Archive for November, 2011

Steam Fog Over West Okoboji Lake

November 19, 2011

Today I saw steam fog over West Lake Okoboji. According to this web site, “Steam fog forms when cold air moves over warm water. When the cool air mixes with the warm moist air over the water, the moist air cools until its humidity reaches 100% and fog forms. This type of fog takes on the appearance of wisps of smoke rising off the surface of the water.”

This was a view today of Browns Bay at Lake West Okoboji. Brrrrr!

The view from Browns Bay, West Lake Okoboji, looking to the northwest. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


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


Art On the Prairie + Marion Gunderson’s Watercolors = More $ for the Rolfe Public Library

November 16, 2011

Last weekend I was a vendor at Art On the Prairie in Perry. While “vendor” sounds so impersonal, the (in my opinion) luscious aspect of the weekend was attendees viewed nine framed watercolors of Mother’s. (Actually two were prints.) And, I sold prints of Mother’s watercolors…over $600-worth to help out the Rolfe Public Library (Trust) where Mother worked for 35 years. That means, to date, more than $4,000 has been raised for the Rolfe Public Library Trust as a result of Mother’s watercolors.

As my Great-Aunt Ruth always used to say, “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!”

Thank you to those who are supportive of this venture. If you are interested in seeing what prints are available, you may see them (and order) at this site. As of right now, there aren’t any prints at the Rolfe Public Library or Wild Faces Gallery in Rolfe because I have all of them. I’ll get prints there within the next week or two. The library and gallery usually have one size of each image. I typically have the largest inventory, trying to have on hand one of every size of every image (watercolor).

To avoid ordering online, I can be reached via email.

In preparation for Art On the Prairie, I neglected a bunch of to-do list items and will be playing catch-up. I’ll soon get back to posting somewhat routinely.

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

Pirouette in a John Deere Combine

November 9, 2011

Ever since the fall harvest of 2010, I’ve wanted to take one swoop of video of the four grain elevators visible from Section 24, Roosevelt Township, Pocahontas County in northwest Iowa.

CLICK on this map TO ENLARGE it. This map shows the location of the combine from which the video (below) was taken and the four grain elevators: Gilmore City, Rolfe, Havelock and Pocahontas. It also shows where I was raised, where my dad was born, and where he was raised.


On October 5, 2011, during soybean harvest, Dan Allen let me catch that video from inside his and his brother Roger’s combine. The day was quite windy and dusty. Otherwise I might have taken the video from outside of the combine cab. The quality of the video (below) is lousy and I learned to use different camera equipment if there is a “next time.” Still, I’m pleased I got all four grain elevators in this order: Gilmore City, Rolfe, Havelock and Pocahontas. The Rolfe and Pocahontas grain elevators are easy to see…Havelock not so easy. And, you might have to watch the first 20 seconds of the video two or three times to catch the grain elevator in Gilmore City.

To catch them all (anyway if your eyesight is like mine), play the video in full-screen mode. If you pause the video at about 12 seconds from the start, you’ll see on the horizon at the far right one large grouping of trees. To the left of that grouping is another large grouping of trees. There’s a little fuzzy area of whitish mass above that second grouping of trees. That is the Gilmore City grain elevator.

At about the 1:04 point, the Havelock grain elevator is pretty faint whitish/grayish on the horizon somewhat near the right edge of the video.

I’m thankful to Dan and Roger for humoring me by allowing me this (as Roger called it) “pirouette” in the combine. Next year during corn harvest I’ll try for better footage.

Remember…full-screen mode to catch all four elevators.


Mother painted grain elevators in three of these towns: Gilmore City, Rolfe and Pocahontas. The Gilmore City and Pocahontas grain elevators still stand. The Rolfe grain elevator in Mother’s watercolor was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1969.


"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951. 17.25" W x 13.25" H limited edition prints are available, $35.


Pocahontas Grain Elevator II Prints are available in three sizes: Small (Limited Edition, ~10" W x ~12.3" H, $25), Grand (~ 17.9" W x 22" H, $50) and Largest ($70).


Rolfe grain elevator watercolor by Marion Gunderson, circa 1950. In 1969 this grain elevator was destroyed by fire.


The originals of these three grain elevator paintings will be on display at Art On the Prairie in Perry, Iowa, this weekend, November 12 and 13, 2011. Prints will also be available, with all profits going to the Rolfe Public Library.

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

This weekend I’ll be at Art On the Prairie at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.

November 7, 2011

Click on this postcard image to enlarge it.


This weekend is Art On the Prairie in Perry, Iowa. At the Hotel Pattee (one of the venues), I’ll showcase several of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) original watercolors. I’ll also have available prints of 30 of her watercolors. The pricing of the prints is very affordable: from $15 to $70.

In total there will be approximately 50 artists showcasing/selling their work in five venues; musicians and poets will provide entertainment.

On both days (Saturday and Sunday) the event starts at 10:00 AM. On Saturday it runs until 6:00 PM; on Sunday until 4:00 PM.

I will be located in the Nicollet Room on the lower level of the Hotel Pattee. This room is on the same level as the hotel’s bowling alley.

If you attend Art On the Prairie and come to the Nicollet Room, mention that you saw this blog post and you’ll receive a free note card (while supplies last).

ALL PROFITS from prints of Mother’s paintings GO to the ROLFE PUBLIC LIBRARY where Mother worked for 35 years. To date, over $3,500 has been given to the library as a result of the prints.

If you are curious as to what prints are available, you may view the images here. I will also have some matted prints available this weekend.

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

Wind Energy (and — unrelated — I’d love to see you in central Iowa Nov. 12 or 13)

November 2, 2011

A new wind farm (or else an extension of an existing wind farm) is going up about five or six miles north of Manson, Iowa. These photos were taken today on-the-go. Nevertheless, they show the massive size of the windmills, especially when compared to the size of the trucks in the second photo.

As the first windmills were constructed in northwest Iowa, I thought they were fascinating and beautiful and I liked the concept. Now there are so many that I look forward to the expanses of horizon where no windmills exist.

Click here for the “Wind Industry Progress”  by Iowa county as of March 31, 2010.

Shown below are two separate windmills at different stages of construction. Clicking on the images will enlarge them. Twice enlarges even more.



When I look from the road at operating windmills, the blades seem so small and fluid. In this second photo, compared to the size of the trucks, the blades look ENORMOUS.

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On Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13, I will be exhibiting originals of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors, and selling prints of them at Art On the Prairie in Perry, Iowa. My location will be on the lower level of the Historic Hotel Pattee. Even if you are not interested in prints, if you are at the event, I hope you’ll come to my location. I will be by myself on the lower level (near the bowling alley in the “basement” of the hotel) and really, really, really hope there will be people coming in at least to chat.

In addition to about 50 art vendors, there will be musicians, poets and storytellers for youth (of all ages?!). I attended last year as a patron. It really is a classy event to kick off the holiday season.

So far over $3,500 (from sales of prints of Mother’s work) has been given to the Rolfe Public Library where Mother worked for 35 years.

From now until the event I’ll be posting mostly regarding the Nov. 11, 12 and 13 event.

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