Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 4-19-10
The words “light pollution” keep popping up as a negative observation of having neighbors. I may be alone in this opinion, but I like seeing those lights. When our electricity fails after dark we can look out the window and immediately know if the problem is only on our leg of the power line or if it’s a more general outage; that information is valuable when the power company is called.
On those nights when sleep is slow in coming, I like to see the lights of my widowed neighbor and know that all is well with her. Vehicle lights in the middle of the night out here in the hinterlands concern me a lot more than yard lights. We have very few neighbors who live further from town than we do. They don’t work in town at night and have no apparent reason to be driving in the country at 2 or 3 in the morning. Vandalism and burglaries in the country are on the rise; are the drivers up to no good?
A neighbor pastures his heifers next to a county road in this same lowly populated community. One of his heifers was shot dead in the pasture. She was found lying inside the pasture fence, not far from the road. It was obvious the shots had been fired from the roadway during the night.
Remember when you couldn’t give batteries away and in fact had to pay someone to take them? As the auctioneers arrived for a recent neighborhood farm sale, it was discovered that the batteries from all of the machinery and vehicles had been stolen. Consider a farm sale setup. Items are lined up in rows to make the auction go along efficiently and this is often done at least a week or more ahead of time. Once the auction advertisement comes out in the newspaper potential buyers may drift into the property to look over the goods. There is no house on that property, which made it likely that no one would be around the place. Neighbors who live nearby generally watch out for each other wouldn’t even think twice about seeing strange vehicles driving onto a farm that is ready for an auction.
One of the most interesting points of this particular auction though is that the landowner was not listed on the sale bill. It just stated “area consignors” and there were not specific directions given. The ad just said seven miles east of the town and signs will be posted. Naturally the signs were not posted until a couple of hours before the sale. Someone who knew where the auction was to be held took full advantage of the situation.
The same thing could happen when you leave tractors and swathers in the field. Consider this a word to the wise when you park your farm equipment away from lighted areas and in secluded spots. Lights can be more than comforting features, they can thwart trouble.
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