A great new adventure began in 2012 when I acquired a little over five acres of neglected fen woodland on the banks of the River Yare. The intention over the next years is to upraise its wildlife potential through practical work and with the support of others, but especially my friend, poet Matt Howard. Blackwater Blog is a way of recording these slow-won achievements and celebrating this glorious patch of wild Norfolk.
There can barely be a picture that i have taken in the last 17 years at Claxton that doesn't include reed. It is part of the DNA of our parish and one can easily cease to notice this wonderful grass. However I have learnt to look out for certain conditions about this time of year when it does something extraordinary. You need bright blue winter skies and enough breeze to stir the Beck; then the reflections of the individual phragmites stems wander across the surface of the water, melding with their neighbours until the whole inverted image liquifies and blends to an elemental flux of blue and gold. It is a chromatic signature for our place and I can sometimes be found taking picture after picture trying to capture this evanescent work of light, water and the natural inhabitants. I've yet to make the perfect image but, then, that is part of the very joy of it.
© Mark Cocker 2013