Archive for October, 2010

Creepy Halloween — Part II

October 31, 2010

Included in my last post is a photo of something . . . . . . . . . cree—py. One person saw a pirate’s face in the photo. Sister Clara came the closest, guessing that it might be the head of an insect. It is actually a caterpillar that was creeping along the concrete at Gunderland. (Thank you to the rest of you who guessed, as well.)

Do you see a pirate's face? (Click on photo to enlarge.)


I never really stopped to think that a caterpillar might have folds on the back of its "neck."(Click on photo to enlarge.)


While taking these photos I was flat-out on my belly on the concrete outside the garage. My own creeping/following the caterpillar gave me a chance to try out two of my photography accessories: 1. extension tubes in combination with 2. a 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Should I do this again (a caterpillar shoot), I need to train the caterpillar to stay still! Imagine me flat out on the concrete with the camera lens almost touching the concrete and just a few inches away from the caterpillar, AND having my toes being my rudder/steering wheel changing my direction each time the caterpillar changed its! I’m certainly glad no one pulled into the driveway catching me involved in such a silly activity!

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


Creepy Halloween

October 30, 2010

Who or what do you see in this creepy photo?

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Corn Harvest Shutter Speed Comparison

October 14, 2010

Even with modern harvesting equipment, riding in a combine cab is a little bit bouncy making it difficult to keep a camera steady. Even so, I’m pleased with the photo immediately below, in which I used a faster shutter speed (1/800) than for the second photo (1/320). During next fall’s grain harvest, I’ll experiment with an even faster shutter speed.

The two primary differences between camera settings for these photos are the shutter speed and the aperture. There is a 2mm difference in focal length.

Shutter: 1/800; Aperture: f/7.1; Exposure: Shutter Priority; Focal Length: 53mm; ISO: 200; Metering: Pattern; Exposure Bias: 0.00 (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Shutter: 1/320; Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure: Shutter Priority; Focal Length: 55mm; ISO: 200; Metering: Pattern; Exposure Bias: 0.00 (Click on photo to enlarge.)


This photo is taken from inside the combine cab as the combine is dumping the corn into the grain cart, both on-the-go. I.e., the combine and tractor/grain cart are moving alongside each other through the field as the corn is moving through the combine. (Click on photo to magnify detail.)


(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Corn Harvest 2010: Section 13, Roosevelt Township, Pocahontas County, Iowa

October 13, 2010

Yesterday and the day before (October 11 and 12) I had the back-to-roots glorious experience of being in the midst of corn harvest. The video (below) is from yesterday. The vantage point is Gunderland, the farmstead between Rolfe and Pocahontas where I was raised.*

In the first 2 1/2 minutes of the video, the John Deere combine and tractor move at a snail’s pace along the horizon. During that portion they look like a slow-moving dot.** They still look like a dot when the combine dumps corn on-the-go into the moving grain cart out in the field. At about the 2 1/2-minute point, the tractor and combine separate.

Then the footage gets close-up and more interesting (i.e., worth waiting for). The grain gets hauled to Gunderland and dumped there into a holding wagon. An auger then maneuvers the grain upward to the top of the grain bin so it can be stored in that bin. Even though I grew up on a farm, I found it fascinating to watch this process, especially the mechanics of the machinery.

Update: I tried to repost the video with the first 90 seconds removed. Because, in the editing/exporting process, the video lost a lot of its clarity, I stuck with the longer/original version. If you want to do something else during the first minute or two until the tractor leaves the field and then watch the last four minutes, you’ll see the most illustrative portions.

*My mom (Marion Gunderson) and dad (Deane Gunderson) moved to this farm site in 1945. They had the existing home built in 1955-56 and moved in in early 1956 when I was a few months old.

**I took the video with my pocket-sized Canon ELPH, so zooming wasn’t a viable option.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Iowa State 27 — Utah 68

October 10, 2010

Last night (10-9-10) Bill and I attended the Iowa State vs Utah football game. End result: Iowa State 27 – Utah 68. Man, those Utah players run amazingly fast. Even though they were on the opposing team, it really was kind of beautiful watching them weave, with great timing on their hesitations, through the ISU defense on the way to another Utah touchdown.

Game time was 6:00 PM CST. I imagine game time temps were in the 70s and 60s. With such comfortable weather and a looking-like filled stadium, and Utah being ranked #10, you can imagine the ISU fans’ excitement as ISU scored the first touchdown of the game. That was before Utah’s beautiful weaving/running started.

The following film is of that first touchdown and extra-point kick. The footage is lousy in that it is herky-jerky. My video camera is unreliable, I misjudged my speed of panning, and I didn’t want to hold the camera so as to block people’s views. However, if you’ve not been to a game at Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium for a long time (or ever), or even if you have, at least the clip gives you a little sense of being there last night when ISU was ahead.

We were sitting on the west side of the stadium; the large score board/video board is at the south end of the stadium.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

This is not the Cat in the Hat.

October 8, 2010


Sammy in the paint tray, tonight. (Click on photo for a close-up.)



Pardon my interrupting “The Mouser Transition” posts, but, Sammy in the paint tray is what I found when I got home tonight. Since Sammy is part of Mouser’s transition to our home, and since I’ve been writing about our painting our house, this photo fits right in…right?!

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

The Mouser Transition — Part I

October 7, 2010

For the past two or three years, until Daddy (Deane Gunderson) passed away on July 1st, 2010, Mouser had been Daddy’s adopted cat. Bill and I are fortunate (right, Bill???!) to now have Mouser living with us…and Sammy and Miss Kitty.

Until Daddy fell on May 4th of this year, Mouser and Daddy would, together, make a trip to and from the mailbox…every day.

More about Mouser is in this post. Another photo of Daddy and Mouser is in this post.


True to his twinkle-eyed personality, it was Daddy's idea to have me take this photo for his 2009 Christmas cards. I didn't think of it until now, that Mouser fits right in with the ISU color scheme: ISU mailbox, ISU logo on Daddy's jacket, ISU bolo tie, and...golden cat. (Photo taken in October or more likely November 2009.)



April 22, 2010



April 22, 2010



April 22, 2010


The last three photos don’t do justice to Daddy’s engineering and by-example teaching, intellect, humor, and generosity. But, they are what they are; they illustrate companionship and the bond between Mouser and Daddy.

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For the next week or so, and maybe frequently until mid-November, the posts might be more fluff oriented than informational. I’ve got to get more house painting done, I want to play some, and I’ve got to get organized for the November (11th, 13th, and 14th) open house.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Q. How can I get out of washing my paint roller and brush each time I use them?

October 5, 2010


A. At the end of the painting session, while the paint is still freshly wet on the roller or brush, place the roller (pad and all) or the brush in a plastic bag. A Ziploc-type bag works well, or even a flimsy plastic shopping bag. Then put the bagged item in the freezer. (It also works to wrap the brush in foil and put it in the freezer.) When you are ready for your next painting session, take the roller or brush out of the freezer. Let it thaw. Then, paint away!

This advice was offered to us from the owner of Perry (Iowa) Paint & Design. Why we never learned this from a paint store before, or from our own common sense, I don’t know. But, it sure is saving us a lot of time. We have primed and then painted our house with one coat of paint. We have one coat left to go. I like to paint a few hours here and a few hours there. The freezing of the rollers and brushes, and not having to clean them all the time, takes the drudgery out of painting (almost!).

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Need Fantasy Football Predictions? Today’s NY Times says my nephew offers the best!

October 1, 2010

Except that I know people draft certain players based upon the drafters’ predictions, I basically know nothing about fantasy football.

About the closest I’ve come to involvement with football was being a baton twirler* at Rolfe High School football game halftimes. I dropped my baton a lot, but Mother — Marion Gunderson — was always just past the sidelines with a beaming smile, encouraging me to exhibit the same.


Josh Moore

BUT….. (drumroll) today’s New York Times announced that, based on the first three weeks of the season, my nephew, Josh Moore, (Peggy’s older son) is the “Most Accurate Fantasy Expert.” This is based on tracking the accuracy results of 39 fantasy experts, which equates to about 200,000 predictions. (See article link, below.)

Josh’s fantasy football (subscription) site is here:

Facebook (free):

Twitter (free):

The New York Times article is here:

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*This fall-1970 photo (immediately below) is of the Rolfe High School marching band when I was a sophomore. The photo is from the 1971 The Ram yearbook. Click once on the photo to enlarge the detail; click twice to enlarge it a lot.


(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)