1st Oct 2010, 16:43
1. Kirtlington Quarry visitor moorings
2. Walkways leading down to the canal.
Kirtlington quarry is famous amongst geologists for its diversity of fossils and is the richest mammal-bearing locality of the Middle Jurrasic age known anywhere in the world. Amazingly the remains of dinosaurs such as the bones of a 15m long Cetiosaurus, the tooth of a Megalosaurus and the teeth of a large flying reptile called a Plesiosaur as well as the remains of sharks, crocodiles and a large marine reptile called a Plesiosaur have been discovered. There have also been finds of fish, early frogs, salamanders and lizards.
All this in todays Oxfordshire that 172 million years ago was once a coastal environment similar to the Florida Everglades. Planet Earth never fails to impress me.
27th Sep 2010, 09:41
1/2. I came across these three cruising the River Cherwell together. Apparently there are only about 50 breeding pairs of black swans in the UK, so a rare sight to see just one.
3. Dusk over the Cherwell valley.
4. Moored amongst the reedmace and sedges.
We left Aynho and locked down to moor below Kirtlington on Wednesday where the River Cherwell runs parallel to the canal. The river actually joins the canal below Bakers Lock before leaving the canal about a mile further downstream above Shipton Lock as it heads towards Thrupp.
Yesterday we made the run down to Thrupp below Shipton Lock where we 'winded' the boat and moored at the BW services there to service the toilet, replenish the water tank and dispose of what little rubbish we had.
We then headed back to moor above Pigeons Lock below Kirtlington for the weekend. On Monday we'll begin our run to Market Harborough, on the Grand Union Canal, before the winter stoppages start to take effect.
There are some beautiful walks around here and the banks of the canal and the River Cherwell are a delight to explore (and fish). Other than the occasional passing rambler or narrowboat we're on our own with the delight of being amongst the peacefulness of the countryside and nature. Robins are singing their hearts out during the day and a myriad of Rooks have been amusing us with their boisterous behaviour at dusk as they prepare to roost in the trees around us overnight. Life is good.
26th Sep 2010, 12:02
1. A weather front passing through.
2. How do you paint that?
3. A narrow passage where once a lift bridge existed, with a railway viaduct in the background.
We locked down to Aynho yesterday and will be moored here for the weekend.
Gunner flushed a roe buck from amongst the trees last night and enthusiastically gave chase for two hundred yards, realised he was outpaced and gave up with a couple of frustrated barks. The deer, now some distance away, then lay down in the grass to get its breath back, which Gunner, having returned to my side, spotted and again gave chase. The buck was off like shot and leapt a hedge as if daring Gunner to follow, at which point Gunner ran out of puff and, having twice enjoyed the thrill of the chase, gave up.
To see Gunner at a full run with his long black coat flaring in the slipstream of his stride, and shimmering in the light of the evening sun, is a beautiful sight and one I never tire of. I might one day manage to film it.
18th Sep 2010, 14:01
We moored in the centre of Banbury on Monday. After shopping for provisions we stayed overnight and yesterday moved out into the quiet of the countryside.
As we headed south out of Banbury we passed by James and Heather (nb Matilda May) who we met up with a couple of years ago on the Peak Forest Canal. Having moored about a quarter of a mile futher on, James and Heather came and spent the afternoon with us. James gave us a virtuoso performance on my penny whistle and Heather sang a couple of songs accompanying herself on my guitar. They've now got to the stage of busking in towns near canals and have even produced a CD of their music.
15th Sep 2010, 20:30
This fella turned up the other day and didn't want to leave. After three fruitless hours of trying to locate his owner we had no choice other than to get in touch with the local dog warden to come and collect him. It was a pleasure to have his company for those few short hours as he was well behaved and very obedient. We just hope that he ends up with the care he deserves as it was sad to see him led away to an uncertain future.
12th Sep 2010, 16:30
1. Rubbing down.
2. Ready to paint.
Last weeks job of the week.
12th Sep 2010, 16:08
1. Braunston Junction.
2. Footpath up to Braunston.
3. Rain approaching.
4. Wartime defences at Napton.
5. Lower Shuckburgh Church.
Nearly the middle of September already! I've added photos taken over the last few weeks.
We're moored just outside of Banbury where tomorrow we'll be shopping for supplies and moving on.
Last week the weather behaved itself enough for me to key the surface of the blue gloss paint running around the boat below the gunnels and over-paint with a coat of bitumen. I can now easily touch-up any minor scrapes with blacking. It looks good too!
12th Sep 2010, 15:47