*For the watchful photographer, there occasionally arise what underwater photographer Paul Humann
as "Targets of opportunity". These are perhaps the more intriguing for their property of being unexpected.
Such a photo was chosen for the month for February, 2001. While wandering about with our cameras, we came upon
a condition that is rarely encountered in the southwestern desert, the heavily ice coated branches of a willow
tree. If you look closely, you will see the outline of the Organ Mountains of New Mexico in the background. We
chose back lighting to emphasize the form and transparency of the ice, and to allow the branches of the willow
to be seen within each icicle.
As you might guess, in the desert southwest this phenomenon is rare, of very short duration, and limited
in area. Elsewhere, such scenes can reflect a destructive ice storm that causes great hardship, snapping branches
from the trees from weight of the ice, downing power cables, and leaving large areas without power and heat.