Friday, January 21, 2011

We enjoy traveling to Muenster Tx to get some good German food and look for antiques.
Just north of town there is an area with a new revenue source that has sprung up.

From the distance they look relatively small and unimpressive.  
But they have a lure...why can we see them so far away? 
 As we got closer they grew as if they were sprouting out of the ground.
 Ranching has always been a staple of the Texas economy. 
Today, traditional ranching can co-exsit with this new source of income.
 As we stopped to get a picture I spotted these other wind generators in my rearview mirror.
 We searched till we found a backroad the would get us closer to them.
 It was very interesting as we got close to them. 
I had the feeling that I was in a strange place surrounded by Giants.
 The closer we got to them the greater they appeared to be and the smaller I felt.
 Notice how they dwarf the trees,  these were not small trees.
 We got close enough to hear the sound that they make. 
Instead of a loud whirling noise they sound like a gentle wind blowing, it was actually soothing.
 Instead of looking offensive they actually seem to blend into the landscape.
 I like how the branches frame them in this shot.
 Even though this head is way up in the air it still looks massive.  
The engineering design of this incredible machine is really amazing.
Housed in this head is the main rotor shaft and electrical generator which produces the energy at this point.
 Farming has also been another traditional business here in Texas.
Note the hay bails below this wind generator.
The blade can be up to 130 ft long and the shaft can be as high as 300 ft tall.
 There are an incredible number of them in this one area. 
Everywhere I looked there were more.
The tips of the blades can have a windspeed of 200 mph as they travel around.
 At times it looked like they sprouted right out of the ground.
 The blades rotate at 10-22 revolutions per minute.
 They towered above us.
 They seemed to go on forever!
 Oil has always been the "Black Gold" of Texas. 
But it is a lot harder to find then the wind.
Another shot with the old and the new.
 The sky was very overcast the day we were out here. 
I hope to come back soon on a sunny day.
 This shot shows how small the old technology is next to the new technology.
 Of course the energy they produce needs to be delivered to market.
 The delivery system is dwarfed but the production process.
 Traditionally the wind was harnessed to draw the water out of deep wells in this semi arid land.
Now the wind is harnessed to created energy to drive pumps which draw the water.
 The windmill has a long history in Texas and has been a very dependable source of water supply.
 Now it too is dwarfed but the new player on the horizon.
 They really were everywhere we looked.
 I love this scene with the new technology towering over the fresh new crops and the regal cattle.
 Another great shot showing how really big they are.
 This is an interesting time in the life of this land. 
 Now the land owner can make his living on the land, from under the land
 and even from the sky above the land.
 They are painted grey so that they will blend with the landscape.
 I love this picture!
 The road we were travelling on curved around and
I was able to get one more angle and picture from further away.
 As we got back to the main road I spotted this one last shot. 
The traditional oil derricks are being converted to pump natural gas
and now they share the landscape with the new Titans of energy production.
Unfortunatly our time with the gentle giants had to end. 
But I know this will not be the last time we visit these mamoths. 
In fact I hope to get back there soon and often.
Maybe one day I will climb one...