Being out in the countryside with my dogs gives me time to think. I’ve learnt the pleasure of solitude without being lonely, and that’s a good feeling for me.

Welcome to "Man with two dogs" - the family website for dog owners and dog walkers.

This is my countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier newspaper.

Windmills across the sky

June 11th, 2011

WORDS ARE my seed corn and I like to see them used properly   The idea of wind farms just seems a complete anomaly to me   Nobody grows wind, nobody ploughs the fields and scatters wind seeds, nothing is cultivated.

Wind farms are electricity generating stations, so why not call them that?   They produce the same product as hydro-electric schemes which provide much of Scotland's energy needs without stirring up discord or hostility.

It's a different matter with wind farms which raise passions to remarkable heights at either end of the emotional spectrum   Presumably they make lots of money for people who have suitable sites to build them   But the turbines offend the visual and emotional susceptibilities of people who see them as an intrusion into the landscape of their lives.

An objection to wind farms which interests me is the suggestion that there is a danger of birds, especially raptors, being sucked into the vortex, or whirlpool, of wind caused by the rotation of the blades, and killed.

I visited a site recently and saw no evidence of this, and heard larks singing their hearts out in the sky above   Having said that, it was a bare, barren hilltop with little to attract birds of prey, and there may be evidence elsewhere to support the claim.

The two main objections seem to be visual and noise intrusion   Friends have seen off an application for the erection of a turbine 600 metres from their house   As we spoke on the phone they told me they could clearly see a turbine in Angus, 23 miles away from their living room in Fife.

You can't avoid visual impact when turbines as tall as 250 metres are being erected, but I wonder if they would be less disturbing if they had no obvious moving parts   There's a hypnotic mesmerism about those rotating blades going nowhere.

Standing at the foot of a turbine there's a constant soughing of the blades sweeping through the air, and a relentless thump, thump as each blade completes its downward sweep and starts the upswing.

My experience of wind turbines has only ever been temporary   Seeing them at a distance from the car can be rather soothing, but the moment passes and they are left behind     It would likely be different if I couldn't escape from those strict tempo beating arms.

Would I want a turbine 600 metres from my back yard?   Might it not amount to visual, perhaps even mental, pollution?   I've no interest in talking wind turbines up, and no benefit in talking them down, and there can't be an objection to their essential product   To be honest, on a purely personal level I just shouldn't want such an  €œin my face € invasion of our horizons.

It's not the turbines per se, but the siting of them that can be so controversial.

Written on Saturday, June 11th, 2011 at 3:30 pm for Weekly.