“Go fly a kite!” Um, but not here.

I do not believe I have ever seen such a sign before:

Odd sign, until you realize it's difficult to fly a kite in a canyon and avoid the power lines.  Photo from Poky Tom's Flickr files, Thousand Springs, Idaho.

Odd sign, until you realize it’s difficult to fly a kite in a canyon and avoid the power lines. Photo from Poky Tom’s Flickr files, Thousand Springs, Idaho.

About 1982 I bought a couple of kites and string and kept them in my office on Capitol Hill.  I hoped someone would some day tell me to “go fly a kite,” whereupon I would announce that’s exactly the thing to do, grab the kites and rush to the Washington Mall to fly them. (Do they allow that stuff, there, anymore?)

Alas, none of our pitched battles over policy and press release phrasing got to that point.  The kites got lost in the move from Maryland.

I came up on this photo, and the explanation tickled.  You may see why.  Poky Tom wrote:

Grounded at Thousand Springs! 

Today, the first day of World Wide Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) Week 2011, I was excited to finally end my 3-year jinx of getting skunked during WWKW. The weather was good with reasonable wind. We knew the Thousand Springs area would be great for photography. We pulled into the parking lot, which is shared by the Thousand Springs State Park and the Idaho Power hydro power facility. I got out of the car and was immediately confronted by this sign. Curses! Move on.


I’ve never heard of kite aerial photography as something almost organized.  Poky Tom has some wonderful shots from a kite, though.  He also uses a 30 foot pole to get great results.

But, no, you can’t fly a kite there.



5 Responses to “Go fly a kite!” Um, but not here.

  1. Our Community Education Reps take that mock neighborhood out to schools every day. It’s a powerful tool in that kids can see firsthand the power – and dangers – of electricity. The full presentation is available on our YouTube channel. It’s long at 26 minutes, so we took out the individual short vignettes to make it more palatable for online audiences. Here’s the whole playlist if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvCkirWPeSZLqbOg__n3azqHgt10n_Be8


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Now that I’ve looked at the video, I wonder why more power companies don’t do these demonstrations to science classes, full time.

    Practical science, real electricity, good demonstration . . . “education administrators,” here’s one way to develop interest in science in students — but of course, you can’t test it.

    Good on Idaho Power. Idaho teachers? Did you see this? (Yeah, especially you in Burley; we used to hold mass kite flyings at the current site of Dworshak Elementary, generally away from power lines, but not always.)


  3. We do a lot of education and outreach on electrical safety, Ed. It’s very important to our company.

    I have no idea how many of these signs we have or if we’re able to sell them. Let me do some digging…


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks for the pointer, Kevin!

    Obviously it’s a serious enough problem that Idaho Power had at least one sign printed up — but knowing how corporations work, surely there are others. Do you have any idea how many of the no-kite-flying signs your company has?

    Any in the warehouse y’all might be interested in selling?


  5. Hi all, Kevin from Idaho Power here. Got a chuckle out of your post but, yes, kite flying around power lines is dangerous business. We have a video that shows what can happen – I think you might enjoy it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkSx-PnWki4&index=4&list=PLvCkirWPeSZLqbOg__n3azqHgt10n_Be8


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