Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Changing Horizon

One of the things I've seen over the past decade in Iowa is a changing landscape. A landscape featuring towering white wind powered electric generators which line higher ridges and hills in various places in Iowa now. Places that once were devoid of anything that huge breaking up the view of the rolling fields.

Old fashioned wind mill in West Texas
Sure, you had your occasional blue "Harvestore" silo, or an old fashioned wind mill sticking up in the air a bit, but those were rarely ever taller than a big ol' oak tree, and seemed to be fitting, in a way, with the agricultural way of life molded by the land itself.

Now these wind generators just seem a bit out of place. They are gigantic in scale, and with their stark, "Apple-esque" white appearance, these seem to be a cold, unfitting way to adorn the landscape of Iowa's countryside. Don't get me wrong though. I do like the idea of generating energy with wind. I just wish it wasn't done in such an unharmonious way. You maybe could have painted these things green. Or "sky-camo", or something other than what they are painted. Heck, dirt brown would work. They are getting pretty grungy looking already anyway.

Well, the whole "working with nature" thing was really brought to mind on our trip back from San Antonio this past weekend.

East of Fort Stockton, Texas on I-10
Maybe it really doesn't matter. Maybe in 50 years, folks couldn't imagine this scene any other way, but having these propellered sticks atop every mesa for miles in West Texas just seemed weird to my eyes.

Like I said, maybe it is a good thing. I know we need to be looking at alternative energy sources, but I sure hope I don't have to one day bemoan that my single track has been uprooted to accommodate some grove of white whirly-gigs.

6 comments:

Herringbone said...

Very Thoughtful post. An issue I, and others in Maine have been struggling with. I share similar feelings.

mw said...

solar is the way

Exhausted_Auk said...

Maybe one day the wind turbines will all be painted purple, to minimize the harm they cause to bats and birds:
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/purple-wind-turbines-to-save-bats/3183

Matt said...

Perhaps someday they'll be like the big power lines are around here... singletrack will run between them!

I kind of agree with you - I celebrate being able to harness wind energy, but they are kinda ugly, and it's hard if you're used to a scenic vista to have that broken up by anything man-made, regardless of how good it is.

chuck said...

G-Ted, your comments about the changing horizon remind me of something else I take for granted in rural Iowa; old bridges down slightly-traveled (mostly) gravel roads. Here is a link to something I came across today regarding bridges in Warren County - just south of Des Moines and where CIRREM takes place. A whole catalog of rural county bridges with pics and their condition (disrepair) http://www.co.warren.ia.us/Bridges/Bridges.htm

Timothy said...

One good thing: they often connect all those whirlygigs with gravel roads!