Monday, 5 October 2009

Kirkheaton Wind Farm

I really believe that we now know what is to happen up the lonnen (track, in Northumbrian)to the dead wind turbines.
They came into production about 2000, so far as I can remember. Since then at least one set of blades has been replaced, involving low loaders and huge cranes. A couple of years ago, men came to repair the blades by abseiling down or along them patching the places where there was trouble.
In about March 2007, two of the turbines stopped turning and later the arms and nacelles were removed and put carefuly on the ground. The other one soldiered on.
Now, more than 18 months on, an application has been made for more time to keep the two turbines even though they are not working, to allow the owners to come to a decision re. their future. A planning condition was that a turbine that was inactive had to be removed after 12 months, so they have had quite a lot of extra time. We await the decision on this application. We know that the Parish Council has not objected.
Today, G talked to an engineer that he found up at the site. This man said that an order had been put in for 3 sets of new sails. Delivery is expected to be December - about the worst time of year to fit them! Now we wait to see what happens.
What ever does occur, I feel sure that the energy expended on these three turbines - building, transporting, repairing etc will require a very long functional period with the new blades to make it carbon free.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

October Gale

I have just come in from a really bracing walk. Not very far, you understand, but quite far enough in the conditions.
We woke this morning to a westerly gale - with gusts over 53mph because the remaining wind turbine was stationary. Much to my relief, apart from beech twigs and mast on the lawn, no damage had been done - and still hasn't. But they really are not the sort of conditions that are conducive to gardening and the walks westward and eastward involve passing under quite a lot of trees, which I did not fancy.
So after lunch, after checking that the Church was alright, I set of southwards. This involved a longish pull up a hill completely exposed to the full force of the wind on my right-hand side, which was trying to blow my walking pole between my legs. Why did I not use it in my left hand? you may well ask. Just my blurdy mindedness. The top of this hill is the site of a WW2 observation point and there is an amazing view. I was able to enjoy it in reasonable comfort because trees have grown up round the site and protected me from the gale to the west.
The Lake District hills were hidden by another piece of high ground. To the south is the northern end of a very large quarry and beyond it a fairly young wood. Glimpsed beyond that were the Durham hills. Going on round to the east, the horizon for many miles is the coast. If I had had my binoculars I would have probably been able to see the sea. As the crow flies it is about 18 miles away at the nearest point. Continuing round towards the north you look over the village towards the Simonside hills near Rothbury and on to Cheviot, the most northerly point of the Pennines. They run on down the west side to complete the view.
It was made more spectacular than usual today by a rainbow reaching from Simonside to the coast and a great black rainstorm from Cheviot to the Roman Wall, which at that point is due west of us.
Walking back down the hill, the gusts felt even stronger and I had some difficulty in maintaining my balance. However, if it does as 'they' say, it should start to ease soon. At least the sun is shining mostly, with small white clouds rushing across the sky, reminding me of the White Rabbit in Alice and Wonderland.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

October Garden

The garden looks short of colour as you walk around, but when I went out with my camera I found all sorts of things. This time, I am showing you what is left of production in the vegetable garden first. Corgettes, a few surviving carrots under the green stuff and barely visible on the left the pyramid of runner beans.Near the back door is this Sorbus, so laden with berries that it is being deformed. It should be growing upright! They are not yet ripe so I hope the berries will be there for some time yet.

This Old English Rose, Sarifa, is the only one in flower just now.

From outside the wall this is always a similar colour but is brighter now. Your have seen this rose before. I do not apologise for repeating it as it gives me such pleasure each morning as I look out of my bedroom window.

Rosa rugosa is covered with red hips, if you look hard

I have a little Lobelia either side of two short stone paths to give some brightness in a dark place. They are still doing well

You can just see the Leycesteria to the left of the Hydrangea. I do not know the variety of the hydrangea as it was given to me without a name, but it does well in our alkaline soil.

This picture does not do justice to this climber, it should be much redder. It is interesting that some has turned and some is still proper green.

The Geraniums keep flowering away. The best buy of the year!
Asters are always valuable at this time, though many are very susceptible to mildew. This one seems to be immune.

Another yellow herbaceous plant

Anemones are so pretty that they make up for the way they invade everywhere.This Helenium has not been here long but is giving pleasure at the moment. I think the grass would please Westerwitch!