Sunday, September 29, 2013


Last spring, we noticed a guy walking up and down our street taking notes. He arrived in a small truck, unmarked, but typical of the trucks that local contractors use. At one point he rang our bell and I went out to see what he wanted. I assumed he wanted to sell me some gardening services.

They cut a gap in our rear hedge and filled the hole with sand.

It turned out that he was working for the electric company and scoping out the neighborhood for an upcoming project to put the transmission lines that bring power to our hamlet underground. The lines currently (pun intended) come up the hill through vineyards and woods and access to them is difficult, especially after a storm sends a tree onto them, cutting off our power. And, as many of you know, that happens more frequently than we like.

They used a crane to drop the transformer into the gap. The arriving power line is buried in a trench between the road and the hedge.

Part of the undergrounding project is the installation of a ground-level transformer to convert the high-tension power arriving at our hamlet into the lower-tension power that is distributed to each house. The lower-tension wires are not being removed, just the high-tension wires and their poles.

They seem to have installed it a bit crooked, but no matter. Now the wires are underground and the trenches are filled.

When one of our neighbors flat-out refused the electric company's first choice of location for the box, the representative approached us. We agreed to have the box installed at the back of our property, in our hedge. We got drawings in the mail to review and approve, and we signed the papers. Not long after that we got a check in the mail. They paid us for the inconvenience.

A close-up of the sign on the box.

Now the work is almost complete and, as these photos show, the transformer box has been installed. It blends in nicely and we can't see it from inside the yard because it's behind our bay laurel in the rear corner. There's still more work to be done before they turn it all on. Then they'll remove the big wires and poles from behind our house. Can't wait for that!


  1. "danger de mort" - sounds like a stripper name! touch me and you die! :-)

  2. If they would just take this idea and use it here in Fort La De Da, maybe they wouldn't have to replace the damned lines every ttme we have a hard rain, and especially after just bout every tropical storm and hurricane. But I suspect i has most to do with raising rates constantly, than improving the service.

  3. Glad you cooperated and got a check! Profit and progress.

  4. How convenient that they paid you. Wouldn't they just have used the government's right to your property here in the U.S.A.? I believe so.

  5. When I looked back at yesterday's leaf posting/comments I saw the leaf differently: today, it looked to me like a piece of quilting with all of the gathers on the seams of the leaf!

  6. This looks sinister and I suspect no good from this horrid box. I suggest you go dig it up and get rid of the thing.

  7. anne marie, well, I certainly hadn't thought of that!

    starman, it does make a lot of sense, but then it also costs money. Priorities.

    evelyn, we're looking forward to fewer outages.

    judy, :)

    mary, we were both really surprised and didn't know they were going to at first.

    michael, I'm hoping it will be more benign... we need the electricity. ;)


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