Jericho Hills Photography: Blog en-us (C) All Rights Reserved Jericho Hills Photography - John Vose (Jericho Hills Photography) Wed, 01 May 2013 01:46:00 GMT Wed, 01 May 2013 01:46:00 GMT Jericho Hills Photography: Blog 101 120 Please Check out my latest article for the New England Photography Guild

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) birds jericho hills photography nature photography new england warblers wildlife photography Wed, 01 May 2013 01:43:48 GMT
Please Check out my latest article for the New England Photohraphy Guild

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Bald Eagles" eagles jericho hills photography john Vose nature photography new england wildlife photography Mon, 18 Feb 2013 20:04:19 GMT
Please check out my latest article for the New England Photography Guild

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) always be prepared jericho hills photography nature photography prepared wildlife photography Wed, 14 Nov 2012 02:05:24 GMT
Please check out my latest article for the New England Photography Guild

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) common loons jericho hills photography loon chicks loons nature photography new england wildlife photography Mon, 30 Jul 2012 17:00:50 GMT
Sometimes They're Not Where You Think..... As a wildlife photographer, it is not uncommon to be up before dawn and on the road in search of subjects to photograph.  In the past, if I was going to photograph Herons, I had two or three destination spots; Parker Wildlife Reserve in Newburyport MA, or any of the multitude of brackish backwaters along the coast between Salisbury MA and Rye NH. Either one of these locations guaranteed seeing a  Herons. However, hitting these spots in good light means being on the road before 4 am as they are about a two hour drive from my home in Vermont.

Recently, while taking the "no longer a secret" back road to avoid traffic on the busiest road in town, a Green Heron flew in front of me and into the tall phragmites that line part of this road. I knew there was a wetlands back there, but had never bothered to check it out because it backs right up to a strip of stores, and a stone crushing operation. Intrigued I turned around, and found an unremarkable little marsh that has turned out to be a treasure trove of wildlife.

A Green Heron sits on a stump in a tiny marsh in West Lebanon NH

This marsh is not covered in beautiful lily's, it is littered with tires, and trash that has blown out of the dumpsters behind the mall. Yet the brackish waters support large numbers of ; Green Herons, Blue Herons, Wood Ducks, Mallards, Muskrats, and Belted Kingfishers.

A Great Blue Heron eats a large fish. Herons turn the fish so that they swallow it head first.

The Phragmites hold Red Winged Black Bird Nests, and are an evening roost for hundreds of sparrows and blackbirds. The wildlife seems to have become accustomed to noise and movement due to the constant passing of delivery trucks. This has resulted in normally wary Herons being tolerant of my moving into better positions.

A Green Heron stands still trying to blend into his surroundings

I wonder how many other "little gems" are out there.  I intend to find out !!

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Green Heron Hampshire" New herons nature nature photography new England waders water wildlife wildlife photography Sat, 28 Jul 2012 22:32:35 GMT
Quest for a MT Washington Sunrise I will be 50 years old in just over a month. I have lived in NH or VT for all but six years of my life, and I have never been to the summit of MT Washington. And, after a recent trip to MT. Washington to take advantage of the Auto Road opening at 0330, I still haven't been to the summit.

 Jeff Sinon of Jeff Sinon Photography (check out his awesome photography at ) had recently posted that he would be venturing up to Mt Washington for an attempt at a sunrise photo. I usually do not shoot landscapes, but I have been trying to expand my subject matter, and have found that I always learn something when I meet up with other members of the New England Photography Guild.

I met Jeff at the base of the mountain at 0230. We were hoping to photograph sunrise from the summit. At the base, the night sky was clear, and full of stars. We could not see the summit. As we paid our toll and headed up the steep winding road, fog and clouds began to swirl around us. Just past mile marker five, we were directed to a pull off as they had closed the road due to fog.

We scrambled to scout out a location for our shot. While we still had well over an hour until sunrise, some of the best light and color is found 30-45 minutes beforehand. As I have learned, in landscape photography it is important to have something in the foreground of your shot. The spot location we were forced into didn't provide a lot of options for a foreground anchor. Using the compass app on our iphone's, we found the eastern sky, and waited for the show to begin. Unfortunately, the show fizzled early. While pastel pinks and blues painted the sky, the cloud cover was just to heavy to allow the dramatic lighting that so many have captured. Despite this, we both managed to get a couple shots that we deemed "acceptable".


Pastel colors paint the predawn sky in this image taken from the Mt Washington Auto Road

















Valley fog is seen below in this image taken from the Mt washington auto road















So my quest for a MT Washington summit sunrise continues. The Auto Road will open two more times for sunrise this summer, and I plan on being there, ready to finally see the incredible views that so many have told me about.






]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) June NH blue clouds fog landscape mountains mt washington new england pastel pink rocks scenic sky sunrise water Fri, 29 Jun 2012 12:50:34 GMT
Check out my latest article for the New England Photographers Guild Please check out my latest article at the New England Photographers Guild site:

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Canon camera lens lens" new england super telephoto lens telephoto Sun, 20 May 2012 01:47:00 GMT
Cold Encounters of the Snowy Owl Kind
Please check out my recent article about my encounter with a Snowy Owl at: 
]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Mon, 30 Jan 2012 14:50:00 GMT
2011 Fall Foliage snapshot The 2011 New England foliage season has been a real conundrum.  Color has been late in arriving, and has been spotty at best. Areas that are typically  awash in color in late September, were either still green, or brown. The heavy rains and high winds of October have also taken a toll.


If you were willing to spend the time looking, there were pockets of breathtaking color. As the month of October runs its course, the yellows and oranges here in the Upper Valley continue to hold on.

To see more New England foliage photos:
]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Sat, 22 Oct 2011 16:36:00 GMT
At the Beach with a Least Tern Chick  

  I stopped by Parker Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport Mass on Saturday, hoping to photograph the Endangered Least Tern and Piping Plover juveniles.While there were plenty of juveniles around, I was somewhat surprised at the number of scrapes still containing eggs. It is pretty late in the season, although a biologist I spoke with said the same scenario occurred last year.

 I don't want to think of the number of eggs or hatched chicks that are killed by unsuspecting beach goers. These birds are on the Endangered Species list, so the refuge ropes off a large area of known nesting sites, but the birds don't know that, and typically lay their eggs in a scrape in the sand most anywhere.


Least Tern Nest Scrape outside the ropes      


This is a photo of a Least Tern scrape with a newly hatched chick, and an unhatched egg, outside of the roped off nesting area. If you were walking along the beach not paying attention, it would be very easy to step right on them without even noticing. Hopefully, if the parents are near by, you will know you are near a nest by the reaction of the parents who will dive at you, or spread their wings and "look menacing".

While there are certain disadvantages to "blending into your surroundings" ie getting stepped on, there also distinct advantages. The chicks and eggs are prone to predation from hawks, eagles, dogs, herons and egrets to name a few, so looking like your surroundings makes it more difficult for predators to find you.

Great Egret with a Plover Chick

 This is a photo of a Great Egret who has plundered a Plover nest killing one of the chicks.(photo taken at Fort Desoto in Florida)


Least Tern Chick being fed by parent

Once a chick has hatched, the Least Tern parents spend most of their time feeding their young.



Least Tern Chick being fed by Parent

Least Tern chick with a fish    


Mom protecting chick


Mom protecting chick            


 If you would like to check out these endangered birds, the Parker Wildlife Refuge is a great spot. Early August is prime time to view the young ones. If you do go, please obey the posted signs, and most of all WATCH YOUR STEP !
]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) MA New England beach chicks endangered nests ocean refuge sand terns Sun, 14 Aug 2011 10:58:00 GMT
Reddish Egret and the Dance of the Drunken Sailor The Reddish Egret is a medium to large heron who can be found in the salt water and brackish marshes around the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana and on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of southern Florida. It is a stunningly beautiful bird who was nearly hunted to extinction for its feathers in the 1800's.

    Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of watching a Reddish Egret fish shallow waters, has witnessed a bizarre but highly effective tactic sometimes referred to as "the dance of the drunken sailor". The egret staggers and darts through the water to confuse the fish. Then, the egret raises his wings to form a canopy which casts a shadow onto the water and reduces glare. When the bait fish swim into the shaded area, the egret strikes.

   These photos were shot at Fort Desoto State Park in Tierra Verde Florida. I hope that someday you will have the pleasure of seeing this dance for yourself.

Additional photos of Reddish Egrets can be seen at :

Drunken Sailor Dance

Drunken Sailor Dance

Drunken Sailor Dance

Canopy Hunting

Canopy Hunting

Strike !!

Success !!
]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) florida fort desoto heron ocean photo reddish egret Wed, 03 Aug 2011 17:26:00 GMT
Helpful websites for the nature photographer It could be said that Yankee Magazines "Farmer’s Almanac" once provided all the information a nature or wildlife photographer would ever need.  Weather forecasts, tidal calendars, moon phases, and when the photo subjects weren’t being cooperative, plenty of interesting stories to pass the time.
But times have changed. And while the Farmer’s Almanac still provides all of the above information, today’s photographers have a wide range of software, websites and technology that gives instant access to all that information and more.
Below is a list of websites that I have found invaluable and use frequently, and a brief explanation of what they provide.
The Golden Hour Calculator / Sunrise and Sunset information for photographers
By inserting your present location into this site, it calculates sunrise, sunset,and the golden hour for that specific location.  If you are planning a trip, you can change the date on the calendar and see the same information for that future date.

Using the Golden Hour Calculator will allow you to be set up for your shot at the exact right moment.
This is another website that allows you to insert a location and see not only sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moon set info, but also maps out the path that each will take. This software is available as a free desktop download, and is also available as an Iphone app.

Photo Ephemeris will help you plot the proper location to be in to take your photo of a moonrise, a sunrise, or a sunset.
Google earth allows you to “fly” to locations you are planning to visit, and see the area before you arrive. I often use this to find hidden marshes and ponds that cannot always be seen from the road. It is available as a free download for desktops, iphones, and Android smartphones.
This weather site along with many others, gives a photographer in the field instant access to forecasts and radar loops that are critical to staying safe, or lining up a once in a lifetime storm shot. In addition, during foliage season they have updated maps indicating where peak colors can be found. Most sites also have free mobile apps.

Wunderground will not only help keep you safe, but can put you in the right spot to take amazing weather shots
When it’s critical that you have the right depth of sharp focus in your shot, go to this site. Input your camera model, the f/stop you intend to use, and the distance from your subject. The site will calculate out how far front and back of the subject will be in focus, and also figures the hyperfocal distance. By inserting your camera model, the site automatically adjusts for any crop factor. Bookmark this site so you can access it in the field from your smartphone.

Depth of Field Master will help you make sure the settings you have chosen will result in a pleasing bokkeh or sharp detail throughout your photo.
This site allows you to download software that enables you to enter your various lenses, and print out hyperfocal distances for different distances and f/stops for that particular lens. You can then print them off and carry them in the field to refer to if needed.
I hope that you find these sites useful.
John Vose
Jericho Hills Photography

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) farmers almanac golden hour google photo tools sunrise sunset weather Mon, 20 Jun 2011 18:15:00 GMT
Piliated Woodpeckers  
Piliated Woodpecker (female)      

Piliated Woodpecker (male)                  
 We have had a pair of Piliated Woodpeckers out behind our house for the last several years. Recently I have been seeing them all over the Upper Valley, and been fortunate enough to get some decent looks. Here's a few photos, and some basic info on my favorite woodpecker....

 The Piliated Woodpecker is North America's largest woodpecker,approximately the size of a crow. It  is probably best known by the cartoon character it was the inspiration for, "Woody Woodpecker". The familiar woody woodpecker laugh -  was based on the actual call of the piliated woodpecker heard here:
The Piliated Woodpecker  is shy and often hard to observe.  They are very territorial, defending their territory from other Piliated's year round.  It occupies areas with mature forests that contain many dead trees in which it will excavate its nest, and forage for its favorite food item; the carpenter ant. The Pileated Woodpecker also eats other insects as well as wild fruits and nuts. They obtain their food by scaling bark off trees and creating large excavations in trees to expose ant nests. 
Both the male and female share the work of excavating the nest cavity. They use their strong beaks to chisel away the wood, then gather the chips in their mouths, and spit them out the opening. 
Excavating the nest cavity

Spitting out the wood chips
Both the male and female have red crests. The crest on the male starts from the bill and runs to the nape. Whereas on the female the red crest starts farther back on the head. The females lack the red mustache stripe that the males have on the side of their face.
 The Piliated Woodpecker stays with the same mate for life. Each spring they excavate a new nest cavity.  They have one brood per year, typically 4 eggs. The babies fledge in approx 24-30 days, but stay with the parents until the fall when they go off on their own. 

More photos can be seen at
]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) nest photos piliated tree upper valley woodpecker Sun, 13 Mar 2011 15:11:00 GMT
Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel
Delmarva_fox_squirrel Delmarva_fox_squirrel2

 The Delmarva Peninsula Fox squirrel is is named for the location of its historic range on the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and eastern Virginia (DEL-MAR-VA). The largest variety of tree squirrel, it weighs an average of 2.5-3 pounds. Its color is silver to slate gray with a white belly and can grow to be 30 inches long, including up to 15 inches of tail. Its ears are short and rounded.  The squirrel was listed as endangered in 1967, but has been making a comeback, and now only occurs naturally in parts of Maryland.
 Unlike the typical gray squirrel we are all familiar with, this squirrel is very quiet and shy and difficult to spot. It prefers to nest in tree cavities, and spends much of its time on the ground increasing its risk of being hit by cars.
]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Thu, 03 Mar 2011 18:56:00 GMT
Owls struggling to survive this winter....  
Barred Owl    

There have been several reports of owls being found dead this winter. While the causes are not always known, the most likely culprit is starvation. This winter has been particularly hard on wildlife that forages on mice and voles who live under the snow.  The snow cover this winter has been deep, and long lasting. The recent coating of ice makes it even more difficult. Owls hunt by using their incredible hearing and sight. Once an owl hears a mouse moving under the snow, they hone in on it and pounce with their talons. However, with a deep snow pack and a coating of ice on top, they are unable to break through.  Mice and voles are their main food supply, but when faced with starvation, they have been known to stake out bird feeders in hopes of poaching an unsuspecting bird.

Owls are typically nocturnal feeders meaning they feed at night. There have been numerous reports of owls being seen during the daytime. This is probably in response to the difficulty they have had finding food, they are forced to hunt longer.

There is not much that can be done to help the owls, nature will take its course. However, if you do find an owl that appears sick or in trouble, contact fish and game or a local bird rehabilitator.  If they get to them soon enough, they can be rehabbed and released back into the wild. We are not the only ones who can't wait for spring......

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) New Hampshire Vermont barred mice owls raptors winter Tue, 01 Mar 2011 16:46:00 GMT
Rocky the Squirrel or Squirrels.....

While sorting through photo files I came across this picture I took in Norwich last Fall.
 I was looking for Pileated Woodpeckers, and happened to see a squirrel with his head poking out of a hole in a tree, and his tail hanging out of a hole right below. Cool shot I thought and off I went. Now that I look at it closer, I think the tail actually belonged to a second squirrel who was head first into the second hole. If the tail belonged to the top squirrel, I should have seen the bottom of his tail, not the top......

Click on the photo for closer look....

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Tue, 15 Feb 2011 15:32:00 GMT
Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, Church Creek MD I was fortunate enough to spend some time at the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Church Creek Maryland this past week. The refuge consists of over 25,000 acres of freshwater ponds, tidal wetlands, open fields, and mixed evergreen and deciduous forests. It is also home to the largest breeding population of Bald Eagles on the east coast north of Florida.

Conservatively, I saw 50-60 Bald Eagles during my visit. Many of them perched in the various dead trees throughout the refuge. The males were busy hunting ducks, geese and songbirds, as  the female eagles are busy tending their nests, as their eggs should begin hatching in the next week. I urge you to check out this link to the Blackwater Refuge eagles nest cam.

In addition to the Eagles, I observed and photographed Great Blue Herons, Red Tailed Hawks, Snow Geese, Canadian Geese, and the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel. One of the most impressive sites I witnessed, was watching an eagle  fly over the thousands of snow geese congregated in one of the many pools, and they would all take off in mass. As many times as it happened, I wondered if the eagles were just playing with them as I never saw one make a serious attempt to take one down.

I learned that the female Bald Eagle is not only physically larger than the males (no comment), but they also always assume the highest perch. In a few of my photos from the refuge where the eagles are tussling, it always involved the female reasserting her higher position. It was fascinating to watch.

I met many photographers at the refuge.They ranged from retired couples with small point and shoot cameras, to professional wildlife photographers with their $25,000 set ups (which is a discussion for another time). Regardless of the equipment used, we all were able to witness and photograph many  incredible scenes.

I hope you enjoy the photos, and if your ever passing through Maryland, do try and stop by the Blackwater refuge, it truly is amazing.

View photos at:

]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) blackwater wildlife refuge eagles herons images nature photography snow geese Sun, 13 Feb 2011 16:24:00 GMT
Welcome to my blog !! I get many questions regarding the photos that I post on my website ( The old saying "every picture tells a story", is so true. I hope to use this forum to post my photos that have an interesting or entertaining story, and tell that story along with some background information on the subject matter. I hope that you will find these story's informative and entertaining. There will also be the musings of a photographer trying to break into the very competitive world of wildlife photography. I hope you will join me for this adventure !


]]> (Jericho Hills Photography) Mon, 31 Jan 2011 17:17:00 GMT