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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

Month

February 2015

Barred Owl and Chickadee

A plucky chickadee keeps an eye on a barred owl by our pond
A plucky chickadee keeps an eye on a barred owl by our pond

I posted this on my Weather Blog this morning, but figured I post it here too. As I walked up our walkway yesterday afternoon coming back from a ski, I caught the movement of a larger critter flying out of the hemlock by the feeder. Sure enough, it was this barred owl lurking about looking for a meal. It flew up into the top of one of our now-broken willow trees by the pond. Note the chickadee in the branch just below the owl. Chickadees like to know where the predators are, and will stay close and even harass them as a warning to other birds. Just another reason I love chickadees so much! The owl was nice enough to wait for me as I went inside and grabbed my camera.

Nikon D600, Sigma 120-400mm lens @ 400mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/1250″ exposure

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Venus & Mars (and the Moon) are alright tonight…

A beautiful convergence of Venus, Mars, and the crescent Moon in this evening's sky
A beautiful convergence of Venus, Mars, and the crescent Moon in this evening’s sky

I hope you had a chance to see it. Venus is the brighter of the two dots. Simply beautiful!

Pretzel

A pretzel in the wild? Hmmm...
A pretzel in the wild? Hmmm…

Several alert readers of my East Street Weather Blog have pointed out that this morning’s photo reminded them of a nicely salted pretzel. Here’s another version of the photo with some of the more tell-tale details cropped out. Can you figure out what it is?

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!

A chickadee pauses briefly...
A chickadee pauses briefly…

Chickadees are my favorite birds. I think I’ve said that before… I love their gregariousness and seeming tameness (I’ve had one eat out of my hand once) and the way they talk to each other and to me when I’m filling the feeders. When the weather’s bitter cold—as it has been recently—they rely on a consistent food supply to keep their little engines running.

Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens (I was on a macro shoot…), ISO 1000, f/18, 1/640″ exposure.

Feathering

Delicate frost crystals feather an apple sucker stem
Delicate frost crystals feather an apple sucker stem

I came across these fine, delicate frost feathers growing from a sucker stem next to one of the apple trees in our back yard. There was a hole just below the stem and next to the tree trunk where I’ll wager some critter has taken up winter residence allowing its warm breath to create just enough moisture for the crystals to form.

Lineup

A line of milkweed stems in fresh snow
A line of milkweed stems in fresh snow

I’ve really been enjoying the beautiful snow we’ve got right now (and not only for skiing!) The smoothness and openness of the world is punctuated here and there by the remains of last summer’s growth.

Copper

A red oak leaf in new fallen snow
A red oak leaf in new fallen snow

The red oak in our front yard still has plenty of leaves to contribute to the winter still life. They leathery copper color contrasts brilliantly with the new fallen snow.

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