September 24, 2008 – New Wind Farm in Neighborhood

About 20 miles form us a 150 MW wind farm is being constructed.  It is about halfway between our farm and Ames. It will contain 100 towers when completed and power 30,000 homes.

I liked this shot of the the old and new – the Sherman County one-room school house and a few of the new turbines.

These machines are massive next to ours – the towers are 260 feet tall and each blade is 125 feet long (compared to our 70 foot tower).  The generator weighs 100,000 pounds.  The interesting thing about this wind farm located in the middle of Iowa is that it is constructed and owned by Florida Light and Power!  From what I’ve read, the construction costs are about equal to a coal power plant, but once they are up, no charge for fuel for the lifetime of the turbines.

one year ago…”Hops Harvest”.

September 22, 2008 – Apple Peeling, 2008 Style

The latest round of apple-peeling was assigned to the girls and they approached it 2008 style.

They dragged out an extension cord, a clock radio that has an IPod docking station and an IPod player to help pass the time.  I much prefer the IPod in the docking station to the earbuds, even if that means I can hear music that I might not have picked.  Got to keep the help happy, productive, and talking to each other!

one year ago…”Marshall County Sheriff “takes out” Martin”.

September 21, 2008 – Monarch Bed and Breakfast

We’ve had healthy south winds the past few days, which has made the migration to Mexico difficult for the butterflies.

So, they wait patiently on the lee side of the windbreak trees I planted many years ago.  I never intended the trees to be used in such a manner, but I’m pleased they are.

They’re not picky about the kind of shelter – here they are also in a maple tree.  It’s a nice sheltered place for them, and along with the resting accommodations, the nearby flower garden provides some food while they patiently wait for the wind to switch.  We’ve been pleased to be hosts to this Monarch bed and breakfast for hundreds of butterflies the last few days.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #88″.