ARCHIVE 429 – THE VIEW SOUTH FROM RATTLEDOWN FARM

 

 


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The view south from Rattledown Farm, looking out over the Chew Valley in Somerset, with Chew Valley Lake in the background; 12 July 2013.

Another slice of the English countryside, on a beautiful morning.  I think that the line of taller trees take my eye up through the picture to the lake’s blue, which then pulls my gaze right.  And I like the wedge of vivid pale green cutting across the image, just about along the upper horizontal third.

Chew Valley Lake is an artificial reservoir, flooded in the early 1950s – Google tells me it is the 5th largest artificial lake in the UK.  It has something of a special place in my life in that it was around its shores, in 1967, that I took my first, hesitant steps to becoming a birdwatcher – “with a little help from my friends”!

I was useless at birdwatching in those days.  I was (and am) short sighted, wore glasses, and had only a small telescope bought for me by my parents many years earlier.  So, a bird would appear, I’d see it and whip off my glasses so as to be able to use my telescope – and then totally lose sight of it, casting blindly about with the scope.  For Christmas that year, my impecunious mother bought me a pair of 10×50 binoculars that could be used with my glasses on and – no pun intended – I never looked back.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give a focal length of 450mm; 400 ISO;  final manipulation in Color Efex Pro 4.

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for many types of subject, 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.

20 Responses to ARCHIVE 429 – THE VIEW SOUTH FROM RATTLEDOWN FARM

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    This is so beautiful!

    Like

  2. Meanderer says:

    One of my favourites from before! Ah, the English countryside. Parts of Wales are very much like England – a big difference (apart from the hills) is the size of fields. In Wiltshire, the fields were huge but in Wales they are much much smaller and VERY green!! Lots of grass for silage grown here.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Very glad you remember it, my friend, thank you! And from 6 years in Swansea I remember lots of rain in Wales too, decidedly more than this Weston lad was used to!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Meanderer says:

        Yep – when we moved here we expected lots of rain all-year-round. The first year was pretty dry and very warm, the second year we had the drought and very high temps, last year was mixed but still not lots of rain ……… until October, and it has barely stopped raining since! It’s been incredibly mild with no hard frosts at all (still have some of last year’s Summer flowers in the garden 🙂 ).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bluebrightly says:

    A sweet story…I’m near-sighted too…but there were binocs in the house because my parents enjoyed the birds. In fact, I remember my maternal grandfather sitting in his study, full of smoke from endless cigarettes, possible with a drink in hand, loving the “Redbird” outside the picture window. They had a feeder and the Redbird was what southerners called the Cardinal, (Cardinalis cardinalis) a very beautiful bird. So it runs in my family – and more than once my tough U.S.Marine son has remarked on Great blue herons. 😉

    Like

  4. Jane Lurie says:

    Gorgeous colors and composition, Adrian. Love how the hedgerows guide my eyes.

    Like

  5. Your mom quite possible changed the course of things. Sweet story. ❤️ Great shot. If you went there today how would this look? 🤷🏼‍♀️
    XXXATPXXX

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Well, if my Mum didn’t change the course of things, she very much helped them along; but keeping me on at school when we had no money was the cruncher. I think those binoculars cost £10 in a seaside gift shop, but they did me for years and I still have them. She also gave me my first 35mm film camera.

      Well this picture was taken 7 years ago and, although I haven’t returned there, I don’t expect the view has changed much if at all. ATP xxxXXX!!!

      Like

  6. paula graham says:

    The lovely Somerset countryside around the reservoir..

    Like

  7. Andrew says:

    Nice history to your birdwatching. It is a hobby you can do anywhere and everywhere. I used to travel the world for my job with a pair of binoculars in my briefcase. One day I’ll tell the story of my visit to a reserve just outside Lima when I was on an audit assignment.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, anywhere and everywhere, absolutely right. Birdwatching took me to wonderful places and I met some wonderful people – it was helped by my being a geologist, often in wild places. I suppose the best bit was 12 years in Kenya, where I ended up writing A Bird Atlas of Kenya (1989). I still love birds now but never actually go birdwatching – but I actually compiled a 2020 bird list last week >>> LOL! 25 species!!! 🙂 What happened at the Lima reserve???

      Like

      • Andrew says:

        I asked the hotel to book me an English speaking bird guide. No problem they said. At 7.30 the next morning the only person in reception was a very attractive young lady in high heels and a pink trouser suit. Something had got lost in translation. When she discovered where we were going she was horrified and of course she knew nothing about birds. But fair dos, she took me to the reserve, followed me round including in the rather muddy areas and did her very best. We both agreed Vermillion Flycatcher was bird of the day. A lifer for us both. I don’t think she will ever go birding again. I’m not sure what her normal clientele demanded! Certainly not birds.

        Liked by 1 person

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