Mallard on the rhyne beside Jack's Drove
Mallard on the rhyne beside Jack’s Drove, on Tadham Moor; 31 Mar 2015.

Springtime, and a pair of Mallards swim up the water-filled ditch or rhyne (rhymes with “seen”)  beside the little road known as Jack’s Drove.  These ducks will breed on this backwater, the more brightly patterned male (on the left) more prominent on his territory while the darker, drabber and more camouflaged female sits undetected on their nest, somewhere in the dense waterside vegetation.

In contrast to these two quietly swimming beings, I see the bare tree on the right as a mass of writhing snakes or sinuous fingers, reaching up, furiously grasping, skywards.  And in fact on this extremely windy day, while the ducks were relatively sheltered on their little waterway, the tree was twisting and writhing as it took the full force of a westerly howling in from the Bristol Channel.

Click onto this image to see a larger and far more detailed image that opens in a separate window.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.

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. This beautiful photo looks as though it’s missing a poem. ❤️😊


  2. Meanderer says:

    Oh, that’s beautiful, Adrian. I do like the antique treatment, which suits the scene very well. I love the sharpness of those branches on the right contrasted with the softness of the rest of the image. Lovely.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, I’d seen the ducks from quite a way off, but that tree on the right really caught my attention when I was closer to the scene, and I’ve increased its Structure a bit to enhance the effect. Good to hear you like it so much – thank you. I haven’t been feeling very creative of late, going off the boil a bit I think plus a somewhat negative start to the year. A


      • Meanderer says:

        I feel a bit the same, Adrian. I haven’t taken many photos at all for a few months – hence the spasmodic postings. A bit of down time is good, I think, and enables a fresh and enthusiastic eye once again. It’s lovely to see flowers popping up everywhere at the moment, helped by the mild temps and damp conditions. I just noticed a lovely patch of cowslips in the garden, and a patch of wonderfully scented wild violets in a place I have never seen them before!

        I hope things are better for you, my friend, after your negative start to the year.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. paula graham says:

    Another nice one ..I think I have seen posts before of this particular location. Yea…rain, rain, wind, more rain: real spring..but …it is on the wane..they say!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Paula, thank you. Quite a lot of my Levels pics have been from this immediate area but this may be a first for this particular wet ditch – this is a ditch my ditch tour of the Levels! … never one to shirk a ditch, me … 🙂 I hear that the weather may be slightly on the up in a day or two. A


  4. athyfoto says:

    I am enjoying looking at this image, it’s a really good composition and it just looks like the ducks are having a quiet conversation. Given your description of the wind ripping into the branches and moving them around I would love to have been there to add the sounds to the view.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Frank, thank you for your good words. Yesterday was a wild day. Although the ducks were low down and sheltered, the tree was being whipped into a frenzy, and I had difficulty holding myself and the camera still for the shot. And my car was being so buffeted that I took care to park it head on into the blast.

      This rhyne is a right angles to the westerly and so the wind was immediately right over it, more or less missing it – but another rhyne just yards away lies east-west, and there the wind was whipping up waves and spray – almost like being at the seaside! Adrian


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