I just returned from a short jog around my end of the Cape - tentative first steps in the rehabilitation of my bad heel. While I was out, I passed a bucket truck trimming tree branches hanging over power lines - post storm clean-up I guess. I'm not sure if they were power company contractors or hired by some other party to trim damaged limbs.
This raises one of my handful of pet peeves (you'll hear about most of them at some point or another I'm sure). I have a nearly visceral reaction to the way trees are mutilated to make way for archaic power lines. They just look awful, both the power lines and the butchered trees. Some have as much as 1/2 of their crowns removed - such an indignity. All this in the interest of protecting power lines that are an eyesore, a frequent inconvenience, and an occasional hazard. Check out a few of the Cape's victims:
The power line from the telephone pole to our house comes from the opposite side of the street, and our house is set a good ways back, so the line has a fairly long distance to travel causing it to droop. Several times since we've lived here, the line has pulled away from the bolts that hold it to the house and ended up across my lawn. Each time we swear we're going to have it buried, and each time, a) if funds are available, we put off the inconvenience or b) if money is tight, we are discouraged by the expense. This must be the way the county views it as well, because I can't imagine it would not be an improvement to bury them (a huge expense and brutal initial inconvenience but longterm improvement and savings). When the economy is booming, nobody has the will, and when times are tight, the money's not there.
I'm just tired of seeing the trees pay the price for old technology and short sightedness. Even if you couldn't care less about the trees and think the ones in the way should just be removed altogether, you can't deny that the power lines are plain ugly and a nuisance. What was an innovation at the turn of the 20th century is a dinosaur at the beginning of the 21st - another example of America's aging and outdated infrastructure. If anybody would like to share more examples of the Cape's sad, maimed trees, feel free to send them to me and I will add them to my collection of carnage. More about Cape St. Claire and trees in my next entry...