Rhyne Maiden & Swans

Painting in watercolour, 19 x 22.5 inches, March 2015, by Nancy Farmer.

No it is not a spelling mistake, the rhynes are the drainage channels of the Somerset Levels where I live. Usually, but not always, pronounced ‘reen’. They are the reason why many of the fields have no fences around them: they have their own personal moats instead. When I first came to Somerset I was amazed to see gates standing on the edge of a field with no fence to either side: just a gate, across the entry which was the only point where there was no moat.

They are such a feature of the landscape that over the centuries they have become home to a kind of freshwater mermaid. Very timid, not often seen:

'Rhyne Maiden & Swans', watercolour by Nancy Farmer, 2015
‘Rhyne Maiden & Swans’, watercolour by Nancy Farmer, 2015

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