On the 14th of January, we had a rare Sunday deserving its name. I was at O.K.'s for the weekend, and we decided to finally take a walk to some of the newly erected windmills we can see from many of the paths near the village where we often walk or run.
The slopes and ridges of the Black Forest are great for windfarming, and I think it is a good thing that at least some of our energy comes from renewable and clean sources. On some of the blogs I regularly read, I have seen many a comment about the perceived "eye-sores" and how the windmills "blight" otherwise beautiful countryside. Well, in my opinion, they have their very own beauty, last but not least because I know we truly need them if we want to keep consuming energy at the rate we are doing these days.
Have you ever stood real close to one? If you listen to the swooshing sound the blades make, you can almost imagine you were by the sea, and you hear the waves leisurely moving up the beach, then retreating back into the vastness of the ocean only to return the next moment at their own incessant rhythm - a calming, soothing sound, and really not noisy. Road traffic is much, much louder!
Maybe the odd bird gets too close occasionally, but - without being able to cite statistics - I do believe the number of animals killed by the roadside of our way too many cars is much higher. And generally, there is no decline in wildlife in those areas of the Black Forest where windmills are. Of course animals retreat while the building is going on, but once the heavy machinery and people have left, things return to normal.
According to information I found on the internet and on boards at the wind farm, the masts are 149 m high. Each rotor blade is 56 m long and weighs 26 tons!
Anyway - to get there, we walked for quite a while, taking in the sights as we got nearer. There were other places of interest along the way, such as the "pioneer stone", a memorial erected by the troops who, a long time ago, built the road in this part of the forest, or the small devotional dedicated to Mary in the year 1797.
We chose a different path back to the village of Diersburg, where we had parked the car, and O.K. showed me the ruins of castle Diersburg.
Altogether, we had probably walked somewhere around 3 or 4 hours, and enjoyed it very much. Many weekends have been grey and wet this winter, so we were glad to get the chance for good long walk.