about snow, even though it was as common as dirt in the snow belt where he lived on a farm with his family. Farmers of that day were mostly concerned about the practicalities of providing the daily essentials for their families and the ongoing operations of the farm certainly would have kept them very busy. But Wilson Bentley had other preoccupations. Wilson drew countless images of snowflakes and when his mother gave him a microscope it opened up a new world to him. “I found that snowflakes were masterpieces of design,” he said. And he was determined to somehow preserve and record this beauty. When Willie was seventeen his parents spent all their savings to buy him a camera with its own microscope. He was convinced his photographs of snowflakes would be his gift to the world. Though his first attempts failed, he persevered and by the second winter had had perfected a technique to allow him to properly photograph and preserve the delicate ice crystals. When he was 66 years of age he published a book, Snow Crystals that was used by scholars, professors and people all over the world. A monument and museum has been built in Wilson Bentley’s hometown of Jericho, Vermont to honour the work of the farmer-scientist who pursued his passion despite many challenges and with no financial gain.
I can’t help but notice how much Wilson Bentley was supported by his parents to pursue his dreams. His parents were responsible for 2 key turning points for Willie, the purchase of his 1st microscope and the purchase of the camera / microscope that they spent their life savings on. It is good to reflect on the ways our parents help us on our own journey as we explore our passions and gifts.
Weekly challenge: Sunday is Father’s Day. Your challenge is to make a card to let your Dad know how much you appreciate him. To be entered into the draw for the pack of pollinator plants simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you have completed the challenge.