Friday, December 05, 2008

Kinderdijk - Windmills

Kinderdijk, windmill, the Netherlands

Windmills. Whoomp. Whoomp. Most seriously working windmills are the new tall skinny blingy kind that are white, look metallic, and three-armed and in great groups on windfarms.

But the old are still there, and many in use.  There are sails that attach to the arms to increase the whirl as needed; and a big log of a brake that jabs in to stop it and keep it stopped when that is needed.

These are huge. Whoomp. Watch your head.

Kinderdijk has a large set of windmills in one place.  In some, you can go right in, and climb all around and see where the family stayed and how they arranged their household and sleeping and living areas inside. Read about "Living In A Windmill" at

Watch the arms accelerate or slow when yanked on the anchor to stop it, and then adjust the canvas sails that are attached and rolled. More whoomp. Whoomp. Then see what it is doing for all that work:   there is a big screw that dips into the canal, and takes the water and pushes it up to the next level. You soon get used to the thumpiness. If you got careless and walked into one mid-whomp, there you go.

Windmill row, Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

Windmills are the workers that make the polders, the drained land now used for agriculture and settlements, even cities.  See how to drain farmland at  From someone's bright idea, to a concept that supports the farmland that wasn't there before, that produces the food that feeds all the people. Go to that site for a film on how to reclaim underwater areas for farmland.

The windmills also powered mills.  You can see how it works, like water wheels making power. See ://

Here is the farmland. The polder itself. Flat flat. Look closely, over our steering wheel for the masts moving along.  Looks like they are sailing right through the field.

Polder, or drained farm land. See mast of boat at eye level, canal across the field, near Kinderdijk NL

The canals network around at field level. If the draining failed, so goes the land.

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