Monday, September 04, 2006

Caught in the glare

I like to get the cats in by 10 every night, but sometimes it happens that one of the Stripe Sisters is still out roaming around at midnight. Tonight I went down the front steps in search of Kaylee, headed toward our driveway -- and froze, as a high-intensity search light snapped on and caught me in its glare.

No gun-toting security guards appeared to order me to put my hands in the air, and, squinting at the beam, I realized that the next door neighbors had installed a set of motion-detector security lights on the edge of their roof. The lights are positioned so they pick up any motion on our front lawn, the street, or the alleyway.


I've always liked the quiet, almost rural atmosphere of our street. We have a few streetlights and most of us have dim porch lights. You can sit out front at night and not see a car, or even a person, go by for an hour or two. I've never heard of a burglary or an assault, though once this year some kids drove down the street and tossed some beer bottles (full!) out the window.

I am trying to imagine why the neighbors installed security lights of the intensity one usually associates with isolated commercial warehouses. (These are not the sort of motion-triggered soft-glow lights people put up to give guests some lighting as they walk up the driveway or front steps.) It seems doubly odd, because there is a streetlight right in front of their house.

I'd like very much to say something to them about the lights, except I can't imagine what would do any good, now that they've invested in such an expensive system.

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