SOMERSET LEVELS 374 – LOOKING WEST FROM THE JACK’S DROVE BRIDGE

 

 


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As the single track lane of Jack’s Drove cuts northwards across Tealham Moor, it crosses a little bridge and, looking left – that is, towards the west – this is what you see.  Here are the dark, peaty waters of the North Drain, speckled with water lily pads and moving slowly away westwards.  This drain is totally manmade, to help shift water away from these often sodden flatlands – and the fact that it is full almost to the brim in the first week of July only goes to show just how much water there is around here.

The land on either side is flat, rough pasture right out to the horizon, but there is some slightly higher ground at top right – higher ground that used to be part of an island when all of these flatlands were largely underwater.

And if you enlarge this shot (which you should!!! >>> the enlarging method is given below) >>> then tightly screw in your monocle (ouch!) and fix the horizon at upper left with a fierce and penetrating stare, you may just be able to make out a long, shadowy line of high ground, the Quantock Hills, far off to the southwest.  Travel on past them, and over the horizon you’ll find the Brendon Hills, the Blackdown Hills and Exmoor and – before you know it – you’ll be in Devon!

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 373 – MEADOW PIPIT SINGING

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Feeling tired after an early morning start, I’d just slumped down into the car’s driving seat, thinking about the drive back to Bristol, when this little pipit landed on a gate post right in front of me and burst into song.  Pictures through the car’s dirty windscreen clearly weren’t going to cut the mustard and so, leaning carefully sideways – using the car as a hide – I managed to poke the business end of the telezoom through the gap between the car’s open door and its bodywork.  It was the lens I’m married to (the new version of it) the 70-300 Nikkor zoom and, putting the camera into APS-C mode gave me 450mm = x9 magnification.  I started carefully squeezing the shutter button, taking care not to make any sudden movements.

The bird is a Meadow Pipit, Anthus pratensis if you want to know, a small warbler that lives and breeds on open grasslands, like the rough pasture here on Tealham Moor.  It gives its full song when in flight over its territory, but also uses perches like this to deliver partial versions.  Sitting or lying back in a soft, warm, summer field, listening to Meadow Pipits singing overhead – where there may be Skylarks singing too – is certainly not the least of Life’s simple and totally freely given pleasures.

Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

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Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom; beside the Jack’s Drove bridge over the North Drain, Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 372 – EDGE OF A WATERWAY

 

 


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Lush summer growth, beside water, on Tealham Moor.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that version to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 135mm; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Standard v2 profile; rotated; rhyne beside Jack’s Drove on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 5 July 2019.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 321 – JACK’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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An unreal landscape.  Just a single track road, its verges and, standing up on either side, the precipitous, abrupt lines of machine-cut trees – that are either columns along the nave of some vast, natural, outdoor cathedral or, equally fancifully, sombre beings – Ents perhaps! – standing obediently aside to let us pass through. 

But pass through to where, that is the question. 

The mist is down, and beyond this road and these trees there lies only uncertainty.

There are other images from this early morning shoot here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 101mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Plate 1 preset; Jack’s Drove, on the Somerset Levels south of Wedmore; 19 Oct 2018.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 319 – WINTER SCENE (MONO)

 

 


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If you want to be standing on Jack’s Drove, looking up its length on this cold morning, this image is best viewed enlarged >>> click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

The view northwards up Jack’s Drove on Tadham Moor, in winter.  Mud and water on the road, the flat sides of the bare, machine-cut trees on either side, and in the distance (best seen with the image enlarged), the small, black metal upper works of the little bridge over the North Drain. 

And behind that, the higher ground around Wedmore, which was formerly an island when, not long ago, this drove and all the country around was covered by lakes and swamp.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Warm Tone Paper preset and adding a split tone; Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 11 Jan 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 270 – MORNING, TEALHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 

morning-tealham-moor-mono
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Morning, Tealham Moor; 3 June 2016.

Looking north up Jack’s Drove, one of my favourite places to be, towards the higher ground around Wedmore.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 232 – FOG, TEALHAM MOOR 3

 

 

Fog, Tealham Moor 3
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Trees beside Jack’s Drove, Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore; 8 Apr 2015.

Morning mist rolls across the rough, damp fields of this very favourite place of mine.  The straight and narrow tarmac of Jack’s Drove can just be made out lower left, while the water-filled ditch to the right of the trees shows their faint reflections.  Lower right is rough pasture, the edge of one of the fields bordering this little back road.

The first two images in this series are quite different in style; they can be found here and here.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 165mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 218 – BUSY ROAD 1

 

 

Busy road 1
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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.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 270mm; 400 ISO.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 198 – FOG ON TEALHAM MOOR (MONO)

 

 

Fog on Tealham Moor
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The little back road that is Jack’s Drove swiftly disappears as it passes northwards up over Tealham Moor; 27 Nov 2014.

This view, taken in very different weather and with a much wider lens, can also be found here.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 100mm; 6400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.
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FANTASY 26 – BLUE SUNRISE (MONO)

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Sunrise behind a young Alder on Jack’s Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 28 Aug 2013.

Alders are wet country trees, they like “to have their feet in the water”.  This one, still a bush really, is up along Jack’s Drove, growing between the road and the water-filled ditch alongside it.

The sun was rising and I got within the young tree’s shadow.  The ultra-wideangle made sure the tree’s branches reached wide in the frame, reaching out to embrace the camera  – and, I hoped, me too –  and I made sure the rising sun was visible through the tree, as a brilliant, star-shaped brightness.

D700 with 12-24 Sigma at 12mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Tin Type preset, with heavy Cyanotype tone.
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