John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World



Coltsfoot vs Dandelion


By late May, some early flowering plants have already gone to seed. You’ve no doubt seen these silver tufts along roadways and ditches, and maybe you thought they were dandelions. But no, they’re the seed heads of coltsfoot, one of the earliest flowering plants that we have here in Vermont. Like dandelions (which are also producing their seedheads) coltsfoot disseminates its seeds by wind action as each toughs of silver fibers are connected to individual seeds. Here’s a dandelion seedhead for comparison:


I’ll agree that coltsfoot looks a little rangy compared to the nifty seed-stalk-and-fluff setup sported by dandelions, but it too gets the job done!

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/20, f/22 respectively, 1/500″, 1/100″ respectively.


Canada Violets

Canada violets blooming near Little Baldy

As we bushwacked up the approach to Little Baldy the other day, we walked through broad patches of Canada violets (Viola canadensis) blooming near areas where logging had occurred a few years back. These are our tallest native violets growing 6″-8″ with large white blossoms.

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/13, 1/160″ exposure.

White Trillium

White Trillium

Robin and I went for a walk on the Sucker Brook Hollow trail in Williston yesterday. We’d never been on that short trail before, and were pleased to find a bounty of white trillium flowering along the western sloping hillside. White trillium prefer well-drained, neutral to slightly acid soils, usually in second- or young-growth forests of maple and beech, and often grow in large colonies. We certainly encountered such a colony on our walk and would recommend a hike up there to take a look.

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/9, 1/160″ exposure.

A colony of white trillium


Painted Trillium

Painted trillium near the Mailbox beaver pond

We came across some painted trillium while poking around the beaver pond complex off of Taft Road yesterday morning. This variety of trillium prefer strongly acidic, humus-rich soils, and will be found in the shade of acid-loving trees such as eastern white pine, red maple, red spruce, and balsam fir—pretty much exactly where we found them above the older beaver pond off the Mailbox trail.

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/16, 1/125″ exposure.

Trout Lily

A close look at a trout lily

The trout lilies are blooming gang-busters up in the new Huntington Town Forest. This close-up view shows the details of the “business bits” of this lovely spring ephemeral.

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/16, 1/125″ exposure

Spring Beauties

Spring beauties blooming in the Huntington Town Forest

Spring beauties are literally carpeting the ground in the upper reaches of the soon-to-be-new Huntington Town Forest in Huntington Center. There are at least 7 species of spring ephemeral wildflowers blooming right now up there, and I highly recommend a hike this weekend!

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 1250, f/13, 1/800″ exposure.

Blood Root Bloom

Blood root finally in full bloom by Fargo Brook

Yesterday’s sunshine and warm temperatures got the blood root down along Fargo Brook to finally open up!

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/13, 1/160″ exposure.

Chilly Blood Root

Reluctant blood root down along Fargo Brook

I’ve been keeping my eye on our patch of blood root down along Fargo Brook as the spring progresses (in fits and starts as the case may be…) The snow and cold hasn’t been much help. The blossoms are up but are very reluctant to open even when the temperature approached 50f yesterday afternoon.

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/13, 1/800″ exposure.

Yellow Violet

A yellow violet blossom on the Camel’s Hump Nordic ski trails

Spring ephemerals continue to blossom up here in north-central Vermont despite yesterday’s snowfall! This yellow violet blossom was blooming in the rich woodland soils up along one of Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Center trails.

Sony A7II, Sony 90mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/13, 1/125″ exposure.

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