Friday, 22 April 2016

Napton Reservoir (Neil in a jam jar)

On Wednesday evening Buddy and I took a walk across muddy fields and joined the Southern Oxford canal.  Once we joined the canal we could see the restored windmill at the top of the hill at Napton-on-the-Hill.

The windmill at the top of Napton-on-the-hill

Many fields are still waterlogged after the wet winter and we were in quite a state by the time we met Karen at the Folly Inn for a cheeky midweek after work drink. 

The Folly Inn at the bottom lock of the Napton flight

The Folly is another one of our favourite canal side pubs and I always remember the first time we went there.  There were three older guys at a table and they had a jam jar on the table full of dust.  When I asked them what it was they told me it was Neil, he used to go on boating holidays with them and still does.  I wonder if we’ll go back one day and see one guy sitting on his own with three jam jars for company?

The South Oxford canal has stanking planks at the bridge holes and we passed some on our walk.  These are the first shelters we have seen built in the style of carports.

Stanking planks and shelter on Southern Oxford canal

Whilst I was having breakfast on Thursday morning these guys went past.  I thought they were checking the depth at first to see where needs dredging.  They weren’t stunning fish as they didn’t have a generator running.  But then I noticed they had nets so maybe they were clearing stuff – a bit strange out in the country as you wouldn’t expect to find bikes and supermarket trolleys out here.  


Buddy and I crossed to the towpath side of the canal to start our morning walk and passed our boat on the way.

Our offside mooring at Napton Reservoir

The path Karen follows along the canal to get to the car is rather overgrown with hawthorn (as can be seen above) so in the afternoon I got the bush loppers out and did some pruning.  At least she won’t rip her clothes now.  

The afternoon was so warm I took all the side hatches off, cleaned the hinges and greased them – they had got really stiff over the winter.

Later on I met a couple of birders who gave me details of good local butterfly sites, unfortunately the weather seems to be changing for the worse over the next few days so visits to the sites will have to wait.

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