The story began with the leafy canopy over our house. The tall, arching trees were beautiful, of course, and helped to keep the house cool in the summer. But in the fall all those leaves clogged the gutters. So we installed leaf-shedding gutters. They were expensive, but they did the job. Their secret? A smooth metal top lets the leaves slide over the gutter onto the ground.
In the winter of 2011, however, something else happened. As melt water ran down the roof and hit that cold metal top, icicles were formed. Conditions were perfect for icicles that winter; the house was festooned with them, some quite beautiful.
The first icicle, above, is everyone’s favorite. It somehow caught the light in a way that made it look silvery, like "molten metal," one person told me. I used a telephoto lens to shoot the icicles. It brought each one close while leaving the backgrounds softly out of focus. Alas, most of the original photo files are missing from my archive; I’ve had to replace them with smaller versions that don’t enlarge as sharply in the slide show—but they’re still pretty.

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