John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World


September 2017

Forest Battle

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…

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

Down the line

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 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.

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