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The Snowflake Strathspey

Photo by Alexey Kljatov

Snowflake Day

Feb 9

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“Are ye the ghosts of fallen leaves,
O flakes of snow,
For which, through naked trees, the winds
A-mourning go?”

~ Phantoms, John Banister Tabb (1845-1909)

Each winter in only the United States, it is estimated that at least 1 septillion ice crystals fall from the sky! That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000—24 zeros! Depending on the temperature and humidity at which they form, snow crystals can form into all sorts of different shapes including prisms, stellar plates, stellar and fern dendrites, columns, needles, stars, triangles, bullet rosettes, and many other beautiful formations! Individual snowflakes are typically quite small, but occasionally, they stick together, forming much larger snowflakes. And while it’s common to observe sizable snowflakes around 3-5 centimeters in diameter, in 1887, at the army base of Fort Keogh, Montana, the largest snowflake ever observed was formed! According to the soldiers stationed there, massive snowflakes were falling and a single large snowflake floated down, measuring 38 centimeters and 20 centimeters thick, the size of a dinner plate! Scientists claim that huge snowflakes can form when heavy, wet snow falls with little wind. Under these conditions, flakes with a slight surface sheen of water can adhere to each other, creating larger flakes! This strathspey also creates a large snowflake shape in a rare six couple hexagonal set formation, taking its inspiration from a six-sided snowflake! ❄️ ❄️ ❄️

The Snowflake Strathspey

The ephemeral snowflake proves a challenge for photographers and scientists alike.


Snowflakes form from water vapor that condenses directly into ice inside of clouds. They take shape as water vapor molecules from cloud droplets condense and freeze on the surface of a seed crystal, causing patterns to emerge as the crystals grow. The seed crystal itself forms on a tiny particle, like a speck of dust in the air, which serves as a base for ice growth. 

Atoms and molecules can hook up in different ways and, in the case of water, they often assemble into  a hexagonal lattice, which gives the crystal its sixfold symmetry.  

For more beautiful photographs by Alexei Kljatov, click the crystal!

And for a rare Scottish Country Dance with a hexagonal set formation, see below.

The Snowflake Strathspey

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Snowflake Strathspey

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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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