Jan 25, 2008

prairie air

I posted several wind farm images on flickr yesterday, and got an interesting comment from a Kansan who now lives in Texas. Sharlie Staab said:

"I don't know what to think of all the wind farms going up in Kansas. I think it ruins the landscape."

Frankly, I'm a little torn. I'd much rather see clean, green, design-pleasing wind turbines than nasty, poison-spitting, coal-fired power plants. Thank goodness Rod Bremby, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, recently put the brakes on a new coal-fired plant in Southwest Kansas. Rod has been a friend of mine for years, and he's always championed common sense and doing the "right" thing even if it was a difficult challenge. Hopefully his decision will withstand a group of wacko Kansas Legislators and any court challenges.

Back to Sharlie's comment. No, I don't think wind farms "ruin" our wide-open landscapes. In some ways, I think the elegant, slow-spinning giants compliment the landscape. Certainly, we could reach a point where we have too many wind farms. If all Kansans (and Kansans at heart) take an active role in our energy policies and protecting our environment - I believe we'll find a common sense balance.

I made these photos at a wind farm near Beaumont, KS in the Fall of 2007. A new wind farm is going up in the Smoky Hills near Ellsworth, KS. In my opinion the Smoky Hills are every bit as stunning as the Flint Hills. The new turbines dot the skyline as you travel down I-70. I look forward to a photo adventure there in the Spring.


Dr. Bill ;-) said...

Neat photos, especially the one with the cow!

It has been very interesting to have a Google Alert for Blogs on "Kansas Flint Hills!"
Yours came up today!
We have a 22 county Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc. promoting visits to the Kansas Flint Hills – this is the website: http://www.kansasflinthills.travel/
Our web site is to promote the Kansas Flint Hills; and we were so happy to be in the 22 page color photo spread in National Geographic's April Issue on the Kansas Flint Hills, as a distinctive landscape. We are now working to get the Kansas Flint Hills designated as a National Heritage Area.

We would appreciate a link from your site, to ours, if you are willing to do so. THANKS!
Best wishes!

Bill ;-)

Personal Blog: http://flinthillsofkansas.blogspot.com/

Bruce L. Snell said...


That shot with the cow is killer!


michael said...

I'm with the other guys - that cow shot is great! He couldn't have been positioned any better. That IS a real cow, right? You didn't stick a wooden silhouette out there, did you?



Doug said...

Hey, thanks guys. Yes, the cow is real. But a cow silhouette is a pretty cool idea. I might have to get one of those fabricated.

I sat on this shot for the longest time. I did like how it was framed - but it was really, really flat coming out of the camera (one of those crappy, no contrast shots). I kind of stumbled onto this toning, and it seemed to finally work.

Stan said...

Hey Doug - I have a video tape of you when you were with KSNG (mid 1980s). Contact me and I can arrange to send a disk to you.
-Stan Orth