Lockdown, what lockdown

Never seen so many people in countryside. This last weekend cars parked all over the place anywhere near access to nature reserves or open country. Suppose this is actually what was being encouraged as the safe option but still in November loads more people than ever seen at any other time of year. Shops shut so have to go somewhere else.

I had the same experience - busiest I’ve seen a local wood all year, despite it being dank and muddy, on Saturday.

Same here: very large numbers of visitors at Holme Fen and Monks Wood (the latter with cars parked in very silly locations on a quite busy road). But I’ve also noticed that - after another whirlwind stripping of the toilet-roll, pasta, and tinned beans shelves - the shops are also still busy: and the local social media is full of “open as usual” notices.
Another side effect seems to have been the prolongation of “bonfire night”. Not bonfires, though - that brings down the full wrath of social media condemnation. But at least one local householder had 3 evenings of very noisy pyrotechnics readily audible nearly a mile away (he was boasting of the hundreds of pounds spent - conspicuous consumption exemplified): eventually the local farmer turned up, complaining of stressed livestock.

I wonder if anyone is measuring the sudden usage of the countryside and town parks and using this to say how important they are? There have been a few stories about this from first lockdown but not sure if there were numbers associated and this second ‘lockdown’ seems more extreme in terms of people using greenspaces. My very elderly parents can’t go to local park now as it is totally packed, perhaps 100 parents and kids packed into playground and people jostling side by side to walk along paths in park, no hint of any social distance or awarness of how vulnerable elderly are.

Apart from the geographical restrictions from abandoning public transport, I’ve been mostly keeping away from country parks, nature reserves and canal towpaths. Country lanes are still quite quiet, but the number of cyclists still seems to be higher than in previous years, and not all cyclists social distance when whizzing past you.

There’s been a prolonged firework season for several years now - displays been displaced in time to the nearest/following weekend. Here there were less fireworks than usual.

There have been a lot more fireworks this year.
Being around 50 miles from Immingham where there must have been many containers of the things that would have been destined for professional displays stuck there van loads of them have got out and been let off randomly.
They must have been dirt cheap.

Here, la différence is VERY noticeable -
Few people are going to the National monuments, mostly archeological - they are for tourists, generally.
We have no ‘parks’ but if we did they too would be spread rather thickly with dogstuff.
It is noticeable how coastal paths have overgrown, with scabious and dwarf willow mainly!
My small favourite woodlands are not visited much - it is said that Orcadians (I am not) dislike woods.
There was a time, just after high summer, when the kids were on holiday, that the famous swimming beaches and rock pools were actually crowded and, on one occasion, I could not find a spot to park.
"Only the settlers have firework displays" Darwin. When you live near the sea you tend not to fire balls of light into the sky.
Overall it has been lovely without the occasional 3500 passenger and 1700 crewed liners - up to three a day!. There have been more motoring convictions because the Highland Police force had little to do in the Highlands, so came and caused a stir with their APNR and Radar-equipped cars.

When I retire I will be sorely tempted to consider Orkney, or maybe somewhere in the Flow Country, if in the meantime they can find a cure for midges.

Culicoides impunctatus in an invertebrate Stephen, worthy of love, admiration and study…
It is one of the Ceratopogonidae that never appears in iSpot
Here are the Culcoides https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/species-dictionary/NBNSYS0000132121/culicoides
No Scottish Biting Midge Observations - amazing?

ONE for Favourites today - https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/179157/ impressive photo, unagreed, unremarked and forgotten (until today)
During lockdown, I imagine they did quite well with sweaty, heavy-breathing people, who trying to keep fit and healthy.

Shame about the lockdown otherwise I would be rushing up to Scotland as we speak with that closeup kit and bare arm especially to get a shot of the blood suckers!

Please don’t encourage them - there are plenty without needing to do that!