ARCHIVE: LEVELS 4 – LOOKING EASTWARDS ALONG TRIPPS DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking eastwards along Tripps Drove, on Godney Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 27 Nov 2014.

I was on my way home, heading back towards Wells and the road up over the Mendip Hills, after an early morning start.  I’d dropped into a friendly teashop for a take away third breakfast (or was it first lunch???) – anyway, thick ham and mustard sandwiches, piping hot coffee and a chunk of homemade fruitcake – Paradise was alive and well on the Somerset Levels!

And pulling off the narrow tarmac into a muddy field gate, I was shovelling down all this gorgeous grub I was delicately partaking of my sumptuous repast – and there was the pale road continuing on past two trees that were leaning away from each other; and closer at hand, to the right of the road, there was a pale patch in front of dark thickets.  This view caught my eye.

This archive presents some of the pictures that I’ve taken on the Somerset Levels over many years.  More context can be found in the first post in this archive – 1 – and also in my first Somerset Levels post, from 2011 – here .  Further posts in this archive are here: 2 3 .  All of these links will open in separate windows.

Click onto this image to see an enlarged version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 155mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Sepia Landscape preset.

SOMERSET LEVELS: SOME KEYWORDS

And finally – some keywords that will often be mentioned in this archive series:

Droves:  to avoid crossing other peoples’ land when accessing their own, the farmers constructed a series of tracks, known as droves, between the fields. Some of these droves are now metalled roads and many persist as open tracks – all of which allow wonderfully open access to this countryside.

Rhynes: the fields are bounded by water-filled ditches – which both drain the ground and act as stock barriers. Hence strange landscapes – where fields appear quite unbounded, except for a gate with a short length of fencing on either side of it, where a bridge crosses the water-filled boundary ditch to provide access the field.  These small wet ditches communicate with larger rhynes (“reen” as in Doreen), which in turn flow into larger drains, e.g. the North and South Drains in the Brue Valley. All of these waterways are manmade and, by intricate series of pumping stations and flood gates, all of them have their water levels controlled by local farmers, internal drainage boards or the Environment Agency.

Pollarded Willows: the banks of the rhynes were often planted with Willow trees, both to help strengthen the banks and also to show the courses of roads and tracks during floods. These Willows are often pollarded, i.e. their upper branches are cut off, which results in distinctively broad and dense heads to the trees. Pollarding keeps trees to a required height, while ensuring a steady supply of wood – more important in the past than now – for fires, thatching spars, fencing and so on.

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

14 Responses to ARCHIVE: LEVELS 4 – LOOKING EASTWARDS ALONG TRIPPS DROVE (MONO)

  1. Adrian Lewis says:

    Thank you, Helen, that’s very encouraging, the sort of thing I like to hear. 🙂

    Like

  2. Helen Cherry says:

    Very mysterious – like a still from a film

    Like

  3. Moody and mysterious, Adrian!

    Like

  4. bluebrightly says:

    I can picture that scene – the one inside the car and the one outside the car…and I suspect that snack was eaten in a manner somewhere between those two extremes. That’s a beautiful spot, lovely atmosphere.

    Like

  5. So beautiful and I liked the tones.

    Like

  6. Meanderer says:

    Wonderfully atmospheric!

    Like

  7. paula graham says:

    Exellent and suitably bleak photo of this particularly scenic Drove…I am always bit anxious on droves in case I meet a farmer on his HUGE blue/green/ red beastly and noisy tractor and then water on either side!!!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, Paula, glad you like it. Yes, driving on the Levels – between two rhynes – can be scary, and the locals often drive at high speed, but generally drivers there are polite and considerate. 🙂

      Like

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