11 April, 2011

Walking with the Wind Machines

A common walk with doggie in the late evening is along the river bank downstream.  Sometimes because of the looming darkness, walking back up the river bank is not so easy.  Then it's useful to cut up through the long rows of the vineyard and out to the road passing these huge machines standing up high amongst the vines.
10 meters high perhaps.  Propeller additional.  Notice the sky.
A late frost in the springtime can knock back tender budding grapes and thus destroy the harvest due months later at the end of summer.  Basically it's an emergency.  But the propeller creates a wind, stirring up the cold layers of air that settle and form a frost.  As the heads rotate in all directions, the layering is broken and the damage to the buds can be prevented.

Highly powered.  This engine unit is about as tall as a person.
When things this powerful start up there is quite a fuss.

Dusk over the vineyard.  The last of the sun is on the Dunstan Mountains.  That 'nipple' is 'Leaning Rock'
Some months in springtime, anytime after midnight these machines can start to roar, with the blades adding that chopping sound of helicopters.  With about six of these directly across the river, two next door and several real helicopters roaming the neighbourhood it's anything but peaceful in the small hours.  Add to that lots of flashing lights,  people roaring around in vehicles managing it all, and 4 am is not a dead hour.

It really helps having one of the most insulated houses one can have.  Sound as well as cold stays out.

Walking the long rows at evening.  I love the evening skies
This vineyard is the "Roaring Meg" vineyard of the Mt Difficulty Winery.based across the river.    It's totally Pinot Noir  grapes for which Central Otago is rightly famous.  Mt Difficulty winery is a combination of many owners and vineyards here at Bannockburn.  The "Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir" wine is made separately and labeled separately under the Mt Difficulty label and you will be able to find it worldwide.

If you are so lucky you will find it rewarding
The mountain itself, Mt Difficulty is the one to the right, northern buttress of the Carrick Range.
It's a privilege to walk in this landscape.


  1. I like seeing the fantastic sky photos. You certainly do have pretty places to walk.

    I remember seeing the smudge pots going, large oil heaters, in the orchards of Central California, when we'd travel in winter to see relatives in a tiny town outside of Fresno.

    Wind machines are cleaner, I imagine. Smudge pots went out in the 70's as a general practice, but are still sold.

  2. You do know that 'Roaring Meg' was the reason we here in Ireland have now a Republic.
    In the late 40's the leader of the parliament (Dáil)was part of a Commonwealth Conference at Ottawa where placed before him was a replica of the cannon. The cannon sat on the walls of Derry during the Williamite wars, a religious war here on Ireland.
    Ugly looking wind mill all the same. Looks for all the world like something a kid cut out. Such a pity they haven't worked out how to generate electric with them.

  3. Indeed it is a privilege to walk in this landscape, as you put it Kerry!

    The photos are nice too. I particularly like the one in your blog header as it typifies this beautiful area we live in.




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