"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Monday, July 5, 2010

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

A highlight of our travels were the wind farms scattered thoughout the open spaces. They were tall, majestic, silent and graceful. As their blades turned rhythmically against the sky they resembled dancers moving to music we could not hear with our own ears.

This picture gives some idea of the massive size of the wind generators if you look at the tall support in the foreground.
OK, ready for a story (or perhaps a confession)? While driving in the middle of a wind farm, Hillary and I passed a sign that read "Tune in to 1640 on your radio to learn about wind energy". Always eager learners, I dialed the radio while she drove. What we heard was a rhythmic swishing sound over the airwaves. We listened intently and watched the blades move. Same tempo. Wow-the radio must be recording the sound of the spinning turbine blades. Most likely the speeds changed with the wind patterns and, by tuning to the station, one could learn the level of energy being generated at that precise moment. We weren't sure why someone would want to know that information exactly, but we were proud of our brilliant conclusion, nonetheless. That is until Hillary realized I had tuned the radio to the wrong number. Turning the dial, we came across a station of someone explaining the benefits of wind power in very audible words. Recognizing that we had given deep thought to the sounds of static caused laughter that almost made us drive off the highway. And thus the miles passed happily...

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