SOMERSET LEVELS PICTURE GALLERY 7 – POSTS 61-70

SOMERSET LEVELS PICTURE GALLERIES

I’m currently posting images from my large archive of photos from the Somerset Levels, an area not far from where I grew up that holds particular meaning and attraction for me.  These photos are being posted singly, with full text.

To make viewing of these images easier for those with little time to spare, I’m also posting groups of these images with minimal titles.  This is the 7th gallery – you can find the earlier galleries here: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Clicking onto each image will open a larger version in a separate window: doing this often enhances the image.

61: Fantasy in infrared, 2015: what is out there, beyond those last two trees? (For Tolkien fans, the desolation of the dragon Smaug …?..).

 

62: Early morning, Tealham Moor; 2015.

 

63: Looking in amongst a grove of bulrushes, Walton Moor; 2016.

 

64: Before sunrise, on a frosty morning; Tealham Moor; 2017.

 

65: Roe Deer; a female on Westhay Moor, 2019.

 

66: The North Drain; looking west through an extreme wide angle lens; 2020.

 

67: Morning sky, looking north, again through an extreme wide angle lens; Queen’s Sedge Moor, 2019.

 

68: Hillside with sheep; Barrow Hill, 2015.

 

69: Painted Lady, Shapwick Heath, 2009.

 

70: Close in with a long telephoto; Walton Moor, 2016.



ARCHIVE: LEVELS 63 – BULRUSHES


Bulrushes; Walton Moor, south of the Polden Hills; 13 Jan 2016.

Crouching down low beside a grove of these reeds, I looked inside, looking into another world. 

Low angle sunlight reached through to me but much remained diffuse and mysterious, a dark world within, somewhere I could only peer and guess at, somewhere I did not belong, somewhere my attempts at entry would only cause chaos and destruction.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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.



SOMERSET LEVELS 257 – TRACTOR TRACKS, WALTON DROVE (MONO)

 

 

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This picture is best viewed much enlarged – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window.

Walton Drove arrows south across Walton Moor, on the Somerset Levels to the south of the Polden Hills; 13 Jan 2016.

This little back road – which angles through the upper right of the frame –  is a single track strip of battered and broken tarmac, really only wide enough for one vehicle at a time. 

And, driving along it, a tractor of some size has encountered something coming the other way, and has had to pull off onto the soft roadside grass, churning it instantly into mud and leaving the telltale tracks of its huge tyres. 

We are right down there with it, indeed right down there in it, crouching in the mud and soaking grass, viewing something small, a little scene, that speaks volumes about this whole, wonderful place.

D800 with 16-35 Nikkor at 18mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 256 – WALTON MOOR (MONO)

 

 

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This image is best viewed enlarged – click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window.

Walton Moor, south of the Polden Hills; 13 Jan 2016.

My penchant for getting in close for an animal portrait, in this case via a telephoto; having the beast looming large and filling – if not bursting out of – the frame.

As well as this creature’s great, shaggy presence, I like all the lengths of loose straw hanging from its thick woollen coat – it has recently been led down, probably beside the winter feed put out by the farmer.

D800 used in DX format with a 70-300 Nikkor to give a 450mm telephoto; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Wet Rocks preset.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 254 – BULRUSHES

 

 

bulrushes
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Bulrushes; Walton Moor, south of the Polden Hills; 13 Jan 2016.

Crouching down low beside a grove of these reeds, I looked inside, looking into another world. 

Low angle sunlight reached through to me but much remained diffuse and mysterious, a dark world within, somewhere I could only peer and guess at, somewhere I did not belong, somewhere my attempts at entry would only cause chaos and destruction.

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

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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