28 Jun

Cybernetic Vegetation

I was cruising on the east side of Lake Rosseau and noticed a lone tree jutting out of the landscape. I don’t recall ever seeing that tree before and it just seemed very odd to be towering 20 feet above all the others. It turns out to be 1 of 20 new communications towers that Bell has installed around the Muskoka district.

Many of you know I’m a techie and love to be connected to the world however there’s just something that doesn’t sit well with me on this. Sure its better than looking at a steel communications tower but knowing that its a fake amongst the natural beauty of a Muskoka landscape bothers me on some level. We have become colonized by technology and its near impossible to escape it. I think in the future we will see that man-machine-nature will eventually mesh to where its imperceptible but right now welcome to talking trees version 1.0

In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

13 Responses
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  1. James R says:

    I saw one on my way back home the last time i was up, it was just around the longest rock cut in Ontario, since we were on a hill the tees in the foreground sort of screened it, but when i saw the old big white tower next to it i instantly knew it was one of them. I have mixed feelings too about them, and this is only the beginning of what the future will bring to this area. the next thing you know they will disguise a hydro power plant as a river and waterfall.

  2. Ben says:

    I’ve been trying to find the one at foots bay when I drive by but can’t identify it passing at 80km. Other than that it’s a huge improvement over the red and white towers with their flashing red lights… now if we could only get marina’s to dial down their night time flood lights.

  3. TC says:

    I remember the fall of 2001. We were on Lake Joseph to enjoy our cottage and enjoy the fall colors. I was devestated to see a Bell tower off in the distance that had recently been put up and seeing it at dusk stand out while the sun was going down was something I still vividly remember over 10 years later. I was very dsappointed … OK mad. To make things work the RED BLINKING was worse. Luckily we were blocked by Burnt Island so the red becon was not something we had to see each and every night out the front window. An attempt to make the tower look like a tree is just slightly better but still ruins the Muskoka “experience”. There is a “however” though and that is these blinking beasts carry highspeed internet data access affording many the chance to work virtually.

    I have learned to fous on the capability the towers afford me which is to be in Muskoka more often then I would be able without them. For me it’a about perspective. Don’t like it but can’t do what I do without it. Makes me less angry.

  4. JP says:

    The way I see it, there are 3 options:

    1) Tower disguised as a pine tree
    2) Conventional tower
    3) No tower

    Given that most of us need to stay “connected” in cottage country, I’ll take option #1.

  5. Ed Boutilier says:

    JP – I agree that given the options I would prefer to be connected via a fake pine tree. I am just not so sure they need to be so close to shorelines in order to provide the service.

    TC – I couldn’t imagine living with a flashing red light on my lake views. I think a few people would shoot them out – LOL

  6. JuliaBD says:

    my husband and child are subjected to the bits and pieces of news I can find from “home”..He’s a techie (the kind that have been since the beginning)..we, all three, find the pure genius of Ma Bell to attempt the blending of a tower you all are using a kind gesture…perhaps they too love the forests of Muskoka

  7. JMD says:

    I assume this “tree” has red lights that wink on and off at night. A great improvement over the old kind that just stood there in darkness sheltering birds but mostly doing nothing. >sarcasm off< Will Bell decorate it for Christmas?

  8. James Fairbairn says:

    Excellent photography. I browsed your blog and I am very impressed with your photos. I also agree with your Bell tree coments. It is much better than a metal monster, but where does it lead to.

  9. Nina says:

    I, too, think I saw one at Milford Bay. It does look kind of dumb but better than the other option of a big metal monster. About 8 years ago, a neighbour let Telus put up a tower very close to us. At that time, there was no notice to nearby residents from the township etc. It certainly ruffled a few feathers and I complained to the district. Needless to say, it is well behind our place so we don’t have to look at it .. other than when on the lake and it stands out like a sore thumb. But, we all want our gizmos to work so the fake pine trees are probably here to stay.

  10. Che Andrews says:

    Saw this from close up this past weekend. It looks like one of the original fake Christmas trees … the base into which you jammed green bottle-brush-like plastic and wire branches. I heard it looked very strange from the water and your photo proves it! Too bad it wasn’t possible for Bell to take it one step further and keep it in ‘line’ with the rest of the line.

  11. […] “We have become colonized by technology and it’s near impossible to escape it. I think in the future we will see that man-machine-nature will eventually mesh to where its imperceptible but right now welcome to talking trees version 1.0.” (Ed Boutilier, Muskoka Blog). […]

  12. Jane says:

    We spotted one on Lake Muskoka while boating back from Port Carling to Bala.

  13. Sue says:

    The tower at Foot’s Bay can be seen when driving north on Hwy 69 or Lake Joseph Road as it is now called. Right after Foot’s Bay there are two separate rock cuts in the road fairly close together, a smaller one to the south and a larger reddish one to the north. It is between these rock cuts looking towards Lake Joseph or to the right when travelling north. It is difficult to spot when travelling south.

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