Archive | nebraska RSS feed for this section

Summertime in Siouxland, Nature in rural Nebraska

7 Aug

Summertime can be a cornucopia of critters, both large and mostly small. Insects blossom during this time of warmer temperatures and humid days. But what can a person do? When driving about in Siouxland I do stop my car and get out and take a look around. Sometimes a closer look, which makes it all the better when one is pleasantly surprised in nature.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A butterfly lands on a thistle in a field at Winnebago, NE August 3, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A butterfly finds a landing spot in a field at Winnebago, NE August 3, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Heritage in Siouxland, Winnebago Pow Wow, Winnebago, NE

1 Aug

 

Various Native Americans with different tribes participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Winnebago Tribe recently celebrated its heritage at its 153rd consecutive annual Pow Wow honoring Chief Little Priest and his warriors who worked as scouts for the U.S. Calvary. The Pow Wow is all inclusive as other tribes also participate from across the U.S. and at times from Canada. The Grand Entrance is the beginning of the celebration each day in the main arena where drums and songs accompany dancing by the many tribe members.

A slow shutter speed accentuates the motion of a young boy dancing during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Various Indian tribes participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Each tribe and possibly clan within a tribe has its own particular style of dancing (traditional, grass or fancy and shawl dancing) which is reflected in the attire worn by the tribe members. And these styles and dances are passed down through the generations of family. Another aspect of the dancers is the incredible attire they wear and beautiful work that goes into each one’s creation.

A woman wears a finely beaded hair piece for the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A couple with the Omaha Tribe and who live in Macy, NE get their son dressed in his Native American attire so he can participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Young girls and women also dance during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Tribe members and visitors can easily interact and chat giving one not familiar with Native American culture an opportunity to learn more about the Winnebago and other tribes and individuals that may travel hundreds of miles to participate and enjoy the camaraderie of similar heritage. If one has never attended such an event it is an enjoyable experience to meet people and gain insight into an American culture that is under appreciated although complicated, like many aspects of American culture, due to a contentious history of the U.S.’ evolution as a nation.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A participant of the Grand Entrance listens to opening remarks at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring 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, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Zoo Time near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

30 Jul

Visitors walk through the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE has a number of different types of environments where various species are displayed, giving visitors a sense of the climate these animals inhabit as the zoo continues to build out these habitats.

A Cape Thick-Knee stands guard next to its chicks at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bird stays nestled in a bush in the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But still it’s not the same as being in the original space from where the species, if not this particular animal, hails from. But with fascination visitors are drawn to see these magnificent creatures, great and small. I don’t find it morbid, but intriguing along with others who spend a day walking, watching and admiring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gorilla looking for a little solitude as it eats an afternoon snack at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A baby gorilla gets a little TLC from zoo staff at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A seal cooling off on a humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Portrait of a parrot at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Learning Local History in Siouxland, Decatur, NE

22 Jul

One can find a lot of local history at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It never amazes me that little gems can be found in places with a little bit of luck and curiosity. While out driving about in Siouxland one day I ventured over the Missiouri River into Nebraska and the community of Decatur. It prides itself being the second oldest settlement in the state, dating back to 1854, and incorporated in 1856. Information found says a little over 400 people live there. The nice part, besides being located next to the Missouri River is the community’s museum.

Jane Judt, upper right and Norma Williams , center right, greet visitors and tell them about the local history located at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. This month was about local sports history. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One of the museum docents, Jane Judt, explained that theme of presentations is always changing every few months, so the information provided doesn’t get stale and which I would believe encourage locals to stop by and see what historical facts are being shared. When I visited the theme was sports with a variety of memorabilia displayed.

Jane Judt talks about the history of the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An upstairs room decorated as a classroom at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But the small museum also contains nuggets of information about the early settlement days and the people who relocated to this area as folk migrated to the west looking for a fresh start and an opportunity to improve their lives. Tales told over and over again in many small communities’ museums that are found throughout the U.S. It’s the story of immigrants and people looking for a better life, a tale that reflects  many who settled in the Siouxland region.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lot of local history can be found at the Decatur Museum in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Light and Shade in Siouxland, Omaha, NE Riverfront

10 Jul

I tell friends that when I am out shooting in Siouxland or anywhere I am terrible when it comes to clouds. I love clouds. And inevitably shoot a lot of scenes with clouds in them. But I also love light and shade photos. I shoot a lot of these as well. When traveling about and visiting places my eye travels to where the light makes an impression. It generally does so in contrast with shade.

The lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently while visiting Omaha, NE I walked down to the lagoon area that eventually connects with the riverfront down there. I was meeting a friend for some dinner in Old Market and had some time to kill and decided a walk to the lagoon area would only help my appetite. I don’t generally think about shooting in themes. Well, actually, I do at times, but this day I spent most of my time at the Henry Doorly Zoo and had walked nearly three hours and my mind was a bit hazed. Then I saw the shadows.

Light and shade images at the lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nothing stellar, but still appealing to my eye and I always find that practice makes perfect. And I had quite the appetite when I returned to the Old Market for dinner. That was a bonus.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shade images down by the lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring Small Siouxland Towns, Decatur, NE

4 Jul

A small shopping district in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Downtown Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent drive about Siouxland I crossed over the Missouri River into Nebraska near Onawa and visited the small community of Decatur, NE. Finding some online information one site purports that Decatur is the second oldest established community in Nebraska, forming in 1854 and incorporating in 1856. Pioneers settling the prairie and looking for a fresh start or just a different start from where they came. It’s a small community set in rolling hills and with a riverfront that I missed and have yet to explore.

But the community does have an urban legend from its early days and makes for a good tale about encouraging people to settle the area. Showing its sophisticated urban side post cards were evidently mailed out showing a trolley car operating in the small community. In the days before Photoshop, someone got creative in the darkroom and a legend was born.

The story of the trolly legend in Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An exhibit about a myth that became reality in downtown Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In the little park area a red telephone booth proudly stands holding various copies of books, a free standing little free library to share the joy of reading with those who happen to stop by.

A red telephone box is now a Lending Library destination in downtown Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While the downtown wasn’t particularly hopping the day I stopped by I want to return and explore the surrounding area including a riverfront walk that I missed as I was leaving town. Maybe in the fall, hoping for some colorful foliage on the trees standing on the surrounding hilltops. It could be picture perfect with any special effects in the photographic department.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Downtown Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Downtown Decatur, NE Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Honoring Veterans in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

29 May

During morning rain showers, veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) center left,JERRY LAMERE (Navy) second from left, RANDY DE CORA (Air Force) third from left and TAYLOR BASS (Army) right, stand at attention for Taps played by sstudent and tribe member ALEXANDER FLANDERS as they make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

I had the privilege on Memorial Day of spending time with veterans of the Winnebago Tribe from Winnebago, NE as they visited four cemeteries to honor other tribal members who served their country. It was a very wet and soggy day, but these four men and others were not bothered by the inclement weather. And the settings of the cemeteries was very bucolic adding to the atmosphere of the overcast and solemn occasion.

During morning rain showers, veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) left , JERRY LAMERE (Navy) center, TAYLOR BASS (Army) right and Randy De Cora (Air Force) not seen, make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

During morning rain showers, local college student Winnebago Tribe member ALEXANDER FLANDERS plays taps while JAMES FRENCHMAN holds an umbrella as veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

A number of other area remembrances were moved indoors for these ceremonies. Bad weather does deter people from attending, but standing in the rain and watching and listening as these men and others remembered their fellow tribal members it became apparent that the outdoor ceremony was all the more important. Man of these remembered had made the ultimate sacrifice and inclement weather was of little consequence to those attending for what they celebrated.

Grave sties of the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery where veterans of the Winnebago Tribe served as an Honor Guard to celebrate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

On such solemn occasions as this and others that America holds to celebrate past achievements and sacrifices it seems that more Americans should not mind spending a few minutes in quiet contemplation of what others have done so they can enjoy living and working in a place that holds promise. And with each passing rain storm, a little light does appear brightening the day and giving a little credence to that promise of a better tomorrow.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sun finally shines through the clouds as veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JERRY LAMERE (Navy) left, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) second from left, TAYLOR BASS (Army) and RANDY DE CORA (Air Force), make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

%d bloggers like this: