Okay, so none of that is true. But I do spend a lot of time on Connecticut crossing Taft Bridge. And especially at night it’s hard not to notice this.
Know what that is?* For some reason I knew as soon as I saw it. It may be from my time installing ceiling air conditioners in high school and spending several summers face to face with gross things in light fixtures.
Indeed, that is a street lamp all sorts of filled with dead bugs. Insects spellbound by the luminous orbs and dazzling views of one of country’s oldest national parks find themselves trapped in a glass prison. Death can not come quickly enough as they flitter around over the exoskeletons of their West Nile-d brethren, waiting to lay their eggs in the giant, overturned trashcan lid full of water in the sky.
Now let’s say you’re an aspiring crazy old man, like me, who wants to know what becomes of the carcasses. I did what crazy old men do best, I wrote a letter to the city. I was hoping to walk the thin green phosphorescent line between complete nutjob and serious non-DC resident.
Dear Sir or Madame,So did my crazy rambling lead anywhere? Check back tomorrow to see the amount of rigmarole involved in getting a response from the city. Or you could just drive across the bridge and see for yourself. Either way, it’s an ordeal.
On a recent evening trip on Connecticut Avenue and across the William Taft Bridge I was admiring the ornamental light posts as the tall green columns topped with noble eagles are quite striking. While not as well recognized as other monuments in the city like the Boy Scout Memorial or Aquarium in the basement of the Commerce building, it is still a wonderful DC landmark.
However, I could not help to notice the incredible number of dead insects in the base of each lamp. While some only had what I guessed were a few hundred, others had a couple of inches piled in the bottom. They take away from the grandeur of the bridge. And for safety reasons, I imagine the bugs also limit the amount of light from each bulb.**
I’m curious about the city’s policy in removing the dead insects. Is it done whenever a bulb goes out? Or maybe after the first frost when there is little worry of them filling back up until the spring? And are the bugs disposed of in the trash or are they just poured off the bridge onto Rock Creek Parkway?
Thank you for your time and hope to hear from you soon.
**Crime Emergency, anyone?