SOMERSET LEVELS 280 – TYRANNOSAUR
November 20, 2016 25 Comments
Leaving home before dawn, I drove down to the Somerset Levels through filthy weather. Wind, rain and sleet battered the car. There was snow on the Mendip Hills and, during the night, the Priddy Good Farm Shop, up on the top of these hills at Priddy, had had its debit card reader blown apart by a nearby lightning strike – “We’re only taking cash today!”.
I was actually birding, the aim of this visit to the Levels was look at birds, not to take photos at all. But – and there’s always a “but”, isn’t there? – just in case, I took a rock-solid photographic standby, a Nikon DSLR and telezoom.
And, not long after sunrise, on Tadham Moor, “just in case” paid off. I was pulled off the road watching winter thrushes – Fieldfares and Redwings, always beautiful, always great favourites of mine – when a small van pulled into a farm gate ahead of me and two men got out. One I would guess was the local farmer, and he had brought the other to drive a tractor which had been parked there overnight. There was rain about, it was windy, my car’s windscreen was nothing like clean – and all at once the sun broke through the overcast and threw the men and their vehicles into silhouette – and I dropped the binoculars, grabbed the Nikon, and started firing through the windscreen.
I have other shots but this image grabs me. The farmhand started up the tractor, raised the vehicle’s front loader – and suddenly a Tyrannosaur rose up before me and opened its ravening jaws.
And so, man and dinosaur – and below the beast’s upstretched neck, a far off tower on a steep hill – Glastonbury Tor – an iconic feature of Somerset’s wet flatlands.
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D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 250mm; 3200 ISO.