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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

Forest Battle

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The garter snake pounces

While descending Hurricane Mountain a week or so ago, I spooked a large garter snake (probably 28-30″ long with a inch-and-a-half diameter). I stopped stock still and watched as he was obviously hunting—his tongue darting as he poked under a fallen tree and in the leaf litter. Without warning, he struck at something I didn’t see—a toad hidden under a layer of leaves. The battle ensued. Robin and I watched for a good 10 minutes as the struggle between snake and rather large toad played out…

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The snake gets the toad out of the leaf litter
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The toad holds on to a stick
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The toad manages to get its head out of the snake’s mouth
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The toad struggles to pull away
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The snake manages to grap the toad’s head again…

Moments after this last shot, the snake righted itself, lifted the toad a good 6″ off the forest floor, and sped out of sight into cover to finish the job. We could only stand in awe at the power, strength, and persistence of the snake—and yes, we had some remorse for the toad. Such is life in the forest.

Photos taken with a Panasonic GM5 and Lumix 12-32mm lens.

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Down the line

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Looking down the line in Jonesville, VT

Morning sunshine kicks up heat waves causing some interesting distortion in this vanishing-point view of railroad tracks in Jonesville, VT.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 218mm, ISO 800, f/20, 1/250″ exposure

Elderberry

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Elderberry berries ripening along Taft Road

The bright purple stems of elderberry fruit heads certainly catch the eye this time of year. The nutritious berries are sought out by many critters including birds, bears, and homo sapiens.

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/3.2, 1/1600″ exposure.

Huntington Eclipse

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Moon bites the sun…

The eclipse at its maximun (60.5% of totality) here in Huntington. Note the sunspots on the lower left…

Nikon D600, Meade LX90, 2000mm, Mylar solar filter, ISO 100, f/?, 1/1250″ exposure.

Dogwood berries

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Dogwood berries against the sky

There’s a clutch of pagoda dogwood along Taft Road that have been beckoning my to take some photos. The dark purple-black berries on their bright red stems contrast so well with the green foliage. A shallow depth of field allows for some ethereal bokeh of the blue sky beyond.

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/5, 1/640″ exposure.

Suspension

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Dew beaded spider web strands

Spider web strands hold beads of dew like stings of pearls. The drops cling to the sticky material that spiders place at intervals along their webs to capture prey.

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 640, f/8, 1/1000″ exposure

Beaded

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Morning dew on sensitive fern

Morning dew forms perfect beads of water on the tip of a sensitive fern leaf.

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/16, 1/500″ exposure.

Franconia Raven

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A raven surveys the scene atop Little Haystack Mtn.

I hike the Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains the other day. Two ravens were mingling with the other hikers atop Little Haystack Mountain looking for dropped food or handouts—no doubt a pretty reliable source of food for the birds. Ravens are very intelligent birds (like all corvids including crows and jays). I got the impression that these two birds hung out on the summits a lot as they were quite used to people (not necessarily a good thing…) They let me get within about 3′ of them!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 140mm, ISO 800, f/18, 1/400″ exposure.

Daylily dream

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A bank of daylillies along East Street

Daylilies are in bloom now and the bank of naturalized blossoms along East Street are putting on a good show!

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 200, f/3.3, 1/4000″ exposure

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