From them 2 pics, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the ground was a bit unstable in this area.
What sort of telephone cables are those on the pole?, they look rather heavy.
Mind you, it never is easy to support wires of any sort, where they follow the bend in a road, the tighter the bend, the higher the forces on the pole and the better the bracing/guying needs to be.
but my cheapo camera doesn't do well in anything but bright conditions
Your camera must have been more expensive than mine Paul, at least your pictures are in
BTW, your sky looks just the same as ours over here at the moment.