Friday, June 13, 2008

Some Nasty Thoughts About Nature

Keeping in mind that I love plants and animals and can sit and watch either or both with a lot of joy, this morning I was in a decidedly anti-nature mood. I sat down to use my computer, the was a sudden large "boom" somewhere in the neighborhood, and all the electricity in the house went out. A little checking with the neighbors brought to light that we were all without electricity. We were fairly sure that a transformer had to have exploded somewhere close by.

A call to 311 and the Con Edison hotline and then came the waiting around. Were we going to be able to stay in a house with no electricity and certainly no air conditioning for a whole Shabbos? How was that Shabbos going to get cooked? Finally, almost three hours later, both Con Ed and the police showed up at the house to report that we now had electricity and to ask was everyone okay in the house. When asked if the transformer blew and caused the blackout the Con Ed people grinned. It seems that a squirrel with weird tastes was up on the electric feeder line for our block and chewed through it by the fuse thus blowing out our street. RIP, the squirrel didn't live through this truly "hair raising" experience.

My first question was what kind of abnormal wildlife do we have around here that electrical lines are looked at as a delicacy. This surely wouldn't happen in Manhattan. But a different question is now lurking in my mind and I'm almost grateful to that squirrel for bringing this to my attention--just what kind of electrical lines do they put in that a squirrel can chew through? It's not exactly that it's a closely guarded secret that we have squirrels around here, lots of squirrels. And field mice and opposums that also enjoy climbing. And all kinds of birds of prey with sharp talons that like to sunbathe on the electrical wires.

We can send a man to the moon but we can't develop an electrical wire that won't fall prey to a 1-1/2 pound squirrel?


Dave said...

This is hardly uncommon.

There is a reason some of us refer to squirrels as "nature's resistor".

Anonymous said...

Still would rather that something ate the electrical line which someone else has to repair and pay for then when raccoons set up their home in our attic and ripped holes in the roof for their air conditioning. Took us six months of arguing with the insurance company because we aren't covered for acts of God or acts of nature. The company decided that raccoons qualified under acts of nature. When we took a lawyer and got a court date the company suddenly decided that maybe raccoons and hurricanes aren't related.

Anonymous said...

Squirrels have funny habits, they attack telephone wires too at times, among other things.

"This surely wouldn't happen in Manhattan."

In Manhattan the lines are typically buried underground.

Parts of Brooklyn and Queens lost power earlier this week, I guess SI's turn came today. True, you are not Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan or the Bronx, but you are still in NY.

Anonymous said...

Read the story and kind of laughed that a squirrel could bring technology to a standstill. Shouldn't have laughed. Last night's storm took a tree down which snagged the power lines and left us out until this morning. Man only thinks he has conquered nature.