SOMERSET LEVELS 307 – THE POPLARS AT GODNEY

 

 


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Sunrise over the group of trees – Poplars, I think – on the outskirts of Godney village.  Sited as they are on a small rise in the ground, these tall and slender trees are something of a landmark in this ultimately flat countryside.

And this small rise in the ground is important too.  For, according to a 1991 book on place names, Godney refers not to a god, but to an Anglo-Saxon named Goda, who presumably had some sort of settlement / farm on this hill, when it was a small island in the vast area of marshes and lakes that occupied the Somerset Levels before they were drained for agriculture – “ney”, in Old English, means island.  In AD 971, a manuscript named this place as Godeneia.

I grew up not far from here and, for most of my life, the place names were just, well, place names.  So that it came as a real revelation to find out that the majority of these names originated in Anglo-Saxon times (c. AD 410-1066) and they in fact actually mean something, as in Goda’s island.  It helps to bring this simple but intriguing landscape to life.  There are newer names too, which result from the Norman invasion in 1066.  And, more fascinating to me, there are also older, Celtic names, ie pre-dating the Anglo-Saxons: eg river names like Avon and Severn.

The pure naturalness of this image may be reduced by the telephone wire, which I may have been able to remove post-capture but, really, my aim is to show this area as it is, rather than as some manicured ideal.

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 4 5 .

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Godney, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.
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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.

12 Responses to SOMERSET LEVELS 307 – THE POPLARS AT GODNEY

  1. Sallyann says:

    Very pretty, Ma Nature’s light shows are more often than not, worth getting up for, but for people like me who haven’t quite got off the merry-go-round, they’re an added bonus. 😊

    Like

  2. bluebrightly says:

    Lovely light, lovely image, and the arc of the telephone wire isn’t a bad thing. I appreciate the way you explain leaving it in. I also enjoyed the information about the names – wonderful. I’m glad you appreciate the added depth that knowledge can bring.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your writing about people and situations from “AD 971” has added another layer of sadness to my thinking about what the Europeans did to the native peoples of my part of the world. It’s often said that U.S. history doesn’t go back as far as European history. That’s not exactly right. When the Europeans killed and drove out the people native to this country, they also obliterated the oral history of the land and its people. What a shameful loss, all of it. Your photo, by the way, is beautiful, especially in its rendering of the sky and the silhouetted trees.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Linda, I share your views completely and, on top of that, I shudder to think what the British Empire – and also religious missionaries – did to indigenous cultures, beliefs and history around the world; shameful is indeed the word. Some here in Bristol are urging apologies for the Transatlantic slave trade, from which Bristol derived much prosperity. But, with all the things mentioned here, I don’t think that anything can be done – these events are in the past and only historians and politicians can alter the past – so I don’t think anything can be done other than to realise that these events did occur, and to learn from them. I may be getting older (for sure!) and cynical, but wherever I look these days I see man’s inhumanity to man, and I have a feeling that such scenarios have existed right back to human beginnings, at a time when we were not the only Homo species in existence. I wish I could be less negative, but its very difficult to do that.

      Having got that off my chest, thank you for the good things you say about my photo – ha! sometimes I think that my photos are the only truth >>> while full well knowing I’ve post-processed them! Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. paula graham says:

    Gorgeous, SO looking forward to cycling the levels, finally moving in next week…pffft

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      EXCELLENT!!! >>> VERY glad to hear that news. Living in digs must be awkward, almost like living out of a suitcase. I’m sure you will find the Levels enjoyable – and there are many more places to explore than just where I nearly always go – some of it a little more gentrified, it must be said – I like the raw – open, easy + free access, uncomplicated. Hope the move goes well. 🙂

      Like

  5. Most interesting background. And the photo, just beautiful!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, my friend. The light was beautiful that morning, and this is a very simple area, with a lot of history. I suppose I’m a big fan of the Anglo-Saxon era, for various reasons – not least these Levels and the Beowulf poem >>> and thence of course into The Lord of the Rings, which was written by a specialist in Medieval history. Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Phone wires or not. Cool capture! 👍🏼❤️
    XXXATPXXX

    Like

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