My earliest orange cone memory is from first grade. It was a class party at the end of the school year, and we were led into the school's tiny courtyard (completely enclosed) where the teacher had hidden some peanuts (with the shells still on.) We were given a few minutes to find them. I picked up all the peanuts I could spot easily and then I noticed there was an orange cone in the corner of the courtyard. I went over to it and peered into the hole in the top. The teacher asked, "What are you doing?" and I said, "Looking for peanuts!"
This gallery shows the canonical orange cone in typical deployment, situations in which the cone isn't really doing anything in particular except saying "Hey! This piece of orange plastic is next to some dirt!"
In other words, this gallery shows cones in normal circumstances. The cones in really bizarre circumstances will come later. Also, none of these cones contain peanuts. The one in first grade didn't either, because my teacher wasn't good at hiding peanuts.
A cone on the curb. What does it mean?
"Caution: There is a lamp post behind this cone!"
In some places, there are more cones than others.
And they never match.
Those cones of various shapes and sizes are apparently delineating a parking space at McGill University (Montréal).
Using just one cone wouldn't have worked because maybe some people can only see the skinny kind, or the short kind, or the striped kind.
Where did I find these seven mis-matched witch's hats?
Why, Salem, of course!
This is in front of Salem's main post office.
Note the clever structural use of a load-bearing cone at the back:
Of course, cones don't always occur in such dense clusters.
Aww, someone tipped over the cone that kept people from walking through the large empty space.
This cone is guarding the enormous fenced-off vacant lot.
(I used a 14x telephoto lens - I'm about 150 feet from the fence, 500 feet from the cone. Sorry, I didn't feel like climbing the barbed wire to get a closer photo just for you.)
Note how a single cone can dominate a space:
...although they don't dominate it too well, because someone had to put a barricade around the cone to protect it.
And, there's a yellow "wet floor" tent next to the cone, because there might be a wet spot next to a construction spot, and they have to have both because they mean completely different things.
(This is the new "intermodal terminal" at South Station, which means that buses go to a building which is on the same block as the train station.)
Cones can defend nations!
This cone is the principal defense keeping Americans from driving into Canada:
Ha! Those foolish Americans will never figure out how to go past that cone!
...and upon leaving Canada, looking back from the American side, I noticed that those sneaky Canadians had stockpiled a couple of reserve cones for the day when Americans try to invade Canada by driving backwards:
Cones can be stacked conveniently to put them away...
...but of course, cones are almost never put away.
And they can go places.
Often you see construction trucks with a stack of cones mounted on the front or rear bumper (why?) but the above photo is special because it shows an entire truck devoted to a single cone (driving down Route 1 at about 60 miles an hour.)
This cone gets its own truck and I have to ride the bus.
(The good thing about riding the bus is you get to look down into the backs of trucks... a fast shutter speed works like a charm for shooting pictures of moving vehicles.)
For tight spaces, there are even special cones which aren't conical.
(This shot is fuzzy because there wasn't much light in the alley behind the Christian Science day care center.)
On to cone gallery #2:
Cones In Compromising Positions
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August 30, 1999
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