Moulin rouge

Saturday, August 13th, 2016
  • Moulin de Fernand Barbier

    It seemed like a good spot for an evening picnic, an ideal location to relax and watch the sky and windmill turn various shades of orange and red while the sun went down. In the distance, the modern wind turbines hypnotically rotate, blissfully unaware that their retired forefathers are close by and still standing after hundreds of years.

    This old pivot windmill, or moulin in French, is in near perfect condition. It was constructed in 1789 and stands on a fifteenth-century stone cabin first constructed in 1477. Built with a 17m wingspan to capture the same energy as the nearby modern turbines do today, it can be turned around its center post to face into the wind by a single person. For nearly 100 years its sails turned in the wind until the last miller, Fernand Barbier, bequeathed it to the town in the 1980s.

    As a purely technical sidetone, I should mention that today’s picture is actually a mosaic of 9 photographs. It was impossible to stand back far enough to get an unimpeded shot of the windmill. So, using photoshop and quite a bit of post-production lens correction, I was able to achieve this photograph.

    See the windmill (from the road) using Google street view.