Monday, June 24, 2013

Tilting @ Windmills

A windmill is one of the most energy efficient and ingenious ways ever devised to pump water from the ground. A windmill harnesses the free and renewable power of the wind and uses that energy to lift underground water to the surface for agricultural and other uses.

So say the fine folks at Aermotor and who are we to argue?  Since 1888 they have been turning out windmills by the thousand.  The company that started in Chicago has moved its facilities south over the years from the Windy City to Conway, Arkansas, on to Broken Bow, Oklahoma and finally to San Angelo, Texas.  It is as if the company itself was seeking out the dry and parched land that could most benefit from a windmill.

Today when navigating that plains and prairie of Texas, towns can be identified miles ahead by the ubiquitous water tower.  Back in the day when travel was made by a good pony, the windmill was a welcome sight.  It meant a cool drink and likely a ranch house where a supper might be shared.

Is there a more aesthetically pleasing sight than a windmill, standing tall and proud, sentinel and servant, pumping away as long as the breeze holds up?

This fine example is located off Dove Road in Westlake.  I cycle by it every now and then and it looks particularly handsome in the evening when the western sun hits the blades.

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