When I first met Joe about fifteen years ago, I remember him commenting about a certain "flower" that Vermont had dotting its beautiful landscapes. Now, I know that Vermont was not the only state that had these "flowers", but because Joe liked to tease, and because that was where I was from, he did it because, well, in Joe-ese vernacular, because he could.
These gigantic, round, metal flowers were usually black, and they could be seen in the backyards of most houses as you drove along the highway through the Green Mountains. They looked like those round wooden chairs that people have in their living rooms, with a big cushion in the middle to make them comfy to sit in. Technology has come a long way over the last ten years. The TV satellite dishes have shrunk down to the size of a real dinner plate, and do not mar the scenic view anymore.
Yet, after my drive through my old state over the weekend, I wondered if we had slipped back in time. Large metal objects once again mar the landscape. The first time I saw a field full of them, it took me by surprise. The contrast between the bright green mountains and the black, glaring sides of the solar panels made me stare in shock. I was surprised Joe did not comment about them, but in my mind I automatically heard myself saying, “These are the new state flowers!”
Now, I must assure you that I am not against people trying to find new ways to conserve energy. Windmills have been around for years, and even solar energy has been used before. If you are going to choose this route, personally, I think the homes with solar panels on their roofs look so much nicer, and it is a better way of utilizing the space you have. I just find it odd that everything technology creates is always rather large in the beginning. Computers were once as big as a room when they first came out, gradually getting smaller and smaller until they are what we have today. Calculators, phones, mps players, etc, all had a large beginning, but have come down in size over time. I know the solar panels will change in size too, as they develop a better way of conserving the sun’s energy. Until then, I will simply put on some sunglasses and try to enjoy the new “sun flower” that is popping up in many fields over the country.