Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hurricane Resistance

I spend a fair amount of time looking at foliage that sprouts out of these rocks we call the Florida Keys but I think I spend an equal amount of time trying to figure out to minimize the intrusion of wires into my pictures. Some people use Photoshop to clean up their pictures but the way I see it, wires and poles are part of daily life down here so spending my time carefully erasing them makes no sense.


So in an attempt to embrace these annoying 'trees' I decided to take a few pictures while I was out and about. Honestly though, I don't think they have much artistic merit. The clouds behind them I like a lot, pregnant with moisture and promising lots of violent weather drama, but the cement poles are at best challenging to view as things of beauty.


Even artificial osprey nesting platforms like the black knob in the picture above fail to arouse feelings of beauty though they serve a useful purpose, offering homes to birds that otherwise would have to fend for themselves. Call it government welfare for ospreys, taking valuable money from free market stock dividends.


Actually Keys Energy, known to old timers as City Electric when it was a rather more city-centric public utility, provides electricity south of the celebrated seven mile bridge functioning as a rather well run public utility. They have undertaken a long program of capital improvements such that power is actually very reliable these days. There is no accounting for stupidity and the occasional distracted or better yet drunk driver, runs into a pole from time to time and power goes out for a short while. Boaters abandon sailboats in channels and when they break loose their masts ground the wires and...power goes out for a little while. But weather related outages are considerably more rare these days than in the recent past.


It's true that people who live here like to claim that we live with constant outages, like the good old days, a badge of honor, but it's not true. Blame the public utility for things getting better and more reliable. Which doesn't alter the fact that these hurricane resistant towers and poles are ugly as sin and get in the way of my pictures. That's just the price of reliable electrical energy.

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2 comments:

Amanda said...

I never could understand why, in hurricane-prone Florida, the electric companies didn't bury the wires.

I think in hurricane-prone BVI, they don't bury the wires mostly out of laziness ... but perhaps also because there's very little topsoil on this rocky, volcanic island.

Conchscooter said...

Cost I think. They say it would be more expensive than planting cement poles.