ARCHIVE 405 – THE VIEW SOUTHEAST FROM EASTWATER LANE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking southeast from Eastwater Lane, high up on the Mendip plateau in Somerset; 4 Feb 2014.

In their central and western reaches, the Mendip Hills are a steep sided and formidable, west-east barrier of hard, old (Palaeozoic) rocks.  They have the Old Red Sandstone of the Devonian period in their cores, and the Carboniferous Limestone all around.  But especially in their central area, these precipitous slopes give up onto a flattish or gently undulating plateau, with sturdy farms huddling amongst windbreaks, and pubs with evocative names – names that recall my youth and things that have always been a part of my life – the Castle of Comfort, the Miner’s Arms and Hunters Lodge.

Wondering about floods, I drove up onto Mendip yesterday, and spent some time in Eastwater Lane – a favourite place because it is a dead end and so has no through traffic.  I was also around the village of Priddy.  It was a cold, damp day, initially lit by pale, glinting sun, but with dark clouds and spitting rain all too soon coming up on the gusting southerly.  There were flood warnings in several places, but the waters had either subsided, or were only thinly masking the little roads – although all of that may have changed with the storm that hit us later yesterday afternoon and overnight – and today too.

I walked along Eastwater Lane, enjoying  the sight and atmosphere of the Bronze Age round barrows on the hill crests, and seeing where streams running down from the sandstone hilltops disappear underground into caverns as soon as they encounter the far more soluble limestone.

Here was Eastwater Cavern, that I descended as a plump, pudgy teenager, and I tried to recall if I’d become stuck in it or not.  Yes, is the probable answer, as I had to be helped through many a difficult cave by my school friends – but the vast Swildons Hole, from which the Mendip Cave Rescue had to come out and extricate me, is off towards Priddy.  I made the local papers – I think I was 16 at the time.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Film Noir 3 preset.

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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.

11 Responses to ARCHIVE 405 – THE VIEW SOUTHEAST FROM EASTWATER LANE (MONO)

  1. Meanderer says:

    That’s just lovely …… a wonderful composition. We looked at a house with a roof like that when we were thinking of moving here; it made climbing the stairs ‘interesting’ to say the least!

    How brave of you to take part in caving – and not just once by the sound of it! It’s something I would never want to do 🙂

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Caving was sometimes scary – but not as terrifying as the rock climbing I did later in life, because if there’s a gaping chasm below you in a cave, most of the time its in total darkness and you can’t see it! I used to prefer squeezes in caves, because in those very confined spaces you couldn’t fall anywhere – I could get through spaces about 12 inches in one dimension – my stomach squeezed against the floor, and the roof pressing down on my back. Just thinking about it, when I now occasionally experience mild claustrophobia, is truly horrifying. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Meanderer says:

        I think I might have asked you this before: do you know why you experience claustrophobia sometimes now and not when younger?

        Like

        • Adrian Lewis says:

          No, I don’t know the reason, but I very clearly remember the change! Suffering from overwork stress and experiencing head pains, I was given an MRI scan. Before the scan, the doctor asked about claustrophobia to which I replied no problem at all – but because the scan was going to look at my head, my head had to be kept perfectly still, so my face was encased in a kind of box, wearing which I had great trouble breathing >>> I lasted about a minute in the MRI’s tunnel before pressing the panic button, and I’ve had occasional claustrophobic attacks, usually at night, ever since. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Meanderer says:

            I can imagine very well the feeling of claustrophobia strapped into a box inside a machine. I guess with the caving you enjoyed doing it and wanted to be there doing it, whereas in hospital one relinquishes control to others. I suffer from claustrophobia and have a fear of heights and have been like that since I was a child. I sometimes wonder whether older siblings used to lock me in cupboards 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Great shot!; I like that the house in the foreground is ‘just there’…

    Like

  3. phantastic, Adrian. What a special mood in that image is. wow

    Like

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