Blue Winter Skies in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

23 Feb

As winter inches toward spring in Siouxland, or at least it feels that way, nature occasionally teases us with what looks like a nice day. Sunshine, blue sky and only a little snow.

A wintry blue sky day with chilly temperatures at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But looks can be deceiving. And on a walk out at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve I was heartened by a flock of geese flying overhead. There appeared to be too many for it to be a local grouping. And then later I saw more. If our fine feathered friends are on the move, I can only hope that winter is as well and these trails and grasslands will be greening up and moving into that next cycle of life.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sign of geese flying over the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD may be a sign that spring is nearing, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wintry blue sky day at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visual Contrasts in Siouxland, rural Plymouth and Woodbury

21 Feb

Getting out and about reasonably well during the winter months in Siouxland can sometimes be problematic, especially if one ventures onto the gravel roads. Getting stuck in a town leaves a person options, getting stuck in the country one has fewer options. But I noted the contrast of seasons and enjoy the visual vistas I come across. Each season showcases its own unique qualities. This particular winter I have not been out in freezing temperatures to photograph any sunsets. As I get older, the desire is strong but the flesh is weak. But I enjoy the contrast  that reinforces the thought that to see one has to get out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Horses in a field off of County Rd. C-12 in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, Tuesday, August 11, 2015. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Cattle looking for a meal in a snowy field in winter in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Absent Sunlight in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

19 Feb

This particular Siouxland winter season seems to have brought a lot of cloudy or overcast, snowy days. The clouds are a bonus in that they help retain whatever heat is available, and this winter that seems to be in short supply with many days in the teens, single digits and a couple week stretch of below zero temperatures. Even colder when the windchill is factored in.

Shadows help create angles and lines in downtownYankton, SD Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So it was nice to see some sunshine reappear and I took the opportunity to visit Yankton, SD and eat at a favorite restaurant. I was missing photographing lights and shadows. Not all images work equally well but are fun to explore and nice to walk about enjoying warmer temps knowing that spring is approaching, not maybe not fast enough for some of us.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A shadow of a tree creates patterns on a church in Yankton, SD Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shadows help create patterns in a neighborhood in Yankton, SD Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Lingering Siouxland Christmas, Sioux City

17 Feb

While out for a walk recently during a snow fall I saw a neighbor still had some Christmas lights up. People in Siouxland like their holidays. Many decorate their homes around a holiday theme with some already putting up red stringed lights for Valentines Day. But I was glad to see these Christmas lights as I neared home. Reminding me of the season and the phrase of “leaving a light on in the window” so as to guide a traveler to a destination. And to add a little light to a somewhat dreary day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Even though it’s after Christmas, some neighbors have left a few outdoor lights up and it adds a nice ambience while walking around the neighborhood in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting the Siouxland Countryside in Winter, Woodbury County

15 Feb

While out driving around in Siouxland between snow falls, I came across what I thought appropriately might be considered country art with a little help from nature and neglect from man. It is said that art is in the eye of the beholder, and seeing these round hay bales in a snow covered field gave me pause.

Round hay bales add a decorative touch to a snowy field in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Their horizontal lines intersecting with the vertical lines of the corn stalk remnants left over from fall harvest.

And then seeing an abandoned farmhouse sitting in a field. Its desolation in such a dreary setting reminding of how many of the pioneers who moved to this Siouxland region in the middle and later 1850’s must have felt like as they each began a new chapter in their life. Looking for a new start, a better life, yet enduring hardships that we today may not understand. People tend to be a sociable lot, and winter during those days may have been a long two or three months to endure. Just as sometimes today the overcast grey days makes one wish for spring and summer and to see life begin anew, again.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An abandoned house in a snowy landscape adds a bleak feel of winter in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring Siouxland in Winter, downtown Sioux City

13 Feb

After being snowbound and wanting to avoid below freezing temperatures, I finally exited my home to explore a bit of Siouxland via downtown Sioux City. Previously I had been out for a walk when temperatures were milder and the temps in a reasonable 30 degree range. And it was nice to look at some sculpted art pieces that sit next to the Sioux City Art Center.

Two sculpted art pieces sit outside the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A sculpted piece of art sits outside the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

But this last walk downtown was after a 12 inch snowfall and temperatures that again reached into the teens with overnights near or below zero. A blue, sunny sky added to the Art Center’s sculptures that sit on its grounds. On the overcast day which I later chose to walk about downtown enhanced these less colorful pieces of art that adorn the downtown streets. And in a way the colorless sky and overcast added to the effect of these pieces by helping declutter the background for the most part and let the pieces stand alone to be admired.

jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Getting around in Siouxland’s countryside, Woodbury County

11 Feb

It’s not only people living in small and large towns that need access to life during the winter month’s in Siouxland. Primarily a rural state with a few large communities, people living in the country need to get to work and shop for groceries and generally get out themselves during the winter months.

A look at winter on a country road in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While taking a drive recently I saw the county tax dollars at work. Rural areas don’t generally employ snow plows to clear the backroads and make it possible for residents to move about. Road maintenance in the country is a little different, and I don’t know if I would have tried this after a recent heavy snowfall. But growing up in the country, one can appreciate these individuals who help keep traffic flowing in the less populated areas and make life just a little easier.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A country road winter snowplow, a grader, in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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