Sunday, June 15, 2008

It was raining batteries

I hiked Sunday morning from around 6AM to around 10AM, covering the north and south sides of Eastern Avenue in a figure-eight pattern centered at the Essex library branch. This was a decidedly urban hike, maybe not center-city, but retail, service and medium density housing.

Almost immediately I spotted a battery, and continued walking, picking up dead batteries, taking pictures of landmarks, batteries and other minutia.

A fallout shelter sign at the back of the Eastern Avenue job placement center. The capacity says 146 people. Wikipedia says Essex, Maryland had a population of 39,078 at the 2000 census.

A partial spork near Eyring Avenue.

This was the largest amount of batteries I've collected yet on a hike, with sometimes 2, 3, 4 or more being visible on street gutters within feet of each other. I'm reading about Warren Zevon's life, and the obsessive-compulsive behaviors he exhibited, and those of his neighbor and friend Billy Bob Thornton, and thinking, am I getting all obsessive about collecting dead batteries, counting them, showing pictures of where and how they were found? I took pictures of 35 individual batteries, some more than 1 shot, and I took a few pictures of lead weights. I'll put them on once I edit them into a semblance of order. Obsessed? Compulsed? You tell me.

The high concentration of batteries found seem to be on busy streets with very little grade, and no recent resurfacing. Spotting them is getting easier - just look for a pile up of gravel with a battery wedged uphill. Or in a low spot in the road, where normal rainfall doesn't wash them downstream into the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.


Anonymous said...

interesting - what do you do with batteries?
i can send you mine.. let me know

JSpath55 said...

nuckname: I take dead batteries to a battery store, and they send them back upstream to a manufacturer. At least, I hope that's what they do with them! And, no thanks, I don't need more. Try contacting your local governmental environmental agency for recycling options on your area. Post your findings back, please. Jim