Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seems Like Just Yesterday

Steele Prairie Dawn

I remember the day we first moved in at Prairie Hill Farm in October. I remember walking down the gravel road on a break from remodeling inside the house, looking at the valley and the colors...thinking "this is the most beautiful place!". Aside from a couple early snowfalls the first week in October and a bad band of hail passing through (which totaled many bean fields) it was Indian Summer-like weather.

We had our first introduction to Asian Lady Bird Beetles that October. I remember framing in a new window in the kitchen...I was outside on the ladder trimming it out after we inserted it. I was covered in "lady bugs" and even had to take my shirt off and shake it out; was a very weird first time experience with these crazy bugs! Later we were scooping "drifts" of these bugs out of our buildings...this is no exaggeration, there was 10-12 inch drifts against the east walls of the future studio building.

It's been seven years now and seems like just yesterday, how can time pass by so quickly? I relived the beginnings here again recently through Woodlands & Prairies magazine. The magazine ran a really nice article on Georgie and I, our work here and my photography and artwork depicting the Tallgrass Prairie.

I've mentioned Woodlands & Prairies magazine before in this blog, it is a wonderful place to find like minded folks out there, fighting the same battle! I'd wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in passing their natural heritage on to future generations!

Woodlands & Prairies magazine isn't normally what I'd consider an "art" publication, but publisher Rollie Henkes has run features of other artists in past issues that related their work to the environment in which they work or lived.

The last issue had an article of Harvey Dunn, that great pioneer born artist of the South Dakota prairie...that issue's center peice was "The Prairie Is My Garden", a painting I've marveled at for as long as I can remember...a very emotive painting of a pioneer mother and her children, and the amazing expanse of the prairie before we nearly blotted it from the continent.

Another issue, the Winter '07 issue, had a nice article on a landscape photographer from
Illinois. A husband and wife that ran a unique lumber business together. Michael Johnson, though, is also a true artist with his 5X7 view Camera.

And each issue also runs work by good friend Carl Kurtz. Carl writes and illustrates the "Naturalist's Notebook" articles...Carl's photographs have been awing and educating Iowans since the '70's. Carl's work in prairie preservation and restoration/reconstruction have influenced myself and others far and wide.

Rollie ran my Steele Prairie Dawn image for the center two page spread of the Fall 2009 issue and wove his article on us and Prairie Hill Farm Studio and Prairie both before and after the centerpiece. A humbling piece for me to read...who is this guy!! (ha!)

Thank you Rollie and thank you to Rollie's readers who've made mention of the article to me the past couple days.

You can get back issues and subscribe to Woodlands & Prairies magazine by going to the web site at

Ya, it brings back lots of memories...seems like just yesterday.

No comments: