Just because we could.
The weather was overcast but it didn't spoil the excitement of boating on the meandering South Oxford with its remote locks and rape filled fields. The meadows were plush with buttercups and clover. I have never seen clover so high in flower as this year.
The towpaths are brim full of cow parsley and flowering nettles. The canal banks are also showing a lovely display of Water irises and reed mace.
On our way we spotted larks and kestrels hovering in their differing ways, one distracting from the nest and the other quartering for voles or mice. Cattle ambled across the fields, their only aim being to find a suitable place to sit and chew the cud. We met a friend walking the towpath who asked whether we had seen a pair of cormorant. We had seen herons and geese and a family of swans with nine cygnets, the occasional mallard and moor-hen but no cormorants. He assured us they were nearby. The fish were jumping and he told a tale of "the worlds biggest carp" that had jumped in front of him. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration?
There was so little traffic on the canal for a Saturday afternoon. We didn't meet another boat on the way there if a canoeist can be disregarded as a boat. We only met one at Little Boughton lock on the way back but were followed by another with a norwegian crew.