Tag Archives: southeastern minneosta


Fog is an amazing element that can churn up all kinds of different feelings and reactions. It can…create mystery, hint at surprise, suggest romance, cause anxiety, panic and disorientation. Fog is also unpredictable to a degree, we know what causes it but the cause and effect don’t always match our creative desires so we use fake fog. Depending on density, fog can also be a great filter, that can bring out the sun’s rays creating collections of single beams that suggest some kind of divine presence.

A few years ago during a holiday trip to the in-laws we we had the opportunity to experience some of these effects in several ways. Our destination in south western Minnesota was undergoing a transformation, wind turbines were popping up like perennial flowers. We encountered little fog on our way down, however as we approached more farm land the fog increased in density, shrouding the presence of the wind turbines. Driving along a rural gravel road in dense fog surrounded by invisible wind turbines invoked a plethora of sensations the dominant one being mystery. As we drove slowly along the gravel road, the only suggestion of the wind farm’s presence was the steady whoosh of the invisible blades. The scene could have been right out of a mystery thriller.

Before and after the holiday celebrations, I headed out to try to capture the fog’s effects. Since I lacked the necessary gear to capture sensation of the invisible monsters and their collective whooshes, I headed out to find the “right” fog. As the sun’s intensity increased the fog density decreased leaving behind a landscape, populated with tufts of white fog and a hint of a yet to be revealed horizon.

Our route to these holiday celebrations always took us past the silo in today’s photo. Even on a clear day, this lone silo, occupying the crest of a small knoll in the middle of a bare field, was cause for wonder. Today’s photo is my attempt to capture the mystery and loneliness of the scene.


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Machines in the Garden

Whenever I see a wind farm no matter the size,  I’m always struck by the visual impact these behemoths have on both the rural landscape and the horizon. Their presence has forever changed both the scale and our perception of what we previously identified as a relatively uninterrupted horizon and a human scale landscape. Just drive by a farm which previously stood alone with its’ out buildings penetrating the sky, that farm is now dwarfed by the presence of these machines.

While we have plenty of tall buildings in our world they normally are surrounded by other tall buildings, which tend to reduce the visual impact of each individual building.The scale of wind turbines is exaggerated because we see them individually and in comparison to a flat plane, flat snow covered winter fields add to the exaggerated scale.

Also, the scale is more exaggerated on the flat plains of the Midwest, seen in the context of rolling hills further west their individual effect is lessened by the rolling horizon.


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