The creative hand of wind shaped much of the beloved region I call home, known by geographers and all who live here as the Palouse. It straddles state lines between north Idaho and eastern Washington. The fertile-rich soil is volcanic sediment, loess, that blew across the land eons ago and drifted into these waves of hills that produce our bountiful harvests of wheat, barley, peas and lentils.
These days, harvesting wind is big business in this part of the country. A wind farm sporting hundreds of turbines feeds a burgeoning power grid outside Ellensburg, WA, where I visited a few weeks back. I’m too awe-struck by their size and sleek elegance to begrudge—as some do—their emergence on the landscape.