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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

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Adirondacks

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.

Poke-o-Moonshine

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Looking southeast from the summit of Poke-o-Moonshine

Fall foliage is approaching peak color in parts of the Adirondacks. The view from the top of Poke-o-Moonshine was stunning the other day. Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains are visible along the horizon in this view to the southeast.

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 9-18mm lens @ 9mm, circular polarizing filter, ISO 800, f/16, 1/160″ exposure.

Crepuscular

Crepuscular rays burst from behind the clouds above Indian Lake
Crepuscular rays burst from behind the clouds above Indian Lake

We were paddling on Indian Lake in the Adirondacks the other evening—dodging showers—when the sun streamed out from behind the clouds in a spectacular display of crepuscular rays (a.k.a. “God rays”).

Sony RX100mIII, ISO 125, f/4, 1/60″ exposure.

White Tail Fawn

A white tail fawn in mid-munch near Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks
A white tail fawn in mid-munch near Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks

While making dinner at a friend’s house on the shores of Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks, two white tail fawns traipsed out into the field busily browsing on the lush grasses. They hung around for quite some time seemingly unperturbed by me hiding out behind a tree to snap numerous photos. I caught this one in mid-munch!

Nikon D600, Sigma 120-400mm lens @ 400mm, ISO 1250, f/8, 1/500″ exposure.

Loons on Blue Mountain Lake

A pair of loons ply the waters of Blue Mountain Lake
A pair of loons ply the waters of Blue Mountain Lake

I went for a morning swim on Blue Mountain Lake in the heart of the Adirondacks. There were four loons about 40 feet offshore busily diving for fish. One of them came up with a big one, but he or she scampered off out of photo range before I could get a shot. These two were kind enough to pose. I think the four were two adults and two juveniles, and these two are an adult and a juvenile.

Nikon D600, Sigma 120-400mm lens @ 400mm, ISO 1250, f/8, 1/1000″ exposure.

Fern in Water

A single fern frond caught in mid-wave splash
A single fern frond caught in mid-wave splash

Morning sun backlights this single fern frond and droplets of wave splash along the shore of Indian Lake. A fast shutter speed freezes that action.

Photo Info: Nikon D600, Sigma 105mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/3.2, 1/800″ shutter.

Green Tea

Green reflections and tea tinted waters
Green reflections and tea tinted waters

A close-in shot of tannin tinted, tea colored water and reflections from the surrounding trees. This is from the same Adirondack stream of my previous two posts. Here, I’m experimenting further with shutter speed and the levels of reflectivity that can be “dialed in” using a circular polarizing filter.

Photo Info: Nikon D600, Nikon 24-120mm lens @ 65mm, polarizing filter, ISO 1250, f/4.5, 1/40″ exposure.

Tannin Stream in the Adirondacks

Tea colored waters flowing into Indian Lake
Tea colored waters flowing into Indian Lake

The tannin tinted waters of an unnamed stream flowing into Indian Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Recent rains have made many of these smaller brooks run high.

Photo Info: Nikon D600, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm, polarizing filter, ISO 100, f/20, 5″ exposure.

Tannin Waters

Tannin tinted water falling over mosses and rock
Tannin tinted water falling over mosses and rock

This shot is from shoot yesterday up on Indian Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. The tannins in the water come from decomposing vegetation and color the water a lovely tea color. The 1/13″ shutter speed blurs the water just enough to bring out what I call the “light scribbles” in the water. More photos from this shoot to come…

Photo Info: Nikon D600, 24-120mm lens @ 92mm, polarizing filter, ISO 3200, f/16, 1/13″.

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