My theme for the A to Z Challenge: Desert Canyon Living
I had planned to write about Wind today, since it's constantly blowing in the canyon and we have had wind advisories (gusts over 45 mph) practically every day lately, with winds between 25 and 35 mph and gusts of 65 – 70 mph, more in the canyons and passes. But reading about all the rain, floods, tornadoes and loss of life in so many parts of the country, I didn't feel like writing and maybe complaining about Wind.
Instead, I decided to write about how wind is managed and harnessed here in the mountains where I live. The
is one of the windiest regions in the world, with winds averaging 14 to 20 miles per hour throughout the year. So it's natural that Tehachapi became the birthplace of wind power in Tehachapi Pass North America. The first turbines were installed here in the 1980s and now the highest ones reach 400 and 500 feet. They are scary huge!
I googled our wind farms and learned that with around 5,000 turbines in the Tehachapi Pass, we have the second largest number of wind turbines in the world and the largest in terms of output. The wind farms provide electricity to 350,000 residential customers each year. That sounded pretty good, but at the end of the paragraph it stated that wind power generated by the state's more than 15,000 turbines makes up only 1% of
's electricity. That didn't sound like much, considering how much space these 5,000 or so take up in our mountains. The turbines are operated by a dozen private companies that provide work for around 400 employees. California
I stopped here the other day to take some photos of the lake that so mysteriously appeared in a normally dry field. I wrote about this lake in an earlier post. It is now much smaller, but continues outside of the picture. Still, you can see how it stands out, blue and pretty, in the desert landscape. And, as a bonus, I got some pretty good pictures of the wind farms. Wild mustangs roam up there and I always hope to see them when we drive through those mountains. So far, no luck with that.
Here are some scary pictures of Wind. I figured flags would show off the wind best, but with no flags in sight, I used my hair
and a sheet on my laundry line to demonstrate the power of the wind. I have better photos than this, but for some reason this one spoke to me.
I haven't been out yet to take pictures of the wildflowers that I know are covering the hillsides all around us.
I will go on a photo safari in the hills soon. These pretty white, daisy-like, flowers are in my back yard. It's an evening shot, so not a clear one.
The fields are so gorgeous, covered with these tiny
lavender/pink flowers. Since we had so much rain this past winter, the spring flowers will be gorgeous and plentiful in the canyon.
Angel is enjoying this field of wildflowers and I'm looking forward to finding a lot more to share.
now that is alot of wind...we have been windy here in Texas also...thankgoodness we haven't got any of the hail or toronados in my area..ReplyDelete
Oh ,Inger those turbines look surreal! Loved the pic where you used your hair as example! Those wildflowers....absolutely gorgeous.ReplyDelete
love Angel's alert ears in that last photo.ReplyDelete
we've got your wind today here in NE Texas. and i'm not too far from Deb's area, but we did get tornados and hail in our vicinity yesterday. 3 rounds of hail and 4 rounds of rain (which we needed). luckily the tornado touched down a town or two away from us. :)
Wind. It's a tiring thing when it's constant.ReplyDelete
At least your wind is being used:)))
Very interesting! And the picture of your shadow with your hair blowing was a very inventive way to show the wind. Thanks for another great blog.ReplyDelete
the wildflower shots are just gorgeous!ReplyDelete
been windy here too. it's finely getting warm enough to grill outside, but the wind is giving us a hard time about it.
Your canyon is at it's prettiest now with all the wildflowers. The wind yes we have high winds here too right out in the open meadow and long Kachemak Bay. Everyday around 2 pm we get what we call the 'day breeze'. All afternoons are usually windy here.ReplyDelete
Some days the wind nearly rips hair off our heads. Cute solution for photographing the wind. Amazing wildflowers!ReplyDelete
My it really is windy where you live. I'm not a wind lover so not sure how I'd do there in the canyon. Where I am now it is much more windy than where I live though in the heat of the summer that probably is a good thing ;-) Those wind turbines look other worldly when there are so many of them in a row. Too bad more people couldn't get their electricity that way.ReplyDelete
This is a great post! Love the photos and the information about wind turbines.ReplyDelete
Oh how I wish Nebraska would get on board with the wind towers. It is always windy here -- I think of the wasted energy.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to see your wildflowers, Inger. :)
That is something!!!! I never knew about the wind power in your valley. It's a good thing when it's harnessed and put to use.ReplyDelete
WOW!! Inger those are incredible! ...just really cool!ReplyDelete
It has been very windy here and of course it was fun walking the dog in it this everning. We have trees; an abundance in our back yard. Our bedroom is three floors up and enclosed with these trees and on nights like tonight, with the winds blowing, it's such a lovely rustle with the leaves; great sleeping weather!
thanks for bringing such great thoughts!
Wow... so many of those propellers!ReplyDelete
It is a shame that it doesn't generate more power for the space occupied by you can't deny how clean wind power is. It is a step in the right direction. We need to work with Nature, not destroy her.ReplyDelete
I like your pictures and how you explained the way they manage winds. My heart goes out for the loved ones of people who died in the Tornado in Alabama. We are also feeling the effects of those winds here. Wind is a great "W" word.ReplyDelete
I don't know that I'd want a wind turbine in my back yard, but there is a certain hypnotic appeal to the vanes moving. They are so large but appear so graceful.ReplyDelete
I like your pictures (hair, trees and sheet) illustrating the effects of the 'invisible' force. Nice!
It has been really windy over here too. I am just not a big fan of the wind. I love the picture of the sheet blowing in the wind. I can't say why, but there is something about it that I really like.ReplyDelete
Caught up again, my favorite is this on Wind and Wind Farms. I love those huge windmills. Fortunately Kern Co. has finally changed the law so the obsolete units must be removed instead of standing as dead blight skeletons. A wonderful improvement. The newer units generate a lot more energy too. And as for having one in your back yard... the Utility Company pays a lease of $5K per year per windmill so not a bad way to bolster your Soc Sec. income! And... they do all the maintenance. You still have full use of your land around the units. 1 unit for every 5 acres on flat land and 1 unit per 2 acres in the mountains... Glad to see your educating your followers on how interesting they are.ReplyDelete
If your shadow with the wind in your hair isnt a great shot, then I dont know whata great shot is - Excellent, original concept of "wind" !!ReplyDelete