Bad breath and bristles


Out on the Somerset Levels early again yesterday, I made my first stop down a narrow, dead end lane on Aller Moor, not far south of Wedmore. It is a dead end road as far as tarmac is concerned but, where the black top expires, it continues on as a rough track – it is Allermoor Drove, and it continues westwards across the rough and usually wet pastures that make up the Aller and Tealham Moors.

Passing Allermoor Farm’s barking dogs, I soon arrived at “Tarmac’s End” – and was immediately the centre of attention for parties of bullocks in the surrounding fields. The light was promising – all was set for a gorgeous, early summer day – and much as I lusted after rich, steaming cups of coffee from my flask, I hauled out the camera, started interacting to these animals – and very quickly lost all sense of time.  How did Dylan Thomas put it in Under Milk Wood?  “Time passes.  Listen.  Time passes.”.   How I love and value those words but, on that bright morning, I was deaf to Time’s soft tread.

Anyway, these quite formidable animals pressed up tight against the gate to see me, with their usual mooing and coughing, and also puffing out great steaming clouds of bad breath, and my replying in kind (apart from the bad breath, of course …) only served to increase their curiosity.

And here is one of them, breath steaming in the cool, humid air, badly needing a shave – and alternatively backing away from my loquacious advances and then wishing that the four bar gate wasn’t between us, so that he could get really up close and personal, to have a good look and sniff at me.

And he or one of his brothers did actually did manage the up close and personal thing because, as I perched the camera on the car’s roof and, while its delayed action beeped, backed towards the cattle for a selfie en famille, a wet muzzle did manage to shoot through the gate’s bars and straight up my posterior.  Which was quite unsettling.  To say the least.

One of my basic approaches to things is that “There are many experiences in Life but they’re not all worth having”, and here was a case in point.

4 June 2015; D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 ISO.




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. bluebrightly says:

    Made me laugh! I love cows, they’re great subjects.


  2. Sallyann says:

    Love it! 🙂
    And the bluish wide brimmed hat?


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Glad it moves you, Hallysann – moo-OO!!!!! (we aspiring lowers must never forget our falsetto end bits!)

      That’s the brim of the hat at the top of the frame (the wood of the gate) – under there he’s wearing sunglasses, and the steam is actually smoke from his large cigar – the Levels are more sophisticated and laid back than most people realise … 😉 …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sallyann says:

        He’s wearing sunglasses.?
        But how can you be sure.?
        I mean, underneath that hat and behind those sunglasses, are you quite sure he is a he?
        I’ve seen quite a few elderly ladies with a great number of hairs on their chin and as for the cigar, (raises one eyebrow).
        Moo-oo!! 😀


  3. krikitarts says:

    Now, that must have been quite an experienced indeed! I’ll readily admit to having been cowed by a goose, but the thought of this…


  4. paula graham says:

    Oh, very nice. Different from your average cow pic, love the way the hairs are lit up.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Paula, good to hear it gets to you – thank you! Looking at it again now, I can see him wearing a wide brimmed, bluish hat. Off soon to try something different – shallow depths of field in Wells Cathedral – no idea how well this will go but, whatever, it will be interesting. Adrian


  5. kaytechworld says:

    Reblogged this on kaytech.


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