Wires, Not-winter and Tara and Cliff

image of telephone wires along the side of Lily Lake Road
click to view full size

My interest in communication towers seems to be morphing into an interest in all of the artifacts that connect us across the countryside. Power lines, telephone lines, even the roads themselves stretch through farm fields and green spaces. They are eyesores, potentially –  interruptions in the view. But they are such a part of our lives and we can’t (or won’t) live without them.

In shooting landscapes in the past, I have done my best to avoid power lines. But they are there. They are ever present. Although it’s not “dishonest” of me to try to create an image without the interruption of the lines, in my interest in the intersection between us and nature, the co-habitation of ourselves and nature, our own nature, our naturalness, the wires and towers literally stick out as particularly jarring. They break up the view, the slice across the sky. And yet the birds rest on the wires, nest in the towers and poles, foxes and coyotes follow power lines from community to community.

I’m not sure how this is working itself out in my head. I’m not sure what I’m saying, but I’m finding that I’m less and less inclined to avoid these icons of our need for connectivity. Are they nice to look at? Would it be better if we didn’t need them? Or are they, as we are, actually a part of the nature around them?

Across the highway from the wires is this lovely, wireless, view. Remember winter?

image of farm and green field in summerAnd for those of you who like to keep up with what’s happening in downtown Peterborough, here’s a shot of Tara Williamson and Cliff Cardinal, who filled the room at the newly minted Red Garnet (once Ossia) with their musical tales of love, hardship and family.

image of Cliff Cardinal and Tara Williamson playing at The Red Garnet


  1. If you put up the two season pics and click back and forth, the summer one starts to resemble a green living waterway/lake.

  2. You’re correct about the “eyesore”. Poles and lines are a blight on most of the older sections of our communities. But you’re also correct that there can be something fascinating about them. I always smile as I watch a squirrel using a high wire highway to cross our Peterborough streets. As a teenager I liked to wheel into the countryside on my bicycle and would often find myself sitting by the side of the road simply to listen to the wind playing tunes with the multiple wires. I am often struck by the almost magnificent sight of gigantic high tension towers striding across the land like creatures out of Tolkien. Ï hope you continue to explore this.

    1. Ah yes, I haven’t thought about the “music” in the wires
      Thanks for the comments.
      It’s amazing how the wires are integrated into our lives, so much so that we don’t register seeing them most of the time. But as you say, the squirrels, the wind, we all interact with them. And yes, the long march of the towers – they look so human (or homunculus).

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