Saturday, November 01, 2014

Grass fields and droves

click photo to enlarge
When you move to a new part of the country you immediately notice accents and dialect words because, despite the long, dominating presence of TV and radio, and the fact that people move from place to place much more than formerly, regional differences are still evident. And we should be glad that they do because they enrich our experience and provide a link with a past that will, in all probability, eventually disappear.

I've got used to Lincolnshire women I've never met before calling me "ducks" and the way in which words containing the letter "u" are pronounced: computer isn't "compyouter" but "compooter" and the DIY chain isn't B&Q (Bee and Queue) but Bee and Coo! I've also reconciled myself to the fact that in south Lincolnshire the pastures are "grass fields" and that many roads are "droves". However, that field description still puzzles me. I know that over the past century sheep and cattle farming has declined in the county and arable has become dominant, but was the term pasture, a word widely used across Britain, never used in Lincolnshire? Drove rather than road is easier to understand. The roads so named usually lead from settlements into the lower surrounding fens, areas that in the past were poorly drained, used less in winter and wetter weather, and which must have seen much organised "droving" of sheep and cattle to and from the drier land as season and precipitation dictated.

Today's photograph was taken on a recent late afternoon. It shows a grass field that was sown a few years ago to provide fodder for cutting and feeding rather than for the pasturing of animals. The second growth of grass had a beautiful texture and a delicate yellow tinge in the afternoon light, a quality that contrasted with the blue tinged clouds and sky as well as the detail of the distant drove road marked by its collection of trees, farm buildings and a few houses.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 11.5mm (31mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On