Monday, May 4, 2009

Mysterious purple lanterns

For the past month or so I have been taking note of these mysterious purple paper lantern shaped installations hanging from trees. I have noticed them in Fort Washington, MD; Hillsboro, VA; and Kearneysville, WV. There are always two within close proximity to the road. Has anyone else noticed them? Does anyone know why?

14 comments:

Lona said...

I've seen three. I was also wondering what they are about. They are up too high to get a really good look.

Jacob Duchaine said...

Sounds kind of creepy. If anyone figures them out let me know.

Lynnis said...

Have you seen them? You can check them out on old rt 9 between Sheetz & Divas gentlemans' club. Obviously a group of people are going to a lot of effort to mark their presence, I don't know why they would forego a logo or message on their purple paper lanterns. Maybe its a secret code?

Gordon said...

I googled on "purple lanterns" and it appears to be an Asian thing. It might indicate a birth or other event. Just a guess.

Lona said...

Well, if we're guessing, I would say they are some sort of insect trap - perhaps a way to keep tabs on the emerald ash borer.

Lynnis said...

The insect trap is an interesting theory. I will start paying attention to the kind of trees they are on. I spotted two more last night, three miles north of the other pair in Hillsboro, VA. I though they might have something to do with a race like relay for life puts purple ribbons around the tree trunks on the route. However, Indian Head highway does not seem like a good venue for a walk and why
Are they isolated into pairs instead of marking the way every so often?

Nikki said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed these things! I've pass them on Dry Run Road in Hedgesville, WV and also on Rt. 9 in Morgan County WV toward Berkeley Springs.

Nikki said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed these things! I've passed them on Dry Run Road in Hedgesville, WV and also on Rt. 9 in Morgan County WV toward Berkeley Springs.

Nikki said...

Hello Again, Lona and Lynnis appear to be correct. In a June 4, 2008 article in the Morgan Messenger (the Morgan County, WV newspaper). It says that they are traps for the Emerald Ash Borer according to the WV Dept of Agriculture and Extension Agent Denis Scott.

Anonymous said...

I've saw 4 of them in around Chantilly Virginia.

Carol said...

I suspect that you are seeing emerald ash borer traps. They are part of a USDA national survey. This site has good information about this, http://www.hgic.umd.edu/content/emeraldAshBorer.cfm#purpletraps. You can also visit http://www.emeraldashborer.info/ for information on the emerald ash borer in general - it's a bad player and the survey is part of an overall program to prevent its spread to uninfested areas.

Anonymous said...

I have seen them too in Prince George County, VA and Charles City County in VA.

Anonymous said...

Seen them throught Westchester County, NY.

Anonymous said...

Those purple lanterns are actually bug traps they are part of an agricultural investigation