July 9

Baling the ditch

The state would have to mow the ditches before winter if it were not for the needs of local ranchers to feed their cattle in the winter. That’s how a cooperative effort is formed between the state and local land owners. The state doesn’t have to mow the snow-catching drift-forming grasses in the ditch, and the rancher can harvest the ditch for his cattle.  It’s a win win and typical of the cooperative culture of North Dakotans who work together, especially to defeat the common enemy of winter.

Across the way, another cooperative effort is underway. The local electric coop is building a wind farm, renting the land from the local farmers to generate electricity from the wind.  The electricity is shipped to eastern states who don’t give a thought about who supplied the electricity or where it came from.  It came from here.  And obviously more is about to come to homes in the east because more turbines are about to be built.  They’re mammoth towers on the prairie as is evidenced by the pickup truck below one of them, driving past the soon-to-be erected tower stems.

April 6

bent powerline steel from the spring snow storm

Here is why it will take weeks to restore power to many parts of the upper midwest following that freak spring blizzard. The heavy wet snow and high winds collapsed a number or power lines such as this one carrying electricity to power grids east of here. Crews from several states converged on the hardest hit regions of North Dakota and worked on the priority transmission lines.  The height they worked is evident by that water windmill in the lower part of this photo on the right.  Check out the relative size of the men in the bucket.

It was my good fortune to live just a few blocks inside a power service area that was not affected, even though this line is about 10 miles south of my home in Wilton.