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Nature’s Beauty after a Snow Storm in Siouxland, Sioux City

2 Feb

Sometimes the silver lining in a storm shows itself afterwards although that might be putting a nice spin on such an event. After a recent blizzard event in Siouxland and the more than 11 inches that fell in Sioux City, a couple days later nature gave the residents a show, although brief. The day started somewhat overcast and cloudy and soon sun began to appear. Many tree tops were still covered with frozen rain (ice) prior to the snow and with the sunshine it created a magical but brief visual.

Sunshine created a magical winter wonderland after a blizzard in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Sunshine sunshine created a magical winter wonderland after a blizzard in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I had debated going out that day to look for photos and decided I would stick around the house and pursue other necessary chores and then peeked outside and saw the transformation that lasted maybe an hour or two. But even though I wasn’t in the country looking over a field that might have been a bit more grandiose in scale and image, I was happy to see the sunshine returning and giving the day a short, bright appearance that put a smile on my face.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Winter Designs in Siouxland, Sioux City

31 Jan

Even though winter time in Siouxland can be a little daunting with below freezing temperatures and wind chill dropping temperatures even below zero, nature can surprise one with its basic yet somehow natural design with a winter storm.

A snow covered window screen from blowing snow during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Snow decorates a stone wall from a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

The snow against objects can add texture and contrast creating a piece of art in its own right and giving the eye momentary beauty, which lasts as long as the temps and sunshine don’t disrupt what was created. But eventually after the beauty of the scene is appreciated and maybe photographed, the work begins in the removal of this nature’s reminder of a cold and blustery season so that life can return to “normal”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Snow decorates a garage door from a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Wet snow clings to a fence during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

A car navigates around a snow “wind row” created by a city snow plow for easier traffic flow after a blizzard in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Sun and Shade or Light and Dark in Siouxland, Rural Iowa

29 Jan

Some days when I am out driving about Siouxland I don’t always have an objective in mind for what I want to photograph, other than when I see something I like I stop and take a photograph. It isn’t until sometime later that themes, or my perception of such emerge from my images. I enjoy photographing contrasts, lights and darks. The ying and the yang competing against one another within an image.

A summer’s day driving through the Loess Hills in Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday August 29, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga¬©)

It’s helpful if there are other elements that pull the viewer into it and make the image more compelling. But sometimes you settle for what you have and call it a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A nice image with a leading line and shapes and angles on a freezing day at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Shadows and leading lines on a freezing day at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Shadow play off of a main downtown street in Blair, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

White Christmas in Siouxland, better late than never, Sioux City

25 Jan

Recently the Siouxland area received it’s White Christmas a little late, with up to 12 inches in some area and more in others, as a blizzard passed through shutting Sioux City and other Siouxland communities down for a brief time. But it is nice to have a fresh snow to do a little snowshoeing to check out the neighborhood.

Taking a walk around the neighborhood of Morningside College during a blizzard was easier using snowshoes during which the resulting storm dropped 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Residents were digging out their vehicles in the neighborhood of Morningside College during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

A dedicated athlete from the college runs around the neighborhood of Morningside College during a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

A city snowplow makes its way along Morningside Ave. during a walk around the neighborhood of Morningside College in a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I like snow, especially when the temperature remains in the high 20’s and 30’s. It makes for a more pleasant experience spending time outdoors without feeling like your face is going to crack with below freezing windchill and cold toes. Even local college students enjoyed a respite from school as most local district and area colleges closed for the storm as did a number of businesses.

Morningside College art student takes a break from figure drawing and catches some fresh air during a walk around the neighborhood of Morningside College in a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Morningside College students attempts at “snowboarding” a downhill street resulted in some tumbles during a walk around the neighborhood of Morningside College in a blizzard that resulted in 11 plus inches of snow in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

But that doesn’t mean I want spring to come later rather than sooner. But some years that also includes late winter storms that occasionally occur in April.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Nature and Man in Siouxland, Sioux City

21 Jan

While downtown in Sioux City recently, I was struck by a scene as I walking to one of the local museums and this scene again brought home the intersection of man and nature to me. I looked up and saw a branch, then clouds floating on a building of glass and I was stuck with the thought of man and nature abiding together. As progress has been made and architects get more creative it’s possible to find more surreal surroundings in my estimation. This one may not seem like that, but man seems determined to include nature, thankfully, in his plans when designing cities, most of the time. And for that, I am grateful.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Nature and human structure interact along a street in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Enjoying Nature in Siouxland, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

17 Jan

Last fall while heading to southern Siouxland I stopped in at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge which actually straddles two states, Iowa and Nebraska, and did a short hike in nice weather, but limited area because of the migratory waterfowl movement in preparation for winter. It’s a nice place to spend a day, or even half a day. it also houses historical information about river movement during the early territorial times when people and goods moved upriver to the outer reaches of the early westward expansion of the U.S.

A raptor keeping watch for lunch along an inlet from the Missouri River at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A trail map of the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

There are a few exhibits within the learning or welcome center with staff there to assist one. And local area schools visit to learn more about their area and local history and the early pioneers.

A local school group visits the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge and play games that relate to animals found near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Exhibits abound at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge welcome center near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

But the attraction really is watching migratory birds that pass through, resting on their yearly trips and exploring the area through various trails that are easily accessible.

A walking trail makes its way through the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Trails traverse wooded areas at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A view out of a window at the welcome center at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge show resting geese near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

It’s a good place to get away from the stresses of the world, commune with nature as it were and just enjoy some peace and quiet.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Over the Moon in Siouxland, Bronson

15 Jan

Early one evening I thought I would go out and look for images in Siouxland having seen too many beautiful sunsets a few days previous. The color in the sky, the fact that the cold, arctic air had not yet descended on Siouxland made it hard not to go. This time out though I didn’t find the beautiful setting I was hoping for to show the setting sun, but did find a spot in the Floyd Township Cemetery on a hill to see the moon rising.

An older grave marker from another century has seen the moon rising for decades from the Floyd Township Cemetery near Bronson, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I don’t shoot with long lenses anymore. Not working for newspapers the glass was laying about gathering dust and these days I spend more time working with short primes and shooting a little more atmospheric as it were. Sometimes shooting tight meets the needs of telling a story by eliminating other elements surrounding a subject. Shooting with shorter lenses challenges one to do better.

The moonrise was pretty and the setting sun lent that somber feel to the resting place for earlier settlers who had come to this area to start a life. On a hill, peaceful in the country setting, a place to contemplate a life lived and what comes after and a change of one day into another.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The rising moon becomes visible over the countryside near Bronson, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

The moon risES over the countryside and the Floyd Township Cemetery near Bronson, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

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