Wednesday Photo: Wadlow Wind Farm from Fleam Dyke

Taken with a Fujifilm X100F
Just click on the photo to enlarge it 

One of my favourite short trips out of Cambridge is to Fleam Dyke via Fulbourn Fen. I generally cycle to the Fen, lock the bicycle up, then walk through the woods, up onto the Anglo-Saxon dyke and then on to the bronze-age burial mound on Mutlow Hill where I’ll stop for a sandwich and a flask of tea. I generally take a book with me too and, in summer anyway, I can easily while away a couple of pleasant hours in the shade of the large beech tree which stands hard by the barrow. Liminal places like this, where there is a powerful, living connection between ancient and modern peoples, landscapes and worlds, endlessly draw me to them.

The dyke is very upstanding for much of its length and it gives a good view of the landscape to the north-east and south-west. I like the modest countryside roundabouts but it’s not always immediately photogenic. However, when the light is right and the weather is cloudy or stormy then things change very dramatically. One suddenly becomes aware of being fully immersed in the weather. To borrow some lines from Michael Rosens book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury), looking at an approaching storm one quickly realises “We can’t go over it. / We can’t go under it. / Oh no! / We’ve got to go through it!”

I’ve been in that situation many times out on Fleam Dyke and, over the years, I’ve taken some dramatic, weather-related photos there — the most recent ones you can find at this link. But I’ve only ever taken one photo of Wadlow Wind Farm to the north-west of the dyke that was worth keeping. I only use a 35mm, fixed lens camera and this means that, on most occasions, the distant wind farm simply does not make for a good subject. However, in February 2019, on the occasion of the photo at the head of this post, the weather gods were with me as the sun briefly came out through the dark storm clouds and illuminated the bright white wind turbines and the green of what I assume was a field of winter wheat. 

Of course, having taken the photo — and delighted in my good fortune — there remained the business of going through that storm to get home, very wet but very happy.