Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Faux Palms

Not so long ago, in a land not so far away, some design team came up with what seemed a great way to disguise cell phone towers so that residential viewsheds weren't affected. You see, many people think cell phone towers are ugly and don't want them outside their picture window, although you probably couldn't pry their cell phones out of their hands if you tried. Anyway, someone decided that disguising the towers as trees would be a great idea. Towers are tall like trees. Boughs wouldn't really get in the way of reception if judicious 'pruning' was incorporated into the design. The team suggested the idea, and to their astonishment, cell phone companies loved it.

Here in the southwest, they decided to use the same tree they use in southern California--the palm tree. Never mind that palm trees really aren't native (there's that one stand of native palms out in the Kofa Wilderness I've visited a couple of times, but you can't really count one remnant stand clinging precariously on the side of canyon). Never mind that palms generally aren't that tall out here. Never mind that a lot of community activists have been trying for years to get landscapers and homeowners to get rid of their non-native palms.

Sadly, no one on the team thought about what might happen when the boughs or leaves fall off. No one ever replaces fallen or missing boughs or leaves. Case in point:

Fooled you, didn't it? Because that last photo shows how much the fake palm looks like the real palm. About as much as those plastic, inflatable palm trees.

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