When I was a boy growing up in rural southwest Iowa in the 1960’s, summers were spent riding in the family car. On long trips we used to play a game that we called “Windmill”. As we would crest a hill, my brother and I would scan the horizon for a windmill. The one that saw and called “MY WINDMILL!” won the game. I was never very good at the game but realized why when I finally got my first pair of glasses at the age of 13.
Windmills of that time were like the one to the left and would appear near a farm or sometimes out in the middle of a field. Most were used to pump water for livestock drinking tanks and even a few were still used as a water source on family farms.
Drive Iowa’s rural highways today and it’s evident that windmills are making a comeback on Iowa’s skyline….except they don’t look like the ones I remember.
This week I drove from Des Moines to Storm Lake, Iowa. My trip was for the Iowa Association of REALTORS summer meetings. I looked forward to the three hour drive across West Central to Northwest Iowa.
On the way up and back I drove past several modern “Wind Farms”. Wind Turbines dot farmland in many areas as far as the eye can see. They stand over 200 feet high and produce electricity to supplement rural electricity needs. Owners of the land that these machines stand on are paid rent for their space.
The picture below was taken just south and east of Storm Lake. I pulled over along side the road to take a few pictures. The longer I studied the skyline, the more windmills I counted. It wasn’t until I got home and uploaded the photo to my computer that I discovered just how many windmills were in each picture…
How many Windmills (Wind Turbines) can you count? I know, it’s not fair because I had the luxury of viewing the picture at full size and resolution, so I’m including a part of the image marked with the total number of windmills counted.