Early morning mist, Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore; 8 Apr 2015.

The old and the new.  A smart new vehicle coming south down the tarmac of Jack’s Drove at a good pace and, next to it,  the water-filled ditch (rhyne) which has been here for a century or two, well back into the times when the only vehicles along here were horse drawn.

The rhyne acts as the fence around the field of pasture visible on the right, the gate of which is accessed from the drove via the little bridge.  The metal gate, which is hardly visible on the right, has wooden rails at its sides to stop ever venturesome cattle from trying to squeeze around it and escape.  The droves are tracks between the fields which allow farmers to access their land without crossing that of others.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 270mm; 400 ISO.


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.

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.


  1. Another goodie. I love how you are able to get these early-morning exposures just right.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you! This picture was taken with a D700, a DSLR, so what I could see through the viewfinder was not necessarily what the image would look like – so it was either a case of exposure metering doing the job, and/or post capture processing – can’t remember!!!
      But now, with electronic viewfinders/screens, its so much easier – we can see the end result before we press the shutter button! Makes a world of difference. How are you getting on with the Z7? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for asking, Adrian. I wish I could say that I was doing well, but so many of the photographs I took at the Pennsylvania farm were underexposed. Also, I haven’t been getting out with the camera as often as I’d like because of other commitments, so my learning curve is pretty flat. (Perhaps foolishly, I signed on to lead a team of people redesigning the look and feel of my community’s website. It’s fun but a lot of work.)


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Re the underexposure, the thing is to remember that, on the Z 7, what you see through the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is (more or less) exactly what the final image is going to look at. So if you use the EVF, and I REALLY urge you to, then you ought to be able to spot this underexposure pre-capture.
          Also, you can have a live histogram visible in the EVF, and if the columns cluster towards the left, that’ll tell you about underexposure too. Mostly (but not in all cases), the histogram’s columns should be spread across the histogram. The other thing is to shoot RAW: doing this, many exposure problems can be rectified. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ah, thank you again, Adrian. I have now set my EVF to show the histogram. On the RAW front: I’ve been shooting RAW for many years, thank goodness. And thank Lightroom for what it can do with RAW files.


            • Adrian Lewis says:

              Excellent! The histogram pictorially shows the exposure in real time. Some paler photos will have the columns more towards the right, some darker ones more towards the left; many photos will benefit from having the columns spread across the histogram’s width. Keep on keeping on!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


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