SOMERSET LEVELS 345 – MALLARD ON THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 


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A pair of Mallard, a very common duck, on the calm waters of the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  The more ornate male is on the left, and the far more camouflaged female on the right.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Flat V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Underexpose EV -1 preset and adding a strong coffee tone; the North Drain on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, seen from the Jack’s Drove bridge; 12 Apr 2019.
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BRISTOL 136 – RIVER REFLECTION

 

 


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Reflections of buildings in the river at Redcliffe Bridge.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Standard V2 picture control; the harbourside at Welsh Back, central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 344 – MORNING LIGHT, LOOKING EAST ACROSS THE NORTH DRAIN

 

 


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Morning light on the North Drain.  This is not a river, it is a totally man-made waterway that helps drain these lush and often wet flatlands.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 125mm; 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Landscape V2 picture control; looking east, early in the day, from the Jack’s Drove Bridge across the North Drain on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 12 April 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 340 – MORNING DEW 3

 

 


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This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Another look at the field gate: webs and dew drops, early on a damp, cold morning.

Earlier morning dew images are here: 1 2 .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Standard V2 picture control; beside Bourtonbridge Drove, on Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wells; 26 Apr 2019.

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A POST FOR SOMEONE, FAR AWAY

 

Someone has encountered health problems, someone is unwell.  Someone who is a good and long-time blogging friend, originally from around here but now living on the other side of the world.

Amongst other strategies, she is turning to her camera and to blogging as means of helping her cope and, far away as I am, I want to try to do something – however little – that is supportive.  She is in any case a very perceptive photographer of the Natural World and I have urged her to further immerse herself – and her camera – in Nature.

So for you, today, my friend, two things come to mind.  First, there is this link to the first of these (very few) Thoughts posts: I hope it will be meaningful to you.

Then, second, here are some images from the low, damp gentlenesses of the Somerset Levels.  Something to remind you of here perhaps but, in any case, somethings that are quiet, uncomplicated and Natural.  (Clicking onto these images will open larger versions in separate windows)

In a world intent on detail and data, no names are needed here.  You will know who this post is for.  I hope you like these pictures.

All best wishes to you.

Adrian

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Water Lily leaves in a rhyne’s the dark, peaty waters

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Very much a favourite picture of mine: a farmer and his wife off to check on their stock at first light on a foggy morning.  A very friendly couple, my age I suppose, they always wave and smile

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Sunrise, looking over towards Glastonbury

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Rhyne; misty morning

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Mute Swans coming in to land on floods; Tadham Moor

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Freezing morning, ice on the rhyne – I was driven to putting my fingers in my mouth to try and unfreeze them – should have dunked them in my coffee!!!  Tadham Moor

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Glastonbury Tor – and finding out that pointing a 400mm lens at the sun does not do miracles for the eyeballs!

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Looking west at sunrise: Our Star rising, and its light just catching the tops of the clouds; Tealham Moor

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Misty morning

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People call me The FATman … they’re really very rude, you know …

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Tealham Moor, looking east along a rhyne

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Its just a question of avoiding the last, over curious lunge, when that big, drooling muzzle goes straight into the front of the lens ….

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SOMERSET LEVELS 332 – MORNING DEW (MONO)

 

 


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This image is best seen enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Gate to a field, with spider’s web and early morning dew.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; jpeg produced by in-camera Raw processing in the Z 6, using the camera’s Dramatic picture control; minimal further processing in Lightroom; beside Bourtonbridge Drove, on Queen’s Sedge Moor, on the Somerset Levels south of Wells; 26 Apr 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 329 – A LITTLE PIECE OF MAGIC

 

 


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Crossing the little Whitelake Bridge on Hearty Moor, and there on the bridge’s guard rail were flowers – I assumed in memory of some victim of a road accident, or even someone drowned in the river.

But looking more closely at them, they were accompanied by no words of mourning, and they looked more like charms, not memorials.  And then I remembered where I was – not far from Glastonbury, and also not far from Worthy Farm, at Pilton, which hosts the world famous Glastonbury Festival.  There are many around here, especially in Glastonbury, who hold Pagan and other, non-mainstream beliefs, and here were what appeared to be charms above moving water, above a river.

I have dabbled with Paganism, and found it far, far more attractive than the monotheistic mainstream religions of the UK.  But I’m now at the conclusion that although I have a deep love and regard for the Natural World, this is not for me anything religious, but rather something that invokes feelings of great love and wonder.   I don’t worship the Natural World, but I respect it – and the more so because, unlike us, it manages to exist and thrive without the aid of all the made up stories – the imagined realities – which appear necessary to keep human societies –  and human minds too – in order and intact.

And so here then, deep in the Somerset countryside, because of the way they see the world, because of what they believe in, someone has placed these simple objects above moving water.  And to me, in so doing, they have added a little piece of beautiful magic – and diversity too – to this world.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Standard V2 picture control; on the Whitelake Bridge, northeast of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 5 Apr 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 328 – GLASTONBURY, FAR AWAY TO THE EAST

 

 


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Looking eastwards across Tealham Moor at sunrise.  A rough track is just visible up to the left of the water-filled ditch which, known locally as a rhyne (rhymes with seen), acts as a field’s fence.

The deep water and glutinous ooze in these ditches are notorious for trapping cattle that come down to the edge to drink and, as happened recently near here, for causing road traffic fatalities where these rhynes run beside poorly maintained, single track, tarmac roads that are often driven over at high speeds.

And in the distance, far off at upper right, the distinctive outline of Glastonbury Tor, with the tower of its ruined church on its summit.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; Tealham Moor; 12 Apr 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 326 – THE VIEW SOUTHWEST FROM WHITELAKE BRIDGE (MONO)

 

 


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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.

Looking out over the Whitelake River and Hearty Moor, with the landmark of Glastonbury Tor, topped by its ruined church, in the distance.  Large masses of flowering Blackthorn on the left.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Neutral V2 Picture Control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red Filter preset and adding a light coffee tone; Whitelake Bridge, northeast of Glastonbury, on the Somerset Levels; 5 Apr 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 324 – FLOODED ROAD (MONO)

 

 


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Exploring out on Queen’s Sedge Moor, not far south of the tiny city of Wells, in filthy conditions – rain falling from grey overcast, lots of surface water and simply heroic amounts of mud.  And then onto this little single track road heading for the tiny village of Barrow – when a van, obviously driven by a local, someone who knows the place – rounded a corner and came straight at me at speed.  There was no danger, this image was taken with a 450mm telephoto, which gives x9 magnification, and so it was still quite far off – but it put on speed through the surface water and spray flew everywhere.

Lots of familiarisation with this new camera paid off: I just had time to engage Continuous Autofocus, focus onto the number plate, hold down AF-ON and start firing – three frames and then the vehicle was on me and I was off into the (very soggy) roadside grass.  But, as is often the case down there, a cheery wave from the driver – after all, if I choose to stand in the road, its my lookout!

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Neutral V2 Picture Control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset; Queen’s Sedge Moor, south of Wells, on the Somerset Levels; 5 Apr 2019.
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