ARCHIVE: LEVELS 86 – REFLECTION IN THE RIVER BESIDE ASHMOOR DROVE (MONO)


Reflection in the river beside Ashmoor Drove, on Ash Moor in the Somerset Levels, southwest of Wells; 7 April 2007.

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

Technique: F6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 85mm; Fuji Sensia 100 colour slide film rated at 125 ISO; converted to mono, and toned, in Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE: I’m an Anglo-Saxon enthusiast – actually I’m interested in the while period from the departure of the Romans from our shores in 410 CE to the Norman invasion in 1066 CE.  A fascinating period of history.  And one which, via the Anglo-Saxons, has led me to Tolkien and thus to The Lord of the Rings >>> and so, in this image, to an Ent, alive and swaying before me!  But whether swaying in a friendly way, or moving in a less friendly or even frenzied way, I cannot be sure.

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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