Light Play in Siouxland and the Loess Hills, Monona County

23 Sep

I like driving around the backroads or county gravel roads in Siouxland. Better when it has not recently rained. Nothing like getting stuck to make one appreciate cement roadways. But it’s the backroads where one can find some nice images as you meander around.

Fast moving clouds play and hide and seek with the sun and ground below them in the Loess Hills in Monona County, Iowa Tuesday August 29, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In the Loess Hills in Monona County I keep switch back driving these roads and find myself driving through natural or agricultural settings. It’s especially fun after a recent storm or change in weather when the clouds fill the sky. As they move about they create a lot of light play on the ground and finding oneself in the right place at the right time can create nice images. But, one also has to be patient and wait for the clouds to pass below the sun. And at times it feels like forever.

But it really is worth it and then comes trying to decide which images best describe the scene one photographs. And how the light plays on the ground and what visually is appealing to you. That can be tough, but well worth the time spent enjoying the day, nature and seeing what scenes God displays for you.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Small town Siouxland fairs, Marcus

21 Sep

In August I spent part of a day at a small community fair in Marcus, Iowa. The community has about 1,000 residents give or take. But it prides itself on providing this summer time venue along with a parade that runs through the downtown area of the community.

A bright sunny day for the Marcus Community Fair in Marcus, Iowa Saturday Aug. 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Emergency vehicles and local school students are part of the Marcus Community Fair parade in Marcus, Iowa Saturday Aug. 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Residents, present and former come out to enjoy the day and spend time with family and friends. I missed the earlier activities involving 4-H and the showing and exhibiting of animals and crafts. Fairs in small towns these days seem a lot smaller to me now that I am older than when I was a kid. Remembering trying not to get lost at the fairgrounds my parents took us and during the 4-H events that were held there.

It’s just time nicely spent. No hurry and enjoying the memories from my youth and seeing others enjoy their day and making memories as well.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Summer Fading in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

19 Sep

Summer has faded in Siouxland, with days growing shorter and the feel of fall creeping in. On a visit to the Iowa Lakes Region during the week, it became evident that fewer people were rummaging about and those there were enjoying those fading remnants of summer. Especially on a lake where everything revolves around the water.

The summer livin’ is easy in Arnolds Park, Iowa August 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer boating in Arnolds Park, Iowa August 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As the fall’s crisp days and colder evenings begin to settle into the area, people can wistfully think about the languorous summer days and how they spent them and dream of the following year and what adventures might await them for their next trip to the lakes enjoying the moment away from cares and daydreaming of those summer days as children.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the waning days of summer in Arnolds Park, Iowa August 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lawn chairs on a dock in Arnolds Park, Iowa August 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating History in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

17 Sep

As I mentioned previously a number of communities have community celebrations toward the end of summer which then leads them into the fall season. Yankton, SD recently celebrated its Riverboat Days with a parade and art fair.

Color guard at the Riverboat Days parade in Yankton, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Like most parades everything was patriotic. Flags were flying everywhere and for this particular parade I focused my photography on that aspect of it.

Antique cars drive through the Riverboat Days parade in Yankton, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is nothing wrong in showing one’s allegiance through flying your country’s flag. I found it interesting how some parade participants accomplished that. It challenges one to carry a theme through a shoot sometimes, although I may have broken that theme by including a band’s cheer squad’s flags, but sometimes a little contrast is needed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Visiting Old Market south of Siouxland, Omaha, NE

15 Sep

While recently visiting the riverfront in Omaha, NE and obtaining a senior’s national park pass from a park service office there, I ventured down into what is referred to as Old Market.

Parts of the “newer” downtown area can be seen beyond the Old Market area in Omaha, NE August 24, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a few communities in Siouxland trying to replicate this “urbanization” of older downtown quarters, giving facelifts and creating a revitalization of unused spaces. But Omaha is a larger community and has a regional draw and the ability to support the restaurants, breweries and “hip” shopping venues and art galleries located in Old Market. Looking at some of the construction underway and some that has been completed, one could almost believe you find yourself someplace in Brooklyn, rather than just outside the actual downtown area of Omaha.

Apartments above and shops below give a feel of area around New York City in the Old Market area in Omaha, NE August 24, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The nice attraction I found is that this area was only 8 blocks from the riverfront area I visited to get my parks’ pass and then there are a couple of museums within a few blocks of Old Market. On a sunny day with a bit of a breeze and a nice walk that gets the hunger pangs going, it was nice to venture around, check out some art and shops and then have a tough time deciding on a place to eat and maybe have a beer and just relax feeling the “aura” of a large city but enjoying more small town ambience.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the Light in Siouxland, Sioux City

13 Sep

I attended a community gathering near where I live at a place called Peters Park. When Sioux City was first established in the late 1800’s the park was an actual park with grass and trees and a place for residents to stroll. A trolley car even ran from the Morningside area to downtown Sioux City. But that was another century or two ago and for the most part forgotten history. But businesses in the vicinity of the park, now parking lot next to a city library branch, hosted a little meet.

Pinnacle bank offered a sandwich, chips and a drink to community member during a night out at Peters Park area in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday Sept. 5, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A local bank provided sandwiches and chip and drink while others provided DQ Dilly bars and soda and water and a local car club showed off some of its members’ rides. Classic cars some, others just gleaming with a great deal of care.

Classic cars had peoples’ attention during a night out at Peters Park area in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday Sept. 5, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

What I like about these events is the time of day and the light. Early evening, a strong summer light still and amazing colors of the various cars. I just find it a great combination and sometimes a challenge to really show off the subject matter in what most times might not be the most flattering light. So it puts one’s skills to the test and helps to make these beauties pop.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Last Summer Fling in Siouxland, Orange City

11 Sep

Recently the Siouxland community of Orange City hosted its last city-wide celebration for the summer, its Arts on Central street fair. A family event that drew out the many inner artists, adults and kids alike, as well as local college students and some others dressed as Disney Princes and Princesses.

Sarah Weber and daughter Emma leave their (chalk) mark on the street at the Arts on Central arts street fair in Orange City, Iowa August 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Princess from “Shrek” takes photos with some eager fans at the Arts on Central arts street fair in Orange City, Iowa August 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Local artists of all stripes presented some wares and bands performed as various venues around the downtown area. Orange City sponsors many events the middle of the week throughout the summer months as well as its annual Tulip Festival and this year it was the starting point for the RAGBRAI bike ride.

A music group sings acappella at the Arts on Central arts street fair in Orange City, Iowa August 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s nice that the community offers events for its residents to enjoy and equally nice that the residents take advantage of the events creating a special circle that hopefully will remain unbroken. It makes for a fun evening strolling the streets, talking with friends and enjoying the last fleeting days of summer before fall starts and eventually, winter.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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