SOMERSET LEVELS 131 – THE VIEW NORTHWEST ACROSS TEALHAM MOOR, AND MEMORIES OF MRS OLDFIELD

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The view northwest, from Tealham Moor towards Brent Knoll; 7 Feb 2014.

The road westwards across Tealham Moor stands a couple of feet proud of the floodwaters, which are nothing like as deep here as they are on the Levels further to the south.  These floods have been here for more than three weeks and, after such a time submerged, all of the pastures under these waters are dead.  Farmers are looking at producing more pastures and crops next year or the year after next.  But this at least this freshwater flooding brings far less devastation than would have occurred if this area had been swamped by the salty waters of the sea, as it used to be.

The pollarded Willow is still alive but, with its trunk now hollow and leaning, and its roots trying to grasp footholds in the perpetually soft and wet soil, it has not long to go.  More about pollarding can be found here.

The hill in the distance is Brent Knoll, a well known landmark to those travelling on the M5 motorway, near Burnham-On-Sea.  Not long ago, this low hill was an island in the brackish waters and marshes that covered all of this flat landscape, and the Romans built a fort and lookout post on its summit. 

Fifty or more years ago, grandparents of an old friend used to live in the lee of this hill, and the grandmother – Mrs Oldfield, I can still see her face now –  frequently saw the ghost of a woman in her house.  Being cantankerous as we oldies can sometimes be …  she arrived home one day to find the ghost sitting in her favourite armchair and, in a fit of temper, told her to go away and never come back – and that’s exactly what the ghost did. 

My friend and I tried to photograph the ghost one night, with the camera on a tripod and looking through a doorway onto a bed where she was often seen.  Our results were ambiguous, although with hindsight I think they owed more to bungled technique than to any supernatural presence.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 80mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

16 Responses to SOMERSET LEVELS 131 – THE VIEW NORTHWEST ACROSS TEALHAM MOOR, AND MEMORIES OF MRS OLDFIELD

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    This is a beautiful landscape! And no ghosts please! I like the colours. Surprised coming from you !

    Like

  2. Helen Cherry says:

    You are NOT an oldie !!

    Like

  3. Meanderer says:

    I love the story which accompanies this image of the floods in the area.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, (newly liberated) M! I do remember Mrs Oldfield, and her husband too. My friend and I used to be driven out to Brent Knoll to visit them by his parents, and then we two – both very keen amateur geologists in those days – would go up into bare fields behind the church, and crawl across those fields, noses an inch or two from the bare soil, to find small but exquisite lower Jurassic fossils – tiny ammonites, bivalves and brachiopods – lying on the soil’s surface – I still have some here now I think. A 🙂

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  4. krikitarts says:

    I’d love to see the results of your ghost attempt, however ambiguous! Please???

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Oh dear, Gary, its such a very long time ago! I do have some films (black and white negs) from my boyhood around, but realistically I doubt I’ll be able to find this one – however, I won’t give a definitive “no”! Adrian

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  5. bananabatman says:

    It looks as if you got your feet wet for this one Adrian. There’s dedication.

    A great little story. I think this must be the ultimate photographic challenge. To photograph a REAL ghost. Not one produced using photoshop, or crafty in-camera double exposure, but a REAL one. Do we have the time or patience? Not I.

    How would we know whether it was real anyway? That’s a tricky one!

    I’m waiting for you to show us The Ghost of Tealham Moor. There’s a challenge.

    Dave.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Your challenge is appealing, Dave, although, to avoid a repeat wetting of the walking department, I’m wondering if you might pop down to Tealham so that I can stand on you, squire, to provide a firm footing for my photography, as it were???

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  6. Hi, I enjoy your stories that go with your photos. The Levels look like a great place for year round inspiration. Like most English people I firmly believe in ghosts and we had one in the house where I grew up in Kent. The French, who are proud of their self proclaimed Carthesian frame of mind, think believing in ghosts is quite extraordinary, which I find extraordinary 🙂

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hello Henrietta, I agree with you about ghosts – I have no idea exactly what they are, but so many people have seen them over the years, that there must be something to them, if only in our minds. I would love to see one, and in fact have tried to do so, but to no avail – still hoping!!!

      Glad you enjoy my stories – thanks. I enjoy writing, and usually try to incorporate anything that pops into my mind when setting up posts – and being “no longer young” of course, I have lots of things in my memory – and on top of that, our long term memories improve with age (unlike our short term ones!), and so more memories appear. Thanks for your thoughts! Adrian

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