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.
Everyone in the field of nature seems to be obsessed with the Anthropocene, but anyone who actually looks will know that September is the Arachnocene, the empire of the spiders and their silks. I seem to be completely enmeshed in them at the moment, so here are some recent highlights. A glorious garden cross spider (top left), a wonderful mother-to-be raft spider on her silk globe of spiderlings (top right; and actually taken a couple of years ago but hey!), the silkwork of what looked like hammock weavers (or allies), at Moniack Mhor where I teach again next May (btm left), and then (btm right) the fabulous new field guide Britain's Spiders by Lawrence Bee, Geoff Oxford and the marvellous spiderwoman herself Helen Smith, without whom the beasts would be much less loved (Princeton University Press, and a snip of spider silk at £24.95).
© Mark Cocker 2013