Low angle sunlight glowing on Swanshard Lane, north of Polsham; 29 Aug 2014.
Having driven down from Bristol and turned off the main road to Glastonbury at Polsham, this little bare earth and chippings layby along Swanshard Lane is frequently my first stop – for re-invigoration via a second breakfast of hot, sweet coffee and thick cut, bitter marmalade sandwiches – Hartley’s Olde English lives!
And as the onset of my dotage makes me increasingly uncomfortable with driving on unlit roads at night, I arrived on this late August morning some time after the sun had risen. It was pouring across the top of the hedge on the far side of the lane, illuminating the many slim and oval leaves that are already falling from the line of willows along the banks of the little River Sheppey, which are just out of shot to the right.
My old car, distorted by the tilted wideangle lens, cools off in the shadows. And, almost dead centre in the frame, Somerset’s road menders have spray-painted three sides of a white rectangle around a section of this single track lane’s edge, where the thin tarmac is disintegrating.
Swanshard Lane continues on into the distance, seeming to turn right just as it disappears. What is around that bend, where is this little lane going?
And what was it like being there at that early hour? Well, as always, it felt good. Peaceful and quite quiet, with room to think and space to breathe. A reasonably brisk breeze – rather unexpected at this time of year – was blowing up from the southwest, causing yet more of the pale willow leaves to shower down upon the road. And, this being late in the breeding season, especially for those species intent on heading back to Africa, there was the usual marked lack of birdsong, just a half-hearted burst – a Chiffchaff once – here and there. And, finally, there seemed to be a vineyard in the making up on the southern slopes of Ben Knowle Hill – have to pop in sometime for a snifter!
D800 with 12-24 Sigma at 12mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Smooth preset.