Friday, December 4, 2009


There were some incredible wind gusts last weekend in northern New England. I woke a few times Friday night to hear the wind blowing past the corner of the barn. Luckily, being late fall, there were only a few things left outside that could be blown around and nothing was damaged.

On Saturday I took a short drive into town and stopped along the way to visit a few old spots where I knew I could get a good photo, quickly finding that holding a camera still in the 40+ mph windgusts was next to impossible. I lost quite a few shots that I wanted because my hands were pushed while snapping the button. I tried taking some from inside the car, ending up with shots of the side view mirror :( My last resort was to find a solid object, like a park bench, to steady the camera during the shot as I did in this one.

The wind, and wind power, has always interested me. I cannot understand why something so simple and useful in weaning our dependence on foreign oil should be priced out of the reach of the average citizen. While living in Vermont for over two decades I saw the potential for semi self-sufficiency, especially in the outlying areas. But those are exactly the areas where homeowners could not afford the several thousand dollars to install a turbine. Government grants have helped some homeowners, but not many. The few that have sprouted up around the state are more of a novelty. This one has been around for a few years. I was surprised that this photo came out clearly showing the blades since it was spinning away quite nicely in the wind.

The one photo I wanted to post was out of range of my Sony Cyber-shot. Looking across the Lake at the Adirondacks I saw the most amazing sight - an actual wind farm! There were over a dozen towers that I could faintly see, and in this wind they must have been producing very nicely. This is the only shot that came out steady, and I apologize for not being able to clearly show the towers. (They are the faint white lines on the horizon) My surprise is finding this on the New York side of the Lake. Vermont has been discussing (disputing) the installation of wind farms on the mountain ridges for years, with part of the opposition that they would destroy the view. Looking over at New York, I thought the view was lovely. And hopeful.

Prices on alternative energies need to be competitive with our standard suppliers. The cost of installation and maintenance of solar panels and wind equipment (batteries, etc) needs to rival the lifetime monthly charges from our electric suppliers who may run on coal or foreign oil. Our monthly bills grow each year, with added charges that are cryptic in their explanations.

Home builders in my area are still building McMansions, using extra insulation and triple paned windows as selling points for "energy efficiency". The circuit breakers are then overworked with multiple televisions, computerized appliances, and sensors for everything. Can we not remember to turn off a light switch? A little effort on our part, with a little help from Uncle Sam, can it hurt?


Scattering Lupines said...

I was thinking about that today! I love the lights that they are putting in public bathrooms now that turn off autmoatically when people leave. I have also been scolding myself pretty severely on not turning off lights lately!

MyStory of HiStory said...

I think windmills are pretty & peaceful. Certainly no less attractive than cell towers. I'd love to live where I could have my own windmill & geothermal heat :)

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Lupines,
We take much for granted, don't we? :)

Hi MyStory,
I would LOVE to have geothermal incorporated into a small house! It's the one heat source that's too easily overlooked.