Thursday, 21 April 2016

Napton Reservoir (mooring on the offside)

There were quite a few male Orange Tips on the wing on Tuesday looking very fresh..

Freshly emerged male Orange Tip

I only saw one female (they hatch a day or so later than the males) but she never rested long enough for me to get a shot.  The females lack the bright orange wing tips. I spent some time looking for the eggs on the larval foodplants but without success.
Ladys Smock (aka Cuckoo Flower) - one of the foodplants for Orange Tip caterpillars

Hedge Mustard (amongst other names) - the other main foodplant for Orange Tip larvae
Tuesday evening was glorious across the country and when Karen came home from work we sat on the towpath for a couple of hours watching swallows catching insects above the water; we saw our first swallow last Sunday.  

When we came in I folded up our chairs and put them away in the cratch.  I had forgotten to check for my phone and it must have fallen off my chair into the water when I was putting it away.  Searching with the magnet was useless as the phone wasn’t magnetic.  Oh well, I was going to replace it at the end of the year anyway.  Stupidly, my contacts weren’t backed up so, as I am keeping the same number, please text me your name and I’ll start rebuilding my list of contacts when I get a new phone in a couple of days.

Wednesday promised to be another fine day so as we needed water Buddy and I set off for Calcutt locks on the Grand Union.

Whilst filling up with water I passed the time of day with Ian and his wife on the water point.  They are both 80 this year and have been living aboard for 20 years – as you can imagine they had plenty of interesting stories.

Buddy relaxing in the sun whilst we take on water

After filling up I had to reverse back 300 or 400 yards to moor by Napton Reservoir.  This is one of the few places where you can moor on the offside (the side opposite the towpath).  Generally private landowners own the land up to the canal on the offside but as the reservoir is owned by the Canal & River Trust (it is a feeder to the canal), mooring is allowed on the offside.

Whilst reversing back I pulled alongside Mark on Callisto who was serving a couple on their boat, Together Forever.  I needed to replace a gas bottle and took the opportunity to have the diesel tank topped up too. 

Three abreast for refuelling.  The water point I had reversed back from is way in the distance by the lock gates

Karen can park the car in the car park for the reservoir and walk across a causeway to get home.  We are now only 13 miles from her office.

Karen's causeway

We will probably stay here for a week or so as there is lots of exploring to do and it is rather a pleasant spot especially with the noise of all the water fowl on the reservoir. Our friends Gordon and Jan are out on their boat at the moment further down towards Oxford but we hope to meet up at the weekend.  It will be good to see tham and at least we'll be easy to find.

Looking across the reservoir - we are moored behind the trees on the left side of the picture

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