Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Windmills and Woodcocks

with 2 comments

Well, to say that the year 2009 wasn’t exactly a bowl of canaries,  for at least some of us, is to state the obvious.
The New Year started out well, though,  with the sun coming out after weeks of off-and-on drizzle, rain and general gloominess.

“Me and my ol’ lady, we like to, like, get outside.”

I hadn’t even had my  minimum morning requirement of coffee before I was informed that there were three ladies who’d had enough of being indoors and were all HWQ* for a bit of saddle time.  Our daughter, the lovely and talented Olwen, reclaimed her position as Jill’s pillion, while Nurse Jo reserved the big yella bike’s “coochie couch”.

Daughter took a turn as cameraman as we rode down scenic Ocean Drive around Corpus Christi Bay. Just before we merge into Shoreline Drive she took this shot of Cole Park.

A while back, Nurse Jo had expressed a desire to visit the Papalote Creek wind farm, on the other side of the bay.  This day seemed like a good one for a follow through so follow through we did.

Daughter took this picture on the fly as we entered the area.

The wind driven generators are visible from miles away but only when we were in the farm did we truly appreciate their size.

The hub of the generator stands over 260 feet above the ground and the blades are reported to be 135 feet long.

The huge blades made a soft sighing sound as they turned that would be like a sleeping pill for those of us who like white noise when we turn in at night.

If you look behind the three beautiful trespassers you can see a maintenance hatch.  Inside, a ladder leads to the computer controlled, liquid-cooled generator.  I’m told there’s quite a view from up there.  I’ll stick with the one at ground level.

There are 109 wind-powered generators in this project that, together, produce enough electricity to power 54,000 homes in San Antonio, 140 miles away.

Windmill watching accomplished, we  hauled our sweet behinds back to Corpus town “with songs in our hearts and smiles on our faces”, as the saying sort of goes.

We weren’t alone enjoying the sunny skies and brisk temperature, either.  There was an unusual number of motorcyclists out, this weekend, even considering that Friday was New Year’s Day.

Snake Road is a name some of us natives remember hearing from our elders.  The name was derived from the twisted configuration of the road itself, rather than from the reptiles living in the brush, nearby. Whether that was ever the actual name of the road is neither here, nor there, but the fact that the brush surrounding the estuary called “Oso Bay” has been kept out of the clutches of developers, is.
Hans and Pat Sutter Wildlife Refuge is a favorite of birders (bird watchers), the Sexy Granny, one of which, is.  That is, she watches birds, as do Daughter and Nurse Jo.

We walked out the long  “boardwalk” that elevates visitors above the marsh to check out the many water birds, some local, some migratory.

Across the bay is Ward Island, formerly part of the Naval Air Station, and now home to Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

It was time to mosey, the afternoon was turning cooler and hot chocolate was calling to the ladies.  We admired the local flora on our way to the parking lot, taking a couple of parting shots before getting in the wind once more.

* Hot, wet and quivering

Written by fiddle mike

January 4, 2010 at 1:49 am

2 Responses

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  1. Beautiful pic’s. Very nice to be able to ride on New Year’s. Keep posting, foe us “Northerner’s, this helps to get us through our harsh winter’s. Ride safe!


    January 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

  2. Nice blog post and good photos, I like the smiling one of you two cruising – shows what it’s all about. Interesting look at the wind farm, we are only just starting to move that way here in South Africa, got a few small areas on the go so far. Keep up the interesting work Bro.

    Andrew aka the Rider

    January 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

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