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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

Twist

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A twist of grape tendril

When the leaves disappear, subtler natural forms start to emerge. This twist of grape tendril caught my eye on my way up Taft Road.

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/7.1, 1/800″ exposure

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Sky Ice

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Early pond ice and sky

Early ice and reflected sky in one of the beaver ponds along Taft Road.

There’s quite a growing complex of beaver ponds along Taft Road now. Cold temperatures have started to close the open water, and the beavers are working overtime (if there is such a thing in beaverland…) to gather enough food to make it though the winter in their lodges bound by ice.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 46mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/500″ exposure.

Camel’s Hump Black & White

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Camel’s Hump in black & white

A friend challenged me to black & white photo thingy on the facebooks, so I obliged. Interestingly, this time of year (November…) it’s kind of hard to find much color in the world, so black and white landscapes work!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 115mm, ISO 800, f/11, 1/1300″ exposure.

Frosted Rugosa

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Rugosa rose leaves bedecked with frost

Intricate frost crystals grow on rugosa rose leaves in the chilly morning air.

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/16, 1/400″ exposure

Rusted

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Red oak leaves “rusting” on the branch

Many years ago, Robin pulled a red oak sapling out of the woods and planted it at the edge of our front yard. It’s now about 25′ tall and one of the showcase trees on our property (despite being decapitated in 2014…) This time of year it’s leaves look like they’re rusting. They cling to the branches well into the winter with some not dropping until new leaves push out in the spring. There are quite a few dried leaves from last season still on the branches…

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 46mm, ISO 800, f/5.2, 1/640″ exposure

Four in the meadow

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Two pair of Jersey heifers in a fall meadow

Four of the Taft’s Jersey heifers don’t seem to be paying too much attention to the view along Shaker Mountain Road.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 46mm, ISO 800, f/13, 1/100″ exposure

Frosted

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Chicory frosted

Late season chicory sports a fringe of frost.

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/13, 1/60″ exposure.

Feeling watched…

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Harbor seals keeping an eye (many eyes) on me in Chatham, MA

While walking the beach in Chatham on Cape Cod, we were constantly under the gaze of large groups of harbor seals. This group was quite close to the shore—maybe 30 feet off—and didn’t have any problems with me taking their picture. Their rapt attention makes me wonder what they were thinking watching us…

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 140mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/1600″ exposure.

Here’s a wider shot:

seal-group

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 14mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/3200″ exposure.

 

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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