Monday, December 8, 2008

Now You See It. Then You Won't.

I've been reading letters to the editor in newspapers, and hearing snippets on the television about people having fits about potential installations of wind towers and cell towers--in their back yards or on ridge lines. I guess someone, somewhere always will object to some installation.

After months and months of this, I'm finally ticked off. As those reading this will know I'm a photographer. Part of what I do is shoot stock photos which include "travel/scenic type shots" of Vermont.

Well, I've yet to see a cell tower, or a wind tower that I can't get past or around to get a good shot in the vicinity. BUT, and it's a big BUT, I daily curse power lines. Loudly, vociferously, and profanely. They go for miles, occasionally changing over from one side of the road to another. But that's it -- they are ubiquitous and ugly as hell.

I don't, however, see any letters to the editor about power lines ruining the scenery.

And, I'll bet it's just because, most non-photographer types don't even see them. They've been here a very long time after all. So, I expect, that in 2080 or so, nobody will see the cell towers or wind towers either. As for me, I'd sure rather breathe clean air and be connected to the rest of the world, than not.

And, hey, we could paint the wind towers greenish on the bottom, moving through hues of blue and gray to white at the top. And, yes, you can put one in my back yard!


  1. I've thought about this, Clair. We have a huge warehouse at the bottom of our hill that was here when we moved in, and I hardly notice it--I'm sure I'd be very aware of how its bulk blocked the view to the field and river behind if I'd seen it go up. When I was in Umbria painting a couple of years ago, I was very aware of the powerlines everywhere--big behemoths astride the hills, always in the background of my plein air landscapes. I thought they were ugly there, because I wanted a classical Corot-like Umbrian landscape. But painting landscape here, I really like seeing telephone poles and lines. (Hopper used them as an important compositional element, as I'm sure you know.) So what's my conclusion from these unrelated observations? We need clean energy.

  2. Yes, I've noticed with pleasure your handling of the lines and poles in your village paintings. And I often shoot an especially striking power pole. I find the frequent symmetry appealing to my little designer's soul. (And I love Hopper.) I'm also especially fond of the little tin letters on the pole across the road from my house: REA. Rural Electrification Agency. The E is by now dangling by one ear. This house didn't have electricity until the new house was built after the old one burned in 1937.