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Enjoying a Cool Misty Morning in Siouxland, rural Nebraska, Winnebago, NE

23 Nov
A misty fall morning in rural Nebraska near Winnebago, NE Monday Oct. 25, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some times the prospect of waking up early to get somewhere before the sun actually peeks over the horizon seems a difficult task. It’s not always a long drive to reach someplace in Siouxland, but I find jump starting my “get off my ass and go” engine takes a bit of effort. But when I get somewhere, I am most certainly glad I got up and explored the destination, enjoying the light play that an early morning sun will sometimes create.

A misty fall morning in rural Nebraska near Winnebago, NE Monday Oct. 25, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A misty fall morning in rural Nebraska near Winnebago, NE Monday Oct. 25, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Add a little cool overnight temperatures and as the sun warms up the earth magical things happen as the light plays with the mist that is created. I don’t always avail myself of every opportunity I might have in photographing light play. And sometimes I know I am just being lazy. But these days I don’t mind. I will enjoy what I see and the moment and only hope there may be more sometime down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A misty fall morning in rural Nebraska near Winnebago, NE Monday Oct. 25, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A misty fall morning in rural Nebraska near Winnebago, NE Monday Oct. 25, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Waning Days of Fall in Siouxland, rural Monona and Woodbury Counties

15 Nov
Cattle graze in a field under colorful fall foliage outside Smithland, Iowa in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With the first winter snow and possible snow to begin creeping into the area accompanied by high winds, I don’t expect many of the leaves and any fall color to be seen in a few days. Driving about Siouxland the last couple of weeks I have felt lucky to see find spots of changing fall foliage and the chance to take a few images. Like many folk, I enjoy fall and it was one of the reasons for returning to the Midwest after having worked and lived in other parts of the U.S. Winter will come, but it will also pass. One only hoped it passes sooner that later. Mild winters are nice, if temps remain in the 20’s and 30’s without below freezing wind gusts and sustained cold spells. Being out on days like that is not so enjoyable even if one likes winter.

An iron trestle bridge frames a gravel road as some fall color is seen in a yet to be harvested corn field in rural Monona County, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Country backroads and changing autumnal colors in rural Monona County, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Driving about the backroads and country roads are a joy to me. Have always been. No matter where I lived I always seemed to find country roads to drive about on and a chance to get away from the noise that sometimes daily life brings. These days maybe a little more jazz than classical music on the car radio that gives my mind a chance to wander as I drive around and just look, not really knowing what to expect over the next hill or around the next bend. Small surprises and joy when an image pops up and I am there to record it. Most times, if ever, award winning, but satisfying none the less and pleasing to me. Sometimes simple joys are the best.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Trees with colorful foliage near a harvested soybean field in rural Monona County, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Red in Siouxland, Badger Lake, rural Monona County

13 Nov
The sun rises over Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one needs to make an effort to enjoy the day in Siouxland, like getting up early and staying motivated beyond a cup of coffee to see the sun rise. At least in the fall sunrise is closer to a “normal” hour that say 5 or 5:30 am. But still, the scene, the quiet, although I was disappointed in few critters around the lake, the morning was pleasant. Not cold, mild chilly and a nice way to start the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sun rises behind some grasses at Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sunrise lights up plants surrounding Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Experiencing History Up Close, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Exhibition, Omaha, NE

3 Nov
Attendees wander about looking at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition on opening night featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what history was like in a place, notwithstanding somewhere hundreds of miles away from Siouxland. Even with movie “reenactments” to help provide a clearer visual cue, I find it difficult. And then there is the issue of traveling to view historical sites, even pre-pandemic, it wasn’t always possible. And it seems some folk also thought that, after having experienced the real deal and had the wherewithal to make it possible for the masses to encounter something one has seen in books, online and museums. Of course there is a buck to be made, but considering the cost for an individual or family to travel to see a place and yes enjoy all the other accoutrements associated with visiting a place, the chance to view up close and personal the works of Michelangelo’s at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is pretty amazing.

A woman listens to audio commentary about the Prophet Isaiah fresco at the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Attractions, which produced Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, gestures as he talks about the exhibit with local media now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Three women view the overhead installation of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One can sit and view the frescoes that Michelangelo created so many centuries ago. Audio devices when swiped near an icon plays recorded pieces that talk about each specific fresco and its historical meaning vis a vis the Bible. I attended during an opening photographing for a media outlet and didn’t have the chance to really sit and take in all of the amazing work to be seen. Each piece is life sized and one can sit or stand and marvel at what was created from the mind of many historians who think the artist a genius.

An attendee activates his audio device to listen to the story behind a particular fresco of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Peole view the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibit featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A couple sits in front of the Last Judgement talking about the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel on opening night now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I do plan to return to Omaha to see this exhibit on display not too far from the Old Market. Just to marvel at the work someone spent so much of a lifetime to create and to understand a bit more. While maybe I won’t get to wander about the Vatican, which probably wouldn’t happen anyway, or taste the local cuisine in Rome, it will be nice to get lost in art for a while and imagine what it must have been like or to even comprehend what was being created and to see it happening in real time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Attendees walk about viewing Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition on the opening day featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Attractions, which produced Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibit featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, talks about the exhibit with local now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Musicians perform in front of The Creation of Adam one of the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition frescoes featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Performance artist Sarah Jensen creates a canvas piece using acrylic paint about the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A couple talks in front of the David and Goliath fresco of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Light in Siouxland, Latham Park, Sioux City

20 Oct
Various plants decorate Latham Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, August 29, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when out roaming about Siouxland I just enjoy seeing the light. How it interacts with various subjects and and the surrounding environ. No agenda in photographing anything specific, just “seeing the light”. Life should sometimes be so simple. And the fleeting months of fall I find the light bright, but not over powering because of the angle of the sun and its intense, but still muted. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to some people I talk with, but after a while, if one watches and looks and sees, it eventually becomes clearer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Sunlight backlights a plant and details its vein structure seen at Latham Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, August 29, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Clowning Around,Again, in Siouxland, Midwest Regional Shriners Convention, Sioux City

23 Aug
Putting their best foot forward, clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Every few years there is Shriners convention that takes place in Siouxland, Sioux City to be specific, with the Abu Bekr Shrine Center here hosting. One of the events open to the public is a competition of Shriner Clowns from this region that includes, Iowa, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota. Minnesota and Michigan. These folk get together, share their craft, and work to improve upon it as the majority of their time is spent in Shriner hospitals interacting with children undergoing medical treatment.

Clowns competing from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers that include Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota get competition details during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Kelly Houts “Whoops” of the Abu Bekr Shrine Center in Sioux City is still competing at 92 years old as he and other clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Taking an opportunity to fill in for the judges, from left Larry Rode “Ziggy” of Bloomington, MN and the Zuhra Shine Center, Randy Johnston “Clifford” of Eau Claire, WI and the Zor Shrine Center, center and Ray Leeman “Micestro” of Deadwood, SD and the Naja Shrine Center as they and other clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The clowns are judged by other clowns, or rather, members of a Shrine center outside of the region. They are judged on their costuming and then on short skits, never longer than 3 minutes, and sometimes as short as the time it takes to walk onto the “stage’ and off again, as one clown did during this contest. And the skits are quite silly. But to a sick child, am certain they each brings smiles and a relief, however brief, from whatever pain or emotional distress they and their family is going through. And these gentlemen seem to relish every bit of being the “class clown” and performing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Jay Pifer, “Poppy” , of the Sioux Falls, SD El Riad Shrine Center performs his skit during the clown competition at the Midwest Shrine Association 2021. Pifer said he likes to compete to learn to improve his “clowning” so when he entertains sick children at Shriner Hospitals he is better able to help them forget any pain during their brief encounters. Clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which include Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota attended at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Josh Shepperd “Gadget” of Sioux Falls, SD and the El Riad Shrine Center listens to instructions from judges as clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sue Berry wears a tee shirt showing support for her father, Kelly Houts as clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers that include Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Kelly Houts “Whoops” of the Abu Bekr Shrine Center in Sioux City is still competing at 92 years old as he and other clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Randy Johnston, “Clifford” of Eau Claire, WI and the Mehara Shrine Center performs his skit during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. Clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers that include Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota attended to compete (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Ray Leeman “Micestro” of Deadwood, SD and the Naja Shrine Center listens to instructions from judges as clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Josh Shepperd “Gadget” of Sioux Falls, SD and the El Riad Shrine Center listens to instructions from judges as clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sisters Mary Backlund, left, Patty Houts and Sue Berry make a face as they register clowns from 14 different Midwest regional Shrine centers which include Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota to compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Ray Leeman “Micestro” of Deadwood, SD and the Naja Shrine Center performs his music skit as he and clowns from 14 Midwest regional Shrine centers which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota compete during the Midwest Shrine Association 2021 clown competition at the Southern Hills Mall common court in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Fireworks Fail in Siouxland, Sac City

21 Aug
An experiment in creating an image with the Olympus camera system in downtown Sac City, Iowa Saturday, July 31, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I think I have seen it written that photography, like a lot of mediums, is part science and part art. One has more strict parameters the other more nuance in achieving results. And the author John Steinbeck put it succinctly, “The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry.”

So it did one evening in Siouxland as I and a friend set out to photograph fireworks in Sac City at the Sac County fair’s last night. The weather was not extremely hot with a light breeze. We arrived early and scouted the fairground where the fireworks would be set off and then found a rise just outside of the downtown area that might provide a nice foreground with the fireworks exploding overhead.

Downtown Sac City, Iowa Saturday, July 31, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
An attempt in photographing fireworks on the last night of the Sac County fair in Sac City, Iowa Saturday, July 31, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
An attempt in photographing fireworks on the last night of the Sac County fair in Sac City, Iowa Saturday, July 31, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But sometimes one’s plans just don’t work out. The fairgrounds seem to sit in a bit of a valley and area behind it and downtown is on a bit of a rise. So when the fireworks began, one could hear the booms and see some white drifting up, but no light from the explosions. After waiting 1.5 hours for this moment, I realized from our position we weren’t going to see the fireworks. So picking up camera and tripod and hustling a couple of blocks I was able to capture some of the night sky explosions and also understand the camera program I was trying for the first time. But I didn’t really capture or photograph any of what I thought might be a dynamic image.

As has been said, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Sigh. Next year?

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An attempt in photographing fireworks on the last night of the Sac County fair in Sac City, Iowa Saturday, July 31, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
An attempt in photographing fireworks on the last night of the Sac County fair in Sac City, Iowa Saturday, July 31, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One Community’s 155 years of a Continuous celebration in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

9 Aug
Tribal members line up in their regalia as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. The pow wow honors the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Women wear different styles of regalia as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Young children learn by doing with their drumming fathers during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska held its 155th Pow Wow celebration recently at its Veterans Memorial Park pow wow grounds. As many tribes around the country do, the pow wow is a community celebration of the tribe’s history and its former (passed away) and current members. Processions, singing and dancing are a large part of the celebration seen by visitors. The other part not often seen or noticed unless one listens to announcer’s comments is the fact that so many various tribal and clan members renew acquaintances and friendships they have with one another at these celebrations.

The Winnebago Tribe’s pow wow honors the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66 working out of Fort Omaha. The tribe’s home is land the purchased from the Omaha Tribe nearly 200 years ago after being forced by the “benevolent white man” from their ancestral home that is the state of Wisconsin. The tribe celebrates the safe return of its warriors from battle. Even in the present day many of the tribe’s members have served and are serving in various branches of the U.S. military.

It is a time for them to embrace their culture, share that culture with visitors and teach that culture to their children. And for a couple days, like others who celebrate various holidays, tune out the outside world and enjoy themselves and what the celebration means to them.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A tribal veteran raises one of the many flag members’ families provide for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans raise the many flag members’ families provide for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans of different U.S. military branches retire the colors for the day during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans of different U.S. military branches retire the colors for the day during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans, many serving in different branches of the U.S. military retire the colors for the day as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A proud father with his daughter at the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A young dances as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Children dance as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Various tribal and clan members dance as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A young girl plays with her father’s beads on a hot day as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
An older tribal member tries teaching dance steps to a younger member during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Sometimes dance lessons don’t always go the way intended as an older tribal member tries teaching dance steps to a younger member during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Children join the circle as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Making Photo Choices in Siouxland, Sioux City

18 Jul
A speckled wood butterfly suns itself on an umbrella in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even when “visitors” drop by in Siouxland for a visit, I find it a challenge to photograph them, especially when they are a little “flighty”. A butterfly visited a backyard earlier this summer and just when I saw it, it would leave, or move somewhere I couldn’t see it. I first noticed the little creature while reading and looking up for a moment.

A speckled wood butterfly suns itself on an umbrella in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I retrieved a camera and waited, but the little guy didn’t show up and so continued reading. Then by chance casting a glance up and the creature reappeared. The choice is whether to photograph the creature’s shadow only, or show more of the actual little guy. And then decide how as it came changing positions which created different backgrounds.

A speckled wood butterfly suns itself on an umbrella in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A speckled wood butterfly suns itself on an umbrella in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Of course what is seen is just the butterfly without any context. And sometimes that helps put things in perspective. And it all depends on one’s only aesthetics or tastes. Too little salt, not enough pepper? Maybe some cumin.

And then be happy with however the results turn out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A speckled wood butterfly suns itself on an umbrella in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A speckled wood butterfly suns itself on an umbrella in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Memorial Day in Siouxland, Le Mars

12 Jun
DAVE OTT, foreground, and other American Legion Wasmer Post 241 Honor Guard members fire a 21 gun salute as area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A member of the Armed Forces salutes during the presentation of the Colors as he and area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a number of places one can celebrate Memorial Day in Siouxland, remembering those who have and are serving along with loved ones who have passed on to a better place.

I always enjoy the ceremony in Le Mars, where this year another 40 some flags were added to the Avenue of Flags that dot the Plymouth County Courthouse lawn and this year the boulevards across the street. At one point in the program all of the names belonging to those flags that family members have donated are read. This year that number totaled over 1,400 names.

Dennis Britt’s wife, Joyce, and family donated a flag in his honor at the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
ROCKY BUNJES, of Le Mars, IA, and American Legion Wasmer Post 241 member served in the Army during the Vietnam war. Area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Dog tags hang from each flag as area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Not as many people attended this year as I have seen in the past. That is understandable. There is still residual dealings with the ongoing pandemic, while circumstances are getting better, a success over this health issue doesn’t seem to be here yet. But those that did attend found a nice day, with moderate temperature and light breeze that made celebrating a bit more joyous that a rainy, overcast and more somber type of day.

Family members and area residents attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Flags flutter from a breeze as area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Next yearI will probably visit another community during its remembrance. Sad in a way that so many remembrances are held, but good that people take the time out of a “holiday” to remember those who served their country and embraced a challenge when one arose.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

ISAAC JOHNSON of Le Mars, IA, reads a dog tag looking for the flag of his grandfather Jerry Johnson as he and other area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Area residents and community members attend the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars, Iowa Monday, May 31, 2021 hosted by the city of Le Mars and American Legion Wasmer Post 241. There are currently 1,428 flags posted for the day of celebration and remembrance, all donated by family members of those area and local residents who served in the armed forces, living and deceased. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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