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An infrared photo of a beautiful old windmill (a.k.a. windpump) on a ranch in the Bear Paw Mountains near Havre, Montana. → Buy a Print or License Photo

I make no bones about my appreciation of old rural structures. Whether it be barns, grain elevators, or grain bins, I enjoy making photos of them.

Another common rural structure I enjoy photographing is the equally ubiquitous windmill. Some call them windpumps. And I suppose the term “windmill” is really a bit of misnomer…I mean, rural American windmills really don’t mill anything, do they? No, they pump water. So the term “windpumps” is probably infinitely more accurate. But I grew up on a farm and we called them windmills. And our neighbors called them windmills. And everyone I know called them windmills. And still calls them windmills to this day.

The first windmills and windpumps pumped water in the Middle East. Their technology came to America from Europe. And on U.S. farms and ranches─particularly on the Great Plains and in the Midwest─windmills were primarily used to pump water for cattle and livestock.

I think I enjoy photographing windmills because they are often the lone solitary structure punctuating an otherwise bleak landscape. They rise up from the ground, it seems, and serve as a bit of a calling card. When you see a windmill (or windpump) like the kind that grace the photos in the collection below you know you are in the country. They are every bit an icon of rural America as the barn or farmhouse. And as I continue to make rural photos, you will continue to see more and more photos of windmills seen here.

Please check out my collection of windmill photos in my newest photo gallery and debut of my latest 20+ photos insert.

To see more of my collections of 20+ photos CLICK HERE.

Calendar at North 40 Outfitters
Haunted House

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