By Megan LaManna

A wind turbine, illuminated by its flashing red light, stands against the dark sky. Photo by J.B. Forbes

It looked like something out of a science fiction film. The giant wind turbines, set in soybean fields just outside of Westboro, Mo., sliced through the chill nighttime air with elegance.
These structures generate energy for the electrical power system. We craned our necks to see the top, and what we saw was a futuristic structure and a dark, star-speckled sky. With each turn, the blades whooshed past us with graceful force. The impression it made was grand.
The turbines made a surprisingly quiet sound for their size with just a dull hum. Standing so close to such an enormous structure was humbling. It felt like another world in that field; a cold, futuristic world.
— Edited by Sonja Gjerde

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2 responses to “

  1. Most of us only see these from a distance at night. Did the hum sound like anything you’ve heard before? Or perhaps the blade sound like something? I’d like a bit more texture to tell me what it is really like–so I can just read and not go see this scary thing 🙂

  2. The hum just sounded like a quite motor rotating. It could have been quiet because it was up so high and far away from us, but nevertheless it was a soft sound. When the blades whooshed past us it was a kind of sound that is made from a slowly rotating, heavy object. The sound gets big, then quickly fades (because of the doppler effect). It was interesting though because each blade had a slightly different whoosh. There was a low, medium and higher pitched sound that came from each of the three blades. So while I was lying on the ground, if I closed my eyes, it was easy to keep count and know which was closest. And I promise, they’re not scary! If anything they’re awe-inspiring. If you ever get the chance to see one up close, I would strongly recommend it. —Megan LaManna

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