What Are These Mysterious Blue Boxes?

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I saw the first one a few weeks ago on the way back from Chili. Hidden in a tree along the telephone wires on Lehigh Station Road hung what appeared to be a Mysterious_Blue_Box_300blue jacket. Since I was the only one in the car, I didn’t get much of a look. I figured it was something left over from the many recent graduations. You know, like those crazy sneakers-hanging-from-the-telephone-wire things you used to see everywhere.

Then, on the same drive home, I noticed another blue jacket hanging from tree shrouded telephone wires on Mendon Center Road.

“Wow!” I thought to myself. “That must have been one big party!”

Again, I couldn’t take a good look. I arrived home and promptly forgot about these navy garments.

Until this past Sunday. While traveling on Gulick Road in Honeoye (that is the road leading to Cumming Nature Center), I saw no fewer than three of these unexplained cobalt (or deep purple) three-sided boxes. (It being an early Sunday morning, I was able to actually pull over and stare at these things.)

What are they? My mind reels with the possibilities. Could they be the onset of some alien invasion? They appear to have cryptic markings on at least one side, but my zoom lens failed to discern the language. Or perhaps, in placing them deep within leafy branches overhanging telephone wires, maybe they are camouflaged surveillance devices furtively planted by this now-apprehended Russian spy network.

If you have an idea what crazy story might explain the existence of these mysterious blue boxes, add your thoughts in the comment section below.

Alternatively, if you know what they really are, let us in on the secret.


  1. Chris, are the markers for orienteering?

  2. Chris Carosa says

    Mike, that one’s a little too logical. I preferred to think they’re artifacts from a previously undiscovered northern excursion of the Mayan Empire.

  3. they are bat boxes, homes for bats to occupy. they help the bat population survive and flourish. some may not like bats but they actually are really helpful creatures for keeping our insect population in check. living in the southtowns I see them a lot.

  4. Chris Carosa says

    OK, OK, I’ll release the serious ones now. But before I do that, I’ve got to let you in on a couple of good and funny ones that folks put up on some of the social media sites I’m on:

    From a LinkedIn Group:

    “So a creative response you are after….I believe that those are the newest line of fashion forward styles for the “heavier set” trees of NY. You see designer Calvin Cypress, was inspired by the constant desire of losing of those pesky few ‘holiday leaves’ by the lady trees. Knowing trees have natural ‘slimming’ horizontal stripes, the addition of yet another geometric shape (the triangle) would be met with little resistance. It is now the seasons hottest accessory for any tree wanting to divert attention from her heavy limbs, knobby knots, and lets not forget saggy bark! And what fashion forward ficus, does not know that any dark color is slimming.”

    From a Tweet I got:

    “The blue boxes are simply Canadians.”

    To which I responded:

    “No, the red boxes are Canadians, the blue one’s are Labatt’s.”

    Thanks for playing along folks. We’ll see you next time.

  5. They are emerald ash borer traps. These pretty little emerald green bugs are likely going to kill most, if not all, ash trees in the state and nation. The boxes are up so the onslaught of the bugs can be tracked. The City of Rochester is already looking for funding to start taking ash trees down so they can “get ahead of the curve.”


  6. They’re Emerald Ash Borer traps – used for monitoring for the presence of the beetles – http://www.stopthebeetle.info/

    You’re welcome. 🙂

  7. If you look closely they appear to be traps for insects. Since I’ve seen some on trailways also, I assume they are for analysis purposes by some government agency (like tracking west nile or lyme disease) and not for insect reduction…..

  8. I asked my father the same thing and he said they’re traps to stop that pesky wood-borrer beetle.

  9. Chris Carosa says

    Thank you all for your great answers. If you’re feeling particularly creative and want to suspend your disbelief for a moment, be my guest to add your own twisted tale regarding these previously mysterious blue boxes…

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