Looking eastwards along the water-filled ditch, the rhyne (rhymes with seen), that runs along the northern side of Totney Drove, the single track road that can just be glimpsed to the right of the tree’s trunk.  The rhyne’s surface is mostly covered in water weed.  A very peaceful scene, yes, but there’s danger here too.  First, the tree (a Willow) is leaning slightly to the left, and the more this tilt increases, the more difficulty the tree’s roots will have in preventing its huge bulk from toppling right over.  The soils here are damp and loose, and should they become waterlogged or actually submerged, as may happen in the approaching winter months, then the roots’ grip will loosen and the giant will fall.  Second, a somewhat spindly wire fence at the rhyne’s edge aims to keep the cattle away from the rhyne: a cow falling into the deep water and ooze would certainly require a tractor to get it out again.

In the background to the left, cattle seen as ghostly shapes in the mist, with woodland further back.

And in the background to the right, there are several trees which are thick and heavy near the ground, but thinner further up.  These trees have been pollarded, they are pollards, which means that, one or more times in their lives, they have had the wood from their upper parts removed, for firewood, woodwork etc, while their lower parts are left unaffected.  Pollarding is an ancient practice, and more about it can be found here .

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 4 .

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 101mm; 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset and adding a light Coffee tone; Totney Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.

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:

    A beautiful illustration of a very human landscape. It feels like we’re united with both the light and the deep mysteries in the thicket of that tree’s branches. There’s something mythic here, in the best sense of the word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, although appearing natural (and beautiful), this is a human (agricultural) landscape. I love the simplicity of such places, and the complete absence of modern myths like marketing, hype, logo, image etc. But older myths abound here, although many were concocted in Medieval times eg King Arthur’s knights and round table etc. But this area was an Anglo-Saxon centre – there was a palace at nearby Cheddar for instance – and not far south of here was where King Alfred (a far more substantial figure, in historical terms, than Arthur) hid out when he was all but defeated by the Vikings – in AD 878 of I remember correctly – tho I wasn’t actually there … Also there are some of the oldest known trackways in the world, dating back to prehistoric times – google the Sweet Track eg.. A 🙂 …..


      • bluebrightly says:

        The absence of “modern myths” must be a relief. Your musings here are interesting, and make me think that all that history is down there in your genes, in your marrow. And when you walk those ancient tracks with your camera (I’ll google that one!) it bubbles to the surface. I think it would be hard to inject that deep history into a photo intentionally – you can’t just take a picture of Stonehenge – but when you’re awake to it, as you are, you can tap into it without even thinking.


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          The absence of modern myths is a vast, vast relief, I get so tired of all that financially motivated, often psychologically crude, bull***t!!!,, maybe history is in my genes – it all started when I liked looking at the coloured pictures in a nursery school history book >>> and I discovered a longing to go further and further back in time >>> history to archaeology to geology >>> finding my first fossil when I was aged well under 10. Yes, do that google search, and add Somerset if its not straightforward. Yes, tapping into history without thinking, I think you’re right >>> will you be my analyst??????!!!!! Do you have a thing for the bizarre????? 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

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