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Enjoying Fall’s Light in Siouxland, Gull Point State Park

6 Dec

I love the play of light when I am out photographing in Siouxland and elsewhere. I don’t always capture what I see, but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the effects of light and shadow play or the interaction of color say between water and foliage. And then I try to amuse myself taking a self-portrait via a reflection and getting results that might be questionable but still fun nonetheless.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Woodlands near Gull Point State Park in Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A short pier at Gull Point State Park in Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Self-portrait at Gull Point State Park in Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Holiday Celebrations, Christmas too, in Siouxland, Adams Homestead

4 Dec

As the Christmas celebrations get geared up for surrounding communities and organizations it’s always fun to visit and see what if anything has changed from year to year. And it’s a nice break from the relentless political news that fortunately deserves to be covered but a break from is always good too.

The Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is always fun to attend as its outbuildings are open to explore and their are carolers and activities for kids and adults to enjoy.

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I personally like Christmas. The holiday and its sentimental depiction. When I lived in northern California and got the chance I would go into San Francisco to enjoy the ostentatious window displays that the large stores would put up. These days I enjoy a simpler look at Christmas decorations.

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And of course no Christmas celebration is complete for kids without a visit with a jolly old elf and a chance to drop a line asking for those soon to be opened gifts.

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And it’s a time for friends to get together and family to celebrate and create memories.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Photo Safari class at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Enjoying the Light in Siouxland, Woodbury County

30 Nov

The other day I saw part of a gorgeous sunset from my backyard. I only saw part of it because the sky is partially obscured by neighboring homes. The sky still had some clouds, blue sky and such the beginning hint of red. I really should have been out taking photographs. But I contented myself with just watching. With cooler temperatures I need to force myself outside nearer sunset to enjoy the sights of nature and God’s work. Beautiful etchings in the sky. And a moment of  quietude as night comes on.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Sun setting behind a cloud near Sergeant Bluff, Iowa off or County Road D45 Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Lights and Shadows in Siouxland plus effective composition, Omaha, NE

26 Nov

Sometimes when I am out and photographing I know I shoot too many images. It’s just easy to do with digital. In the film days I would shoot more judiciously because I didn’t want to process more than a couple rolls of film. Those days I primarily shot B&W. I would look a scene over and judge what I thought would give me the best result. Now, I shoot more liberally and decide when I look the pics on a large display monitor.

Fall color hangs on in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Do I like this crop, the tonality, the road veering away from the scene.

Fall colors hang on in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Or does this crop feel more intimate bringing the viewer into the image more quickly if at all. But then, I liked a third take.

Fall colors still appear in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And pretty soon I have a dozen photos or more as I make slight variations.

But there are other times when I see and know what I like, especially shooting lights and shadows. I like the ying and yang of the images and their overall feel. And it’s nice to have choices when creating images.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Afternoon sun creates a shadow in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A tree retains its fall leaves in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Outdoor Research in Siouxland, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

24 Nov

Sometimes as I travel about Siouxland I come across places that make me wonder what life may have been like had I chosen another path. Especially when I visit the Iowa Lakeside Laboratories in the Iowa Lakes Region which was created to study nature in nature as it is noted. I stopped by there this fall as the stone buildings built during the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corp sit atop a hill and gives a nice view of the surrounding area.

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The labs are dedicated to various types of studies under the auspices of the University of Iowa and was founded or received its impetus from a former professor.

A bench dedicated to a former Iowa State University professor, Dr. Lois Tiffany, sits on the grounds at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The grounds are well maintained and trails leads one in and around Little Miller’s Bay which the facility sits along and is open for research from those interested from a variety of places, high school and college students as well as instructors themselves looking to further their own knowledge or research. Aside from hot and muggy days, or colder  ones, the chance to explore and learn outdoors seems tempting. Communing with nature to me seems a great way to pass the time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A bench dedicated to a former Iowa State University professor, Dr. Lois Tiffany, sits on the grounds at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Color in Siouxland, Le Mars

16 Nov

As November begins and the cooler days increase I am trying to enjoy the remaining color I find as much as I can. The grey of winter will be here soon enough in Siouxland. There will be those glorious sunny blue sky days of December and other winter months, but it may also be 20 degrees out which puts a bit of chill on the enjoyment. So I look, admire, try to get creative with the color I see.

Fall colors at Westmar Park in Le Mars, Iowa Sunday Oct. 16, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Or simply record the scene as the days pass and get shorter, cooler and darker.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fall colors at Foster Park in Le Mars, Iowa Sunday Oct. 16, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fall colors at Westmar Park in Le Mars, Iowa Sunday Oct. 16, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In Remembrance in Siouxland, West Lake Okoboji

14 Nov

I find that history appears in all sorts of ways when I travel about Siouxland. I may not always grasp what it is behind the meaning, but sometimes one doesn’t really need to. Driving a number of backroads one will always find memorials to people who most probably died in a traffic accident along that stretch of highway. Off to the side of the road, in a ditch, or up a hillside is a small cross. It is a sad reminder of an event, but also dangerous in a way in that it could very well distract other drivers looking at it. And generally, there is no place to pull over to really look and spend some time.

I came across another memorial recently at West Lake Okobji in the community of Wahpeton.

A bench in honor of Beverly Zahrt Jeppeson gives visitors a view of West Lake Okoboji from Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This person may not have died under as tragic a circumstance as a road side remembrance. I don’t really know. But I found that the remembrance itself was carefully thought out and sharing something of this person who probably enjoyed this spot an entire lifetime.

A bench in honor of Beverly Zahrt Jeppeson gives visitors a view of West Lake Okoboji from Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A simple bench with a rather spectacular view probably encapsulates this woman’s lifetime and her love of the outdoors. It reminds of a scene in a movie called Notting Hill with the actors Julia Roberts and  Hugh Grant. A rather unlikely love story with a scene of a park bench honoring the love of two people in a lovely spot hoping that other passersby might find the same peace and contentment as those whose memory is honored.

So I took advantage of the day, spent some time enjoying the view, listening to nature and watching time pass and contemplating if my life is as content as the woman honored with this memorial. It was a nice way to spend a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A view of West Lake Okoboji from Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A boater makes his out into West Lake Okoboji seen from a bench in honor of Beverly Zahrt Jeppeson that gives visitors a view of what she must have witnessed over the years in Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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