On March 13 Belgium came in lockdown after already some weeks of limited possibilities to work or to move around. Being retired one would think the restrictions for people going or not going to work and having to stay at home (in your own place) would not change much for that person.
I must say since restrictions in moving around the roads our house became very quiet and the noise from the planes seems to have disappeared high up in the skies. Because now it has become so quiet around the house, we sleep longer than previously. Only the alarm clock of one of our neighbours, she as a nurse having to go to work early, ringing at 6 a.m. awakes us for a moment. Afterwards, we just fall in sleep again, whilst the other days ‘BC’ (Before Corona) we kept hearing the busy National road behind our back garden (the N3 Aachen–Leuven–Brussels) and the motorways E40 (Calais–Brussels–Köln– Katowice-Kraków–Kiev–Donetsk–Beyneu–Nukus–Konye-Urgench- Bukhara–Merki–Chaldavar–Almaty–Ridder) and E314 (Leuven–Hasselt–Maasmechelen- Bocholt-Aachen). In the early morning and from the early afternoon until early evening, in normal times, cars are piling up. Regularly alongside those motorways, I could walk with my dog faster than the cars would move.
Since a few weeks the lorries came to govern those roads again and at least for those truck drivers it is now a less stressing time, them being able to bring the goods from one place to another without too many difficulties and ‘not having to swear so much’. For a month now it looks like there are no rush hours existing any more.
Incredible when looking at the streets and motorways, lots of them with such a few moving vehicles that photographers find lots of opportunities to make beautiful shots of the ancient buildings and otherwise touristic attractions.
Because of the restriction of travelling, I can not go to the nearby city Brussels or to Leuven for taking pictures of the empty squares. Those living in Brugge (Bruges), Gent (Ghent) and Antwerp are now able to shoot incredible nice photos of the beautiful houses and canals without the disturbing view of autos and people cruising.
It is striking how the animals in nature also get a breath of fresh air so that more birds can be seen and heard. We always have been please to see them around but this time we find more birds in our garden and see many more animals on the fields, seemingly not so afraid of human beings when we come along. Many rabbits looking in our eyes demanding what we come to do there.
It looks like the harrier also noticed there are much more animals moving around in the fields. Lovely to see him hovering in the air, before diving to catch prey. I do not know much about birds, but I have the impression this morning I got a Eurasian sparrowhawk seated in the bushes a few meters away from me who flew up to land a little further back, as my stationary figure seemed to be harmless to him.
It is also striking that the birdsong now falls in the air so much clearer, and brings us much nicer sounds than all that engine buzz.
Summit, now that I was writing this article and going for a walk this afternoon, there was now a bit more driving on the N3, even though it was not so bad. (Just now when I was thinking and writing about this amazing silence which has come over my village.)
Wherever you live, try to notice the silence and perhaps also the otherwise hidden life in nature. Perhaps you too shall notice that it looks like nature has received a sort of new birth.
Wishing you lovely sounds in an opening world of wonders.
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