The end of three old friends 2
Looking west on Tadham Moor: the stump of a willow; 28 Oct 2014.

There is a place on the Somerset Levels, where the Tadham and Tealham Moors merge one into the other, which is of great significance to me.  It is a beautiful place to be sure, it has a simple beauty that I value, but it is also of significance  to me spiritually.  I have written about this (and added a selfie) in my Levels 173 post, and also in Levels 137 , the image from which is shown below.

My 137 post talks of my love for these three willows, and the picture below shows their sorry fate in the wake of the exceptionally wet weather of last winter.  The tree on the left was a stump, already dead and rotting.  The next in line had fallen across the little waterway into the adjacent rough pasture, and the last in line was hollow, and leaning at a precarious angle.

Well, yesterday morning, not long after the sun was up, I was met with the scene shown above.  Oh its beautiful too, no doubt about that, a late October morning with a light southeasterly breeze – perhaps light southeasterly caress would be more appropriate –  on which I was out and about in my rolled up shirtsleeves.  A wonderful morning but – the farmers have quite rightly been tidying up, battening down the hatches maybe, getting everything as ready as it can be, for the winter ahead.  Last winter this landscape was underwater, and no doubt those that have their livelihoods around here are hoping that this will not happen again.

And so, all that is left on this roadside is that gaunt and furrowed stump, which has perhaps been left as some kind of marker should floods come again, as it is just about on the junction of two little roads, one of which – Totney Drove – can be seen making off westwards here.  The low stumps of the other two trees have been left in the roadside grass but are scarcely visible.

A factor in these trees’ downfall, along with age of course, is that they had all been pollarded – had their tops shorn off – in a process that there is more about here.  Pollarding tends to make trees top heavy if it is not regularly carried out.  But nothing is permanent – over time, all things change –  and as a geologist I should know that all too well.  But, sadness all the same, at seeing change in a place dear to me.  However all is not lost.  A few hundred yards south of here, on the far side of the Magic Carpark, there is another, much larger willow with whom I am also friendly, and that one appears not to have been pollarded.  It is however clinging to the side of another of these water-filled ditches (called rhynes around here – rhymes with “scenes”), and I can only hope that its roots go down deep and far enough to keep it aloft.

D700 with 12-24 Sigma at 12mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

The image from the Levels 137 post:


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.


  1. Sallyann says:

    I wondered at first if the end of your trees was payback for our interference by an annoyed Mother Nature, but then remembered that although she is cruel at times, I’ve never seen her being vindictive so the end of your trees must have been for a greater reason in the overall plan. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What beautiful light 🙂 It is sad, but on a positive note it almost seems like a memorial.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, a memorial, that’s a good thought, thank you. Last Tuesday was a beautiful, clear morning – whereas last Thursday, when I was again there, it stayed darkish for sometime past sunrise. A


  3. you’ve certainly got big skies there!


  4. drawandshoot says:

    The toning is that last image is gorgeous!


  5. Sonali Dalal says:

    Amazing perspective! And unusual to see such colours from you!


  6. Beautiful, A. It would be so sweet to see this up close and personal. But I’m drink your photos in and be satisfied with that. Tell the trees, when you whisper to them that I send hugs from ATP. xxx


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      It would be sweet to show you all this up close and personal, Gem, but its only really flat, open, rough pasture. Having said that though, it is very much alive.

      And I will tell the trees. And I do whisper to the trees, but more often talk to them, often going up close to touch them while doing so – and the larger and still standing tree that I mention at the end of this post is also very handy in that going round behind him (or her, I know not which, I haven’t looked) is one of the few places where one can have a private pee in this great, wide and very public openness; I mean, got to get rid of all that delicious coffee somehow. And one does somehow feel that taking it home in a jerry can would be rather outré – to quote Dylan Thomas, “Oh, what’ll the neighbours say, what’ll the neighbours…” 😉 …


  7. iosatel says:

    Great perspective, beautiful sky! Perfectly done!


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