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31 March, 2002

HAPPY EASTER!!!!! We will not have an Easter egg hunt this Easter. Nor, will I be seeing the Easter bunny. There are no blooming spring flowers but there is much beauty in the cold Arctic. Camp was broken in the midst of cloudy, snow showers. The snow continued to fall gently throughout the day. The clouds made the temperature warmer but the lack of sun took away much appreciated warmth. Easter Day brought me presents of diamonds, bullets and columns. No, these are not weird Easter presents but instead a beautiful, small, world of snow crystals. My eyes were opened to a hold new beautiful cold world. The small, world of snowflakes. Snow is the crystallized form of water (H20). Water in itself is magical because it is essential to all life. The transformations that water undergoes is utterly amazing and astounding. It forms a geometric, masterpiece of art as it crystallizes. The water molecule is composed of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. It is in a bent shape forming approximately 120 degree angles. Water molecules bond together because of the partially negative charge on the oxygen atom and the partially positive charge on the hydrogen atoms. The water molecules continually bond to one another forming and intricate mass of water molecules. Due to the bonding angles when these water molecules crystallize, they form hexagonal shape crystals. Snowflakes always appear in 6 sided crystals.

Yesterday, diamond dust fell intricately and lightly from the sky. Staring at the crystals with the naked eye gave no hint to the beauty underneath. However, a tiny handheld microscope revealed a marvelous world. Diamond dust are tiny, minuet sized snowflakes. They are on average 10 microns in size. They fell lightly and continuously, piling up on each other. So small but so much detailed beauty. Some appeared clear and translucent whereas others appeared white. No flake appeared the same, each different holding it's own beauty. Diamonds, small precious presents from nature and the world above.

Today, nature awarded us with bullets and columns. Not dangerous by design but once again a geometric art show. These crystals falling from the sky were much larger in shape. The different designs of snowflakes are due to the differences in temperature and humidity during a given day. The bullets appeared as crystallized, pointed bullets. Looking closer one could see the hexagonal shape at the end of the bullet that forms the snow crystals. The columns appeared as small, translucent shapes pulled from an impressive building. Continuously piling one crystal on top of another, the snowflakes fell performing their own Arctic show.

I cannot bless you with any pictures of the Arctic snowflake show. We are not equipped with a camera that can capture so much magic. However, Matthew has captured much crystalline magic through the years by photos. He often does this by capturing the snowflakes and transporting them into a cold room to photograph. Cold, illusive, Arctic, snow art……



Longitude: 65.98300 degrees North

Latitude: -161.13300 degrees West

We have arrived in the village of Buckland. We are very grateful for the Buckland School for allowing us to stay in their warm and beautiful school. We all have had showers and are clothed in clean clothes!!!! Tomorrow we will interact with the native schoolchildren about snow science! Such a great Easter present to reach our first destination!

High Temp: - 4 degrees Celsius

Low Temp : -16 degrees Celsius


April Cheuvront

7133 Rhododendron Drive

Newland, NC 28657

(828) 439-5737 ../tea_cheuvrontfrontpage.html aprilcheuv@yahoo.com

Looking through the microscope at the beautiful snow crystals!

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