Wind Turbines in Kansas

On our trips to Kansas, we have often seen wind turbines off in the distance. But we never had been all that close to them, until we went to Dodge City.

As we were getting close to Dodge City, we were suddenly driving right through large fields of wind turbines. Of course, these large wind turbines are not just for looks. These devices turn wind energy into electricity, powering cities with renewable energy.

On our way to Dodge City, it was almost dark by the time we reached the wind turbines, so we did not stop but rather just enjoyed the view as we drove along. But when we were leaving to go back home, it was a different story. It was early in the morning, and it was a perfect time to stop. There was even an “observation point” sign that we had seen on our way there, so we knew just where to stop.

Generating Electricity

Wind turbines and wheat fields

These large wind turbines were out in the middle of wheat fields. The brown fields and the cloudy, blue sky combined together perfectly to create an amazing view. Because God always mixes his colors together perfectly, after all.

It is difficult to judge the scale of these wind turbines. Fortunately, there was a sign at the observation point to fill us in. Each of those towers is 262 feet tall. Each blade is 121 feet long, and each one weighs 14,000 pounds. Those are no small pinwheels! You might think that it takes a lot of wind to get them turning, but a turbine can start generating electricity in an 8 mph wind.

The turbines are also able to turn to face the wind. The photo would have been better if they were facing us, but we were not upwind. Or downwind. We were more at the side of the wind.

After we looked around for a few minutes, Laura said, “Let’s go across the street. The view might be better there.” Across from where we were was a gas station, and there were more wind turbines beyond it. And so we made the short drive over there.

Wind turbines and clouds

As you can see, there were closer turbines here. And they were turned to face us, too. That makes the photo better, don’t you think? Also, in this photo you can get a better feel of the hazy conditions that were present that morning. I think the haze made the photo more interesting. And the clouds in the sky help to silhouette the turbines, too.

And just for fun, here is a look at the wind turbines in action:

Not Windmills?

In case you are wondering, there is a difference between wind turbines and windmills. Windmills use the power of the wind to drive a grain mill, or sometimes a water pump. Windmills convert wind energy to mechanical energy.

A wind turbine is a wind-powered generator. The spinning blades are attached to a turbine that produces electricity as it spins. So the wind energy is converted into electrical energy. It is the same principle as a windmill but with a different result. Just so you know.

Bonus Photos

Here are a few more photos from our stop, even though they do not necessarily have anything to do with the wind turbines.

Laura and the wheat field

I thought the field, the sky, and the wind turbines were a good backdrop for a photo of Laura. On top of being windy (because they don’t build those things where there isn’t any wind, after all), it was also a cold morning. So we definitely needed our coats while we were out looking around. And Jaylin chose to stay in the car where it was warmer. And where his weird parents weren’t taking photos.

A rural highway view

I liked this view across the highway from our first stop. It had that typical rural highway look. And if you look closely, you can see more wind turbines in the distance, just above the horizon. And how about those clouds?

Wheat field in Kansas

There really is not anything special about this photo, but I loved the way it turned out. Depth of field in a field! Because of the depth of field, you can’t even see the wind turbines in the distance, but they are there. Even without them, this is one of my favorite photos of this post. Maybe I should have given this photo its own post?

Little Things

I know I say it often around here, but don’t miss the little things. Even when those little things are 260-foot tall wind turbines. They might seem insignificant, but we still enjoyed seeing them.

And I am not saying that the little things that we enjoy have to be the little things that you enjoy. Find your own little things, whatever they might be. But take some time to slow down and notice the things that are around you.

You can find joy wherever you look.

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. - Proverbs 12:20

About the Photos

I had been wanting a good wind turbine photo since our first trips to Kansas, so I was happy to finally get one. And to get all of the bonus photos, too. It sometimes just takes some patience, and also going to the right place to find what you want. Even if you did not know that you were going to the right place when you started out.

Also, the animated GIF was created from a live photo from my iPhone, in case you were wondering.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: April 18, 2022
Location: Spearville, Kansas

World Bible School

Burnsland Email

Burnsland avatar
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.