Winter here in the Northeast is snow and ice. I have been focusing a lot on photographing the snow. But ice can also offer some magical possibilities. And the most magical ice of all are icicles. They grow on your house and are really beautiful until you realize that they are harbingers of ice dams and roof leaks – not so good. When I was in graduate school in Ithaca, NY we had icicles behind the physics building that were feet around and five to ten feet long. They hung from the eaves of the third floor and if you parked beneath them – well let’s just say “Excalibur!” Really not good at all.
In a sense icicles are a record of winter. Successive bulges spell out, like tree rings, the diurnal melting and refreezing. And they are truly magical house ornaments. I love the way they catch light, refracting it like imperfect lenses, and scattering it off encased air bubbles.
This afternoon I was particularly intrigued by the shining icicles hanging outside our bedroom windows. And since my wife was downstairs, she could not protest as I flung open the window and removed the screen to take some pictures. The lone icicle of Figure 1 I particularly liked. It has that specimen quality of something at the same time scientific and beautiful. After removing the cold blue natural colors and converting to black and white, I found myself toning blue. Go figure!