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Saturday, October 1, 2011

The windmill: icon of the plains and prairie

If there's a symbol of the Midwest and West, for me it's the windmill. These once-functional life sources of the plains and prairies were erected over wells and used wind power to turn pumps that brought water to the surface for drinking, irrigation and watering animals. The man who owns this windmill on 112th Street near St. Cloud in Ray County is an engineer who now owns a farm. He had it moved to the property and then completely rebuilt it. It's functional, even though its heyday is long gone. Although I've grown accustomed to seeing them (many of them rusted, dilapidated and overgrown with weeds), it's rare when I don't stop to take a photo of one or at least consider it. The windmill is an icon, just as cell towers are today. They're almost silent, are elegant and were "green" before that became a buzz word.

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