Skip to content
July 15, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The winds of mine

1936 fashion model, Kain Stilke in Berlin (USPD.exp.cr, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“He’ll never leave me. I know I can trust him.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

They used to call her Mariah.

Now it’s more like “Gimme that money, honey”

Totally professional. Starkly posed right out front – Like 50’s office secretaries in tight skirts and high heels – full of self-importance. Whirlwind workers energetically demonstrating their ability to exceed job expectations.

Their bosses thrilled.

You know how that’s going to go,

All smiles and bragging at the start, followed by working them to death, then just walking off.

Leaving them standing there, worn out and ragged.

windmill, wind turbin, ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Now there’s a long stemmed beauty. Towers over the ordinary utility pole.©

I can’t be the only one who’s asking.

What happens when they are no longer wanted.

Surely arrangements have been made.

Contracts. Bound to be something in the contracts.

The rugged ridges and massive bluffs of the high plains have been invaded by chop sticks

Windmills sticking like porcupine quills into the land which has also become laced and corseted by massive power transmission lines with electric poles more massive in diameter than a 100 year old oak tree’s trunk.

Not opposed to alternative energy or windmills/turbines, but….

It’s just the majestic scenery is now a jarring mix of  old geological land features contrasted with busy mechanical devices.

Hundreds of oblivious swinging wings chop, chop, chopping the air

Like flocks of some manic insane species of cranes endlessly swooping and slicing

Mindless. Mechanical. Intruders.

Blight for light.

two wind mills, wind turbins by road. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

They seem to be in herds moving like the cattle drives across the old west.  These originally from China according to their labels..©

So it just seems prudent to ask. What happens when their expiration date comes?

Made things have an end. Outdated. 

Who is responsible for the unwanted the husks and shells?

Have the electric providers promised to return sites to original condition?

Windmill / wind turbin being built in West Texas.. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

And up goes another one in a windy corridor of West Texas.©

Hey – the companies could suggest uses for the ruins as they ride outta town.

The remaining poles could be used by horseback riders practicing for rodeo barrel racing or pole bending. Recreational use!

With reflectors or lights, the stalks could signal planes to watch for high power transmission lines. Homeland would like the safety idea.

Hold contest for artistic types to decorate them creating a regional sculpture garden. Cultural attraction!

line of windmills/ wind turbins i being built. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted.

There’s a series of them under construction. Soon they will line up like uniformed dutiful workers across the horizon.©

Wait. Wait. Once decorated, abandoned windmills could become tourist destination – like that Cadillac Ranch.

Tourists traps with small businesses like taco stands, hamburger joints or food trucks courts. Win-win since there isn’t any other options for food and water. Sell stuff like spray paint. Think miniature copies to collect. Trinkets. T-shirts. Jobs program!

 Street scene with young man and suitcases. 1944.Dept of Interior by Dorothea Lange/NARA 1372774 (USPD.by fed employee/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“What? Take you along? Oh, as you can see, there’s no room in the truck. Don’t worry. We’ll send for you, Dearie. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Future generations may wonder of the significance of stumps and stalks.

Another Stonehenge. Homage to their wind gods, maybe.

Giant crafted objects purposely placed on elevated bluffs in isolation areas.

Sacred grounds. Obviously.

As the world turns with the winds of mine.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse on the Hedge

 

28 Comments

  1. easyweimaraner / Jul 15 2016 8:53 am

    I’ve heard that they will need special equipment to remove it… the fundaments are like bunkers, nearly made for all eternity…. nevertheless they are a grandious way to make money and we have them everywhere here too… even too close to a street, so we get some rodeo feeling when the wind is good :o(

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 15 2016 9:40 am

      Something that tall and massive must have a huge underground base. The are in areas that blow trucks off the road. Hopefully the “new and better” technology can use the existing sites and not damage more land. GE used to make all the ones we saw in transport from the Houston Port, but these are from a different source. With government subsidies, the ones making money are the developers and the builders/ manufactoring companies. But allowing those giants on their lands is helping some ranchers to be able to afford to pay their taxes.
      Oddly beautiful – and just odd.
      Thanks for pawsing in the stormy winds to chat

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Carrie Rubin / Jul 15 2016 9:56 am

    Ha, interesting perspective. Wind farms are visually intriguing in an odd sort of way. I never thought about what happens with them when they no longer function, though. I like the idea of a modern Stonehenge!

    Hope you’re doing well. Thought I’d drop by to say ‘hi.’ 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 17 2016 9:35 am

      Wind farms are mesmerizing. One wind turbin is sculpture – the armies of hundreds is totally weird.Bound to be a sci-fi plot in there somewhere.
      Hope your events and writing going equally well. (Aug.and back to school chaos around the corner). ALWAYS glad to see you around the blog neighborhood. Thank to spinning over here to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  3. betterphotos4you / Jul 15 2016 9:59 am

    I am happy Alan you were able to see,and capture, The Smog(Noise) in The Landscape .This writer , have been twice, on two Great Lakes,And the Benefits And Deficits, versa $ 4 Farmers.
    (Invoking Post) .

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 17 2016 9:50 am

      Some ranchers are happy to lease land in order to get money to pay taxes and save the farm. We’ve got the biggest collection of wind farms in the US in this state…good news – bad news. Ater the extreme numbers of new wind turbines areound, what struck me was all the massive massive transmission lines and their giant support poles stretched everywhere. Oddly in most places most of the windmills were still – in some places only 1 out of 5 turning, another only 3 out of 10-15 in use. It’s summer – peak demand for power, so what gives? If so many aren’t needed/used, then why are more and more being installed each day? May be some compromise with land owners/environmentalists with the acknowledged kill offs of bats ( mosquito eaters, crop pollenators) and raptors (forget about that little fed. Migratory Bird Act? Oppsie…and the feds increased the allowable bird kills by companies). It could be lawsuits about the constant barely audible hum and ground vibrations.
      THe public hears all the weeping about energy needs, yet it really is all about the money…and getting mine through energy costs and tax dollars to subsidize comapnies. (Will spin over your way shortly – extreme heat causing much sleepiness these dazes) Thanks for adding a comment to the whirl

      Like

  4. Ally Bean / Jul 15 2016 10:01 am

    I always like seeing wind turbines around. There’s something fascinating in the simple way in which they move, providing energy, directly, sans pipelines. As for what happens to them when they go to the big electrical substation in the sky, I do not know. Another mystery sparked. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 17 2016 10:14 am

      A single wind turbin is quite sculptural and mesmerizing – a massive flock of them is a like a room full of hyper kindergarteners past nap time. Weird sight. We need to use all sorts of energy at this point until some big breakthrough – I just want there to be some real effort to plan ahead to remove these darn thing when they aren’t useful and are outdated.
      Although some really looooong zip lines might be amusing once they are avaailable. HA HA
      Thanks for circling by to chat

      Like

  5. Chez Shea / Jul 15 2016 12:22 pm

    I see wind turbines as kind of majestic and graceful. The idea of doing something with them once their use by date is up is intriguing!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 15 2016 6:09 pm

      Single ones are like a huge seagull. The structures deserve to be as graceful when outdated as they are in use. We’re bound to come up with something….zip lines? Thanks for swooping in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  6. susielindau / Jul 15 2016 5:27 pm

    Into the recycle bin!

    Like

  7. memoirsofahusk / Jul 16 2016 11:45 am

    I was told that if one blade is painted a different colour it saves birds’ lives because it stops them flying into them. Not sure if I believe either side of that anecdote. I like windmills. We have a load out at sea here. But each to their own! And a very good point, will they rust and fall over? Will anyone be alive to see????

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 17 2016 9:05 am

      We need to use multiple sources for energy right now. (And the windmills are quite scupltural…although I do prefer the nostalgic wooden ones) Few anticipated the problems wind turbins could do – or they weren’t talking. Oddly the fed. gov. gave granted permission to build wind farms in the middle of the major bird migratory path despite the fed. Migratory Bird Protection Act taht was already in existence. (Hmm, who could payoffs be involved?) Now the environmentalists/Audubon Society are worried about the bat slaughter and bird kills.
      They are trying to find adaptations that will save birds.(But this year the fed. gov raised the allowable number of birds each wind farm can kill) Newer windmills versions have different arms, companies are turning them off/slowing rotations during peak migratory periods (supposedly). And I’ve seen a new design being used that doesn’t have arms at all – just a rotation cylinder with a ruffle type edge that turns in the wind.These can be used in city areas where tall buildings create a wind tunnel effect…so why not in open land?
      Eventually some new and better design or energy source will show up…and they better remove all those useless sticks! (Rust isn’t a quick thing in West Texas. But youhave to giggle over the idea of one falling and starting a domino effect?)
      Offshore has potential, but communities along the Eastern Seaboard are fighting that saying the view is ugly…but they want the energy. TX has the largest windfarms in the country. Not really going to encourage any off shore as we already have to dodge the existing oil production platforms and the old wells that are capped off right now…there’s a lot of clutter to run into if you’re sailing…so we have our share of inconvenience/blight in the Gulf…perhaps its’ time to share that experience with another part of the country?)

      Like

  8. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Jul 16 2016 11:53 am

    Drive by vast herds throughout parts of KS… upstarts here in NW MO. Initially i loved seeing them, thinking of clean energy, graceful movement, and obstruction lighting for aircraft. Then… learned of how they are decimating flights of migrating birds, killing untold numbers of bald eagles– USA’s National Symbol legally killed. So far, little vocal support for Conservation issues thanks to the mighty $$$$. If someone could invent a bird repellant or giant screens or forcefield or??? (Poor birds, think about a rotating propeller or fan blades– they vanish from visible sight) 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 17 2016 4:05 pm

      And the feds gave the OK to wind farms to raise the allowable eagle and raptor kill even higher ( yet an average person kill just one….) The Audubon and Sierra Club are speaking up. Why were the wind farms allowed to be constructed in well known bird migratory paths – despite the well known Migratoy Bird Protection Act…Hmmmm. The biggest problem for raptors is that they become hyperfocused on the ground prey and totally miss the spinning arms. A growing concern is the number of bats in TX and NM being chopped as those are insect/mosquito consumers as well as important for pollenation in fields.
      I’ve read the 2nd generation wind turbins in CA have been modified to lessen the vortex the arms create. And there are new models showing up here and there with only a rotating cylinder with a ruffled edge that spins on the poles – no arms. That seems a possible solution.
      We need a combo of energy sources until “The Answer” shows up, but what is troubling to me is that a good 1/3 to 1/2 of the windmills we passed in multiple states were still, yet it’s summer and peak energy demand time. ANd we saw more and more in the process of being constructed. Why if the ones we have aren’t working at capacity? Could be settlements/law suits with environmental groups or communities or landowners concerning the barely audible constant humming the turbins create or the vibrations that can be felt on the ground (as well as bird kills). The real money is going to the ones who manufacture and the ones who construct the windmills – subsidized by taxpayers.
      Wind energy sounds wonderful, but a bit more research creating better less destructive to the environment windmills should be mandated, or the wings slowed.
      Of course I do love the nostalgic wooden ones – talk about noises. Thanks for circling around with a dead on comment

      Like

  9. The Hook / Jul 18 2016 2:01 pm

    Don’t see many of these in Ontario, but they’re the wave of the future.
    I hope.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 7:38 pm

      You might need defroster on those wings? Maybe some heavy duty brakes to slow them down in big winds…wonder what the tolerance before breakage is…
      What do you think of using any abandoned windmill poles as a giant zip line? Could be high energy ride! Thanks for adding a jolt of a comment

      Like

  10. Kourtney Heintz / Jul 19 2016 12:16 pm

    I never thought about what they do with the broken down windmills. Hope they can recycle or repurpose some of it. 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2016 2:18 pm

      We need a combo of energy sources right now, but with caution, and be ready to make adjustments for unexpected results (like bat and bird kills). It’s only smart to make solid committments for handling the old windmills once they area not needed. Plan ahead. Ghost of a chance of that? HA HA. Thanks for breezing in with a comment

      Like

  11. Littlesundog / Jul 19 2016 12:35 pm

    GAH!!! I don’t have the time to rant about these atrocities to the landscape, nor problems created for wildlife as a result, nor the higher cost to the consumer to implement and keep these beasts running. What they don’t tell the public is how much it costs the consumer for the electrical industry (generation not the distribution side) to incorporate wind power – which is not dependable and has less “storage” options. Down the road I believe it can be a good thing – but forcing it on an industry right now will have catastrophic events… and the “power” industry gets the blame. For a facility to power down generation turbines (whether hydro, coal-fired or gas) to half production (those generators/turbines are built to run full capacity) so that wind time can be mandated by government actually costs the consumer much more. But, I suppose ignorance is bliss… wind power seems like a good deal, and everyone likes to feel good about clean energy. Solar power is still the best clean option out there.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2016 2:46 pm

      Ditto. Ignorance is playing a serious role – ask the Audubon sciety and many environmental groups. GE made a ton of money making and selling these things when the wind push started up (again). One the initial subsidies and federal grants ran out, the main developers of the wind farms walked away saying “you can’t make any money with this”…so now the Taxpayers are subsidizing massive networks of high transmission lines from out in the rural boonies to main lines. ANd even more disturbing is that a goo 1/3 to 1/2 of the massive numbers of windmills were still and silent – in the middle of peak usage season – and yet we saw large numbers of new wind turbines under construction. Why more if the ones already up aren’t being used? (Maybe be compromise agreements with environmental/migratory bird watch groups or farmers protesting the hums and ground vibrations?)
      The public is pretty much unaware of it all, as you say. And big business is in there. (Love Big Oil? You’ll adore Big Electric!)
      Until the next big energy source is discovered, we may need a combo of sources. Wind, like solar has issues. (In this climate, the solar cells’ life span can be shortened by glass crazing, fogging, or hail hits.) Meanwhile, why isn’t more passive design used in buildings and construction? Little things add up and make a difference. Plant trees! Thanks for wiring in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Littlesundog / Jul 20 2016 5:53 am

        Little things do make a difference!

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 20 2016 7:21 am

          It’s the old “if everyone just did one little thing, it would be better”. Wish parents, schools, media, and society as a whole would focus on that again – would make a difference in so many areas.

          Like

  12. Paul / Jul 22 2016 8:14 am

    Oh, oh, oh – you’ve struck upon one of my soap box topics. I can guarantee you that either no funds or insufficient funds are set aside to remove them at the end of their life. Oh, I hate, hate,hate that. Ultimately the problem boils down to the fact that politicians make decisions to benefit their next 4 years of office and statesmen make decisions for the next generation. There is no political gain to requiring an escrow for removal when not doing so leaves more more to reduce power costs and increase jobs. The f*cking idiots do it everytime and we let them get away with it. We have nuclear reactors that are “owned” by a private company that produce electricity and they are reaching the end of their life cycle. Surprise, not only are the owners legally allowed to walk away from the decrepit reactors at no cost – also no money has been set aside to decommission them – which is billions of dollars. The current owners are very profitable -surprise, surprise – and the politicians got cheap power. Our government here in Ontario has made a horrendous mess of power generation. Horrendous. The only thing that has saved us to date as been the fact that our industrial base has shrunk as more manufacturing is moved overseas, and so our power needs have also decreased. If they had remained constant or increased, we’d have been screwed – and we likely will anyway. They have split up the various power generators into a plethora of companies and they separated out transmission from generation and each company charges the other for their services.

    We have some of those wind towers in the northern parts of the province and there are serious complaints about low frequency noise from the towers and of course, interference with birds (kill rates increasing), the intermittent and unpredictable power generation curves of the towers. Bunch of idiots.As far as wind power is concerned we have been sold a bill of goods in the name of “green”. Countries like Denmark show on paper that they have utilized wind power to reduce their usage of petroleum.They cheat – the ratbastards. It turns out that Denmark is a huge oil producer in the North Sea and they sell that oil to finance the inefficiencies of their wind power. The wind towers of course produce most of their power when it cannot be used so they are forced to export it at a reduced rate to other countries. Which leaves them short on power during peak times so they use a combination of expensive imports – produced by oil – and more expensive technologies like solar, natural gas, etc. Their cost per kilowatt hour is enormous because they are forced to do everything the expensive way and they subsidize that with their oil exports.Which means that they are really dependent on the burning of petroleum to power their electrical system – it just isn’t burnt in Denmark. In the big picture, they add more greenhouse gasses and increase inefficiencies in their electrical system so much that they are amongst the largest of the value destructive generators on the planet.

    I could go on for ever on this but I’ll stop now in deference to my readers that have stuck with this comment this far = go, and have a piece of cake on me, you deserve it for reading my soapbox rant.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 22 2016 10:39 am

      Appause. You can take the floor anytime. People are not being told the truth – and are not bothering to research it themselves…it blame that on the chant training/technique school use so heavily now to teaach: don’t think, just parrot the words yelled at them – and do it on cue..mindlessly. Thanks for whirling around here!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. marthaschaefer / Jul 24 2016 2:49 pm

    I love the idea of turning them into a sculpture park! Like those first painted cows that stalked the streets of NYC. then again why couldn’t they be recycled or resold to a ‘developing’ nation?

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 24 2016 4:17 pm

      Painting and creating a massive zip line park? Possible. But there are thousands and thousands and thousands of them. Can they weld on arms to create platforms for massive tree house hotels?..might need harnesses with tether line in windy weather?
      These things are huge and are apparently anchored on deep concrete bunkers to hold them up. If not needed they should be removed, recycled in useable substance. Trucking and shipping cost must be extremely high moving these things in – huge trucks with escorts. And there’s bound to be stress fractures from extended usage in strong winds or with age. Does anyone know life span of these things yet? No matter what, there needs to be plans for when these towers are taken out of service…and it needs not to be paid out of the taxpayers’ pockets.
      Developing nations usually are given things or bough with money from the World Bank (which you taxpayers help fund), so used wind turbines would be a bit like hand-me-down clothes…that nobody feels are good enough to wear anymore – only “new”.
      We’ll see what the wind blows in. Thanks for whirling in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: