A Little Illinois Love
June 30, 2011 § 2 Comments
I had to drive to Congerville today. I was dreading it; the drive was going to take one hour round trip. I got a very large iced coffee from Coffee Hound and started my journey. Once I got past the construction and begin the rural drive, I started to enjoy myself.
The land in central Illinois is flat, but it didn’t bother me today. It was a very solitary drive – almost therapeutic. I loved driving past the occasional house protected by its lonely waving tree. I loved seeing the breeze blow through the corn stalks, giving the fields animation.
When I was a little girl my dad told me that corn should be “knee-high by the Fourth of July.” All the corn I saw today was “way past my ear before July’s even here.” Farmers are sure putting a lot of growth hormones in corn these days, huh?
Wind energy intrigues me. Having lived in the farming area of Illinois for the past few years, I know that many crop farmers have made money by leasing land to wind energy developers for their windmills. There’s a boost for the poor little Illinois economy! My dad is a chemical engineer currently working in a power plant in Ohio. When I asked him about wind energy I got a comment I wasn’t prepared for: modern, large wind turbines require electricity to operate – a fact which is often not considered when calculating the turbine electrical output. Interesting. Also, considering the energy it takes to create each turbine, the energy balance ends up being almost the same as creating a coal power plant (in which he works). Clearly, a wind farm doesn’t put off the fumes that a coal plant does, so I’d rather have a wind farm nearby. But, it’s good to know that if global warming ever does happen (and we never get wind), a coal power plant is just as energy-efficient as a wind farm.
You’re welcome to rip me apart for that paragraph. I really don’t care. That’s what a blog is for.
Illinois has an ugly reputation for being corrupt. That is true – it is extremely corrupt. But the rural, flat land is beautiful, melancholy, and peaceful. It’s the people that mess things up. Sometime, let me tell you about the City of Bloomington: its magic and its malpractice. Or Chicago – that one might need a whole category of postings. And some clever guest bloggers.