Wednesday, July 15, 2009


One of the local farmers having fun with his windmill.

With all this negative blogging, it's time to have a little fun with the windmills.  Here are a few things that just might bring a chuckle to your lips.

#1 Despite the fact that the residents of Wolfe Island were told there would be little or not bird deaths attributed to the turbines, someone has been hired whose sole job is to seek out dead birds!

#2 Some of the most ardent supporters of the wind farm are now complaining about noise!

#3  Despite being told there would be very little light pollution, some people are being kept awake at night by annoying flashing red lights.  Where are the lights?  You guessed it, on top of the windmills!

#4 In order to make the concept of electricity a little more sexy, the industrial behemoths are not located on wind farms any more, they are called wind parks! 
#5 One of the first to sign up and get their very own wind turbine, now has their house for sale, for $800,00! In a 'wind park'!

#6 To capitalize on the sexy wind parks, there is a Kingston bus company giving turbine tours! Look there's one, and there's another... and another...!

#7 One of the local restaurants (which shall remain nameless, but it rhymes with Rowns Ray), advertised daily specials but when someone I know tried to make reservations were told it was for the windmill people only. Now that the mad construction rush is over, they want us back!

#8 In reading all the comments that are posted on my blog, I have one repeat customer who HATES ME!  I have two questions to this poster; what have you got against punctuation, and why do you keep coming back?!!


A close look at one of the 86 hands

This morning, a friend of mine called to tell me that there was a sculpture out on the 2nd Line Road, a spot where one can bask under the shadow of the turbines.  She told me that the installation piece was doomed to be destroyed, and if I wanted to see it, I should get there quickly. Not even knowing what I was looking for, I immediately went out, knowing that I would recognize it when I saw it.  And I did.
This is what I saw; perfectly executed hands, in all different positions, holding rocks, poised to throw.  Since there were 86 hands, I interpreted the piece to be a protest against the 86 windmills, possibly done by someone else who got very little sleep over the weekend.  A tired mind can be a great visionary.  
My friend sees it as people buried, and reaching up from the ground to throw stones at the turbines.  Perhaps they are the same people who are rolling over in their graves over what has been done to their island.  I am reminded of the story 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson where the townspeople drew lots to see which of the villagers would be stoned to death as a sacrifice to insure a bountiful harvest.
Wolfe Island is home to many talented artists, my friend included, but a guerilla installation of rock throwing hands is an avant-gard concept.  Since civil disobedience is so much more difficult than it was in the sixties, we must make our statements when, where and how we can, and in ways that are legal. 
It is a given that the installation will be destroyed, if it hasn't been already.  It's a shame, a lot of work went into the piece as did, I imagine, a lot of emotion.  I hope a lot of people get to see it, to take pictures, to talk about on the boat in the morning.  Perhaps they will think of some creative forms of protest, a positive way to transform this negative experience.

Sculpted hands poised to stone the turbine

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Don't be fooled by the pastoral setting

It's not yet midnight. The sky is clear, except for a few small clouds moving across the sky.  I am standing on my back deck and I am in awe of the ominous, deep rumblings of the closest windmill.  It is a kilometre away. This is the sound they told us did not exist.
Just like the ones I saw in Loweville, the turbines sound like a jet--too high to be seen, but close enough to hear.  The difference is, the jet passes over, and the silence of the night resumes. In the case of the turbines, the noise continues into the night, and then into the day.
When I went back into the house and went to bed, I could still here the noise coming through my open window.  What was it that made the noise particularly thunderous last night? There was a soft breeze , the air was clear, atmospheric conditions, who knows?  My hearing isn't always the best, so I know I'm I am not overly sensitive.  
Many years ago, I originally came to Wolfe Island to escape the sounds of the city.  On my first night sleeping here, I was amazed at the silence.  I relished the sounds of nature, frogs, crickets, and the intermittent howl of coyotes. After decades of listening to sirens, drunks, and screaming tires, the peacefulness of Wolfe Island was heavenly. 
Residents who opposed the placement of turbines on Wolfe Island were assured that there would be no noise, which to me made not sense,  everyone knows that when a stick, a whip, a skipping rope is lashed, there is a distinct whooshing sound.  Cap'n Mike laughed at our concerns, telling us that one could stand right under a turbine and not hear a sound.  Of course, standing under a windmill is like standing under a gigantic speaker--the noise radiates out, underneath is probably the quietest place to stand. We were even told that quite often, people like to picnic under them!  Yes indeed Mr. Jablonicky and we are all idiots!
I do not feel that I should change my way of living in order to block out the sound of the turbines.  I do not want to close my windows at night; I do not want to run something that makes white noise to mask the noise; I do not want to move.  What I want is an apology, an admission from the corporations that they did in fact lie.  I want to launch a class action suit against them. I want everyone who was so eager to put  a windmill on their property to go crazy from the noise and the guilt that were it not for their greed to get money from nothing, Wolfe Island would still be a peaceful oasis in a world of noise and confusion. 

For a video of what turbines really sound like, go to