ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 13 – EARLY MORNING, TEALHAM MOOR

 

 


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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.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 .

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.  

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.

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ARCHIVE 548 – A WONDERFUL SURPRISE (MONO)

 

 


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I had a wonderful surprise yesterday (8 Apr 2015).  I was out early in thick mist on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, seeing not a lot through the viewfinder but firing off frames into the murk regardless, knowing that the pictures would be better seen and comprehended on my PC’s screen.  (As a side note, I kept the camera on +2/3 stops exposure compensation to better capture the mist’s delicate nuances).

Anyway, I took two pictures of a metal gate and its wooden side rails next to a water-filled ditch and, in the first picture, looking at it on the PC at home, that’s what I got – the gate, the ditch and the mist.

But in the second picture (shown above), which was taken only moments after the first, there is a diminutive but very distinctive silhouette on the gate’s wooden side rails – sometime in the 13 seconds between the first and second shots, a Kingfisher had landed on the fence, to use it as a vantage point for spotting fish in the waters below >>> and, busy taking the picture, I had been quite unaware of it!

Wow, bring it on, Nature simply never fails to get to me!  I am of course an ex-birder with a vast regard for birds, but a Natural event like this is to me something fundamentally simple – as well as being something priceless, something quite beyond value, which certainly lifts my quality of life.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Dfine 2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Darken Contrast Vignette preset.

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ARCHIVE 494 – THE VIEW EAST FROM THE JACK’S DROVE BRIDGE (MONO)

 

 


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Looking east along the North Drain, from the Jack’s Drove bridge, on Tealham Moor on the Somerset Levels; 29 Aug 2013.

Jack’s Drove is the single track, tarmac road that runs north-south across one of the loves of my life, Tealham Moor.  This little byway rises over the great east-west waterway of the North Drain on a low bridge – and on this dead flat moor, much of which is at or below mean sea level, this little bridge is a real highpoint.  Its sobering to recall that, standing here, I’m well below the level of the high tides that lap the promenades at nearby Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-On-Sea.  But for the network of sea defences, and also the sluices on the tidal rivers, this area would be open to inundation by the sea.

Here are Water Lilies floating placidly on a still day, in waters alive with the reflections of the sky, and this for all the world looks like a river – except that, of course, it is a little too straight.  Its name is also rather a giveaway.  For this is an entirely artificial water, excavated by human hand to help drain the sodden clay and peat soils hereabouts.  It is part of a great network of manmade waters that cover this area and ensure – for the moment at least – that it doesn’t return to the marshes and brackish waters of not that long ago.

Standing here on this little bridge and looking east towards the lightening sky, I feel a great sense of peace and, after a life of many wanderings, I feel at home.

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

Technique: D700 with 12-24 Sigma zoom lens at 18mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at High Structure Harsh.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 462 – TOTNEY DROVE, FROST-COVERED, IN JANUARY

 

 


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The single track tarmac of Totney Drove, covered in frost, as it makes off eastwards across Tealham Moor.  A bitterly cold morning, just around sunrise but with no sign of the sun: wet, misty  flatlands reach off to the horizon.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 4,000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia/Soft profile; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 27 Jan 2017.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 461 – JANUARY, TEALHAM MOOR, JUST BEFORE SUNRISE

 

 


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Tealham Moor, in winter, looking to the east.  This is winter: harsh and bleak.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 8,000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia/Soft profile; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 27 Jan 2017.
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ARCHIVE 491 – RISING SUN WITH FOG, TEALHAM MOOR (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Rising sun behind fog, Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 8 Apr 2015.

The view eastwards from the top of the low bridge over the North Drain (the waterway on the right), on a cool and still, April morning.

What better place to be in this world at this moment?  The occasional vehicle on the narrow tarmac of Jack’s Drove, the little road that passes over this little bridge, but, other than that, just water bubbling, the songs of swans’ wings and larks, swallows that have flown in from Africa, and the distant lowing of cows.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 400 ISO with 1 stop underexposure; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the ND Grad EV-1 preset and selectively restoring colour.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 457 – TEALHAM MOOR, SUNRISE

 

 


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Sunrise tints the sky above Tealham Moor and, in this landscape of silhouettes, the sky’s colours are reflected by the still waters in a ditch.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Landscape v2 profile; Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 12 Apr 2019.
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ARCHIVE 459 – EARLY MORNING ON THE MOORS (MONO)

 

 


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Early morning on the Tealham-Tadham Moors, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 28 Aug 2013.

Rhyne (rhymes with scene) is the Somerset term for water-filled ditches that help drain the land and often, as here, act as field boundaries.  This rhyne’s surface is covered in floating waterweed and, in the foreground, are the tall, pointed leaves of wild iris, which love these waterside locations.

The two prominent trees are in the fact the ends of two rows of such trees that line the undulating, single track, tarmac road just visible lower right of them.  The two, pale sheets of corrugated iron set up against the rhyne’s bank on the right of the picture are held there by stout wooden stakes, in an attempt to prevent the road collapsing down into the mud and water. 

The point here being that there is no solid rock supporting this landscape.  Below this countryside are over 60 feet of sodden clays and peat – “rocks” easily demolished by your shovel if not by your bare hands – such that everything is soft, yielding and unstable.  Stand beside this road as a tractor goes by and you are suddenly rising and falling as if on some rural trampoline, which can be quite shocking for those unused to it.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: D700 with Sigma 12-24 lens at 12mm; 400 ISO; conversion to mono and split toning with Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Pinhole preset.

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ARCHIVE 456 – SWANS OVER TEALHAM

 

 


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Mute Swans about to land on flooded Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 7 Feb 2014.

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

Much against good sense, I ventured down onto the Levels recently, to my habitual haunts on Tealham and Tadham Moors.  Not daring to take my usual cross-country route because of the many places where even small amounts of flooding might cut it, I drove down the main A38 road south from Bristol to Highbridge, and then went eastwards into the flatlands along another, relatively large road.  All was well on these main roads, but as soon as I got onto the smaller lanes, problems with water appeared.

Tealham and Tadham were mostly submerged, with just just the roads sticking up above the waters and little traffic about, but the floods in this more northerly part of the Levels are nothing like those further south, south of the Polden Hills, where whole villages are being overwhelmed, main roads have been cut for weeks, cutting edge pumping technology has been brought in from Holland, and the Army has been called in to help the local people.

This image is starting to look rather unphotographic, more like a painting maybe, and I always feel good when this happens.  Henrietta Richer and Dave Battarbee have both made suggestions about this image, which I’ve incorporated.  

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO. 

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ARCHIVE 455 – CATTLE BESIDE THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 


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A misty morning on the Somerset Levels, looking east along the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  A calm scene, with the softest of light breezes, and no other sounds except the soft shuffling and snorting of a small group of cattle that have come down to the water’s edge to drink.

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; Silver Efex Pro’s High Key 2 preset; 28 Aug 2013.

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