Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sunrise On Over The Altamont Pass Wind Farm

"Faeries come take me out of this dull world
For I would ride with you upon the wind
Run on the top of the disheveled tide
And dance upon the mountains like a flame."

~W.B. Yeats
The Land Of Heart's Desire

To me, there was something oddly beautiful about the Altamont Wind Farm turbines. I never really knew what about them kept my gaze each time we drove past them on the Altamont Pass, but something about them just resonated with me, kind of like the way the back of cereal boxes do. The facts on cereal boxes aren't particularly profound, but when I eat my breakfast cereal I more often times than not, find myself completely enthralled in whatever trivia, fast facts, or silly game is printed there. I passed these turbines, at least once a year, when I lived in the Bay Area, and now each time we drive from our new home in Stockton, to the Bay Area, as the closet route takes us right past them on HWY 580! When they are all running they came be quite beautiful, long arms stretched out spinning, and as you can see, they have a certain mysterious beauty as silhouettes against the rising sun, but it never occurred to me, until recently, how dangerous they had been to certain birds in the area. 

In a study, however, recently conducted by the Audubon Society, it was revealed that the windmills caused the deaths annually of some 75 - 110 Golden Eagles alone, but Burrowing Owls, and American Kestrels are killed in the hundreds as well! It's sad, but there is some encouraging news of late. It seems the site was recently purchased by Google, who will try installing smaller more slim-lined turbines which will be safer for the birds, while continuing to harvest wind energy. It will be interesting to see the transformation to the smaller windmills, I will kind of miss those giant, blades, but it makes me smile that the birds will be a lot safer in the process. I have never seen a golden eagle, I now look forward to that one day! One things for sure, I will keep my camera ready!

Leaf Of The Day
November 11th 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

1 comment:

sunflowerkat said...

Have you seen a burrowing owl because those little guys are full of personality. I've had one opportunity to photograph them (in Washington State). If they were common here, I'd have photo subjects for life! I too am attracted to the link of a wind farm....the movement is so graceful. As someone who's environmentally's a real conundrum that clean renewable energy is a hazard to my beloved birds. I hope newer technology is s safe alternative to our feathered friends.