December's pylon of the month is another first for the blog as the observant amongst you will already have spotted. It is an absence of pylon or a pylon of the imagination, at least in the picture above. I spotted it on Twitter recently where it was posted by @geospacedman with the following description:
Contrails? No, electricity cables backlit by building works lights over the hill. I think there's a pylon in this shot but invisible.
For those who are not satisfied with the power of their imagination and want to see it in real life, you need to head to the cycle path from Lancaster University into Lancaster. It's the transmission line through the middle of this map
below looking west towards the pylon just over the railway line.
According to Susan Hill in this Guardian article
, ghost stories fulfil a basic human need and as the author of the very scary Woman in Black,
she should know. I'm looking at this picture and already thinking of long demolished pylons that reappear on certain nights when strange happen in the local vicinity. I'm thinking of a quiet misty night, walking home alone when the buzzing noise that you get from pylon lines in damp weather1
is heard as a warning of approaching death; a kind of electrical banshee
. Need I go on? Perhaps you are already looking at the picture above, feeling a shiver run down your spine and swearing never to walk alone near pylon lines in the dark. Then again perhaps not.
Merry Christmas to Pylon fans everywhere and see you again in 2020. If you can't wait until then, you could always invest in one of these lovely Christmas tree decorations.
1. That sound has a name, according to BC Hydro specialist engineer Mazana Armstrong. Corona, Latin for crown, is the name for the luminous "crown" of tiny sparks that can, very rarely, be visible around equipment such as power lines and insulators. It's this crown that causes the occasional buzzing and crackling that you can hear....."Water droplets like rain, snow, or even fog and mist, help speed the electrical breakdown of the air particles, making the corona louder and easier to hear," she says.