Blooming relaxation

Claydon Locks sign
Claydon Lock Flight. Five locks ascending 30’6″ (9.3 metres).

Through the dinette window, I can see that the towpath here on the Grand Union Canal has been mowed.  There is a lowish hawthorn hedge with a few nettles, grasses, a gone-to-seed cow parsley plant at its base, and a clump of white clover.  It is overcast and windy, so not a good day for seeing lots of damselflies and other flying insects, but even in the warmer weather of last week, wildlife was limited.  This comes in stark contrast to the South Oxford Canal, where I spent lockdown, and which I navigated as the limitations for we liveaboards were relaxed.  Here are a few images from the area around Claydon, near to the flight of five locks that lift the canal by 30’6″ (9.3 metres) to cross the watershed between the valleys of the Rivers Cherwell and Leam (pronounced as “lemm”, as in Royal Leamington Spa).  Here are a few images from that section of canal.

The pictures are not meant to be in any particular order, they are simple a (not necessarily representative) sample of the diversity along a short stretch of canal in the middle of June 2020.  I am not a professional botanist, or even a gifted amateur, but, with the help of Harrap’s Wild Flowers (1), I try to get identification right.

But first a bit of lockdown towpath style:

WM below Claydon Flight
South Oxford Canal below Claydon Flight.

Jumbled-up flora and fauna:

More jumble:


Keep your eyes peeled.  There is lots more to be seen.

(1) Harrap, Simon, 2013, Wild Flowers: A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain & Ireland, Bloomsbury, London.  ISBN: (print) 978-1-4081-1360-8; (ePub) 978-1-4081-8987-0.


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