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Photographing scenes in Siouxland, Hillview Park in Hinton

15 Jul

I always find it interesting when visiting places in Siouxland or elsewhere how people interpret those visits. Especially doing so through photographs the viewer can take away a myriad of perceptions. And it all depends on what the photographer has in mind. Does he or she what people to see something in particular or take away a certain viewpoint of what they themselves encountered? One can only speculate. But a line from a Christmas movie kind of sums it up when the character said “Seeing is believing,” not believing is seeing.” And so too a photographer’s interpretation of what is seen.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A difference in exposure changes a scene in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A difference in exposure changes a scene in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An outing of out Siouxland, Henry Doorley Zoo Omaha, NE

11 Jul

A recent outing for a Summer Photo Safari class I teach through Western Iowa Tech’s Lifelong Learning program took us to the Henry Doorley Zoo in Omaha, NE. It also happened to be the opening day for the NCAA College World Series held in Omaha and one of the hotter days at that point in summer that it was an interesting day of shooting.

People enjoy zoos. As hard as it is sometimes to see the animals caged and pacing or simply ignoring the humans staring at them, people are still drawn to go and see the animals that only see in pictures in a book or magazine.

A young girl poses for a picture inside a viewing area as a Lowland Gorilla sits outside in the shade during a hot day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes people receive lasting impressions as they are able to interact with some of the animals and it makes an impact.

A visitor gets a personal experience as she feeds a giraffe at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Children the antics of one of the Lowland gorillas at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But the heat that day definitely made an impression and people took advantage of mist stations along the way to stay cool and have some fun at the same time.

A family cools off under a misting station on a hot and humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

By and far though I found the best way of staying cool was to visit the indoor exhibits which were as fascinating as the outdoor ones.

A visitor takes photos of fish swimming overhead in the Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But I think it’s not only the guests visiting the zoo that enjoy it as do the individuals who work with the animals and care for them and bond with them on a daily basis much like many of us do with our own pets. Sometimes visiting and seeing something exotic doesn’t necessarily have to take one to the other side of the world, but it is a nice first step in that direction.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A parrot gets cozy with its trainer at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter Hangs on in Siouxland at Bacon Creek Park, Sioux City

14 Apr

Talking with friends and acquaintances everyone is agreed that winter is overstaying its welcome a bit too much. Another storm push with maybe 3-8 inches depending on where one lives could show up. On a walk at Bacon Creek Park recently I experimented a bit with a Holga plastic lens again. Personally, I am getting tired of the colors white and brown. But what can one say, just a day at a time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Winter clings to the area around Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A local resident takes a walk as snow stills covers the ground at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese an over extended visit by winter at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lingering Winter in Siouxland, Stone State Park

6 Apr

Winter is hanging out much too long this year in Siouxland. And it’s not only in Siouxland, but sometimes being selfish, I only care that it is lingering too long here. There have been brief moments of sunshine, and actual sun shining, but those seem to be few. Recently there was another snow fall. And the sky is grey and hazy.

I began looking at images as black and white, trying to see the possibility of grey tones.

Walking on a cold grey day at Stone State Parkin Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent hike before the snow in Stone State Park the browns and greys of this past winter still loomed large and didn’t create any excitement on my part. And with hazy, grey and overcast skies it’s sometimes hard to create images that have any kind of spark to them.

Walking on a cold grey day at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it was nice to get out of the house, go for a walk and breath some fresh air without the intake freezing one’s lungs, or walking, again, through snow drifts. I like winter, being outside and enjoying what it offers, but it’s time to move on, climb new hills and see what a reawakening or rebirth can is in the offering from spring. I just hope it shows up before summer is here, maybe in June.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Walking during a grey cold day at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Night Hike in Siouxland, Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

7 Mar

 

Recently I attended a night hike to view a full moon in Siouxland, the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City. It was a clear night, and even warmish, although with a recent warming trend, climbing up the hill to a viewing point, even with steps was dicey. I slipped a couple times, and you are doing this in the dark.

Hikers head up a trail to Kestrel Point during a night hike to watch a full moon rising at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday March 2, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Helped along by those individuals who had planned ahead and brought flashlights with them. (Note to self, next time.) It was an nice short hike and because of the weather a number of people turned out to participate.

Hikers wait to head out for a night hike to watch a full moon rising at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday March 2, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The center’s resource naturalist, Tyler Flammang, did a wonderful job of explaining how he determined this would be an optimal night for viewing, minus the trail conditions and injected a little humor into the “adventure” to make it more fun.

Resource Naturalist Tyler Flammang, right, talks about the phases of the moon for leading a group on a night hike prior to a full moon rising at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday March 2, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I think people were pleasantly surprised at the result and with more programs planned and better weather with spring coming, more people will get out of doors and enjoy some fun in their own backyard.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The skyline of North Sioux City, SD can be seen from Kestrel Point during a night hike to watch a full moon rising at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday March 2, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The full moon becomes visible over the horizon during a night hike at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday March 2, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Hikers gathered to watch a full moon rising at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday March 2, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

Winter Wonderland in Siouxland, Stone State Park

27 Jan

Siouxland has yet to get hit by a big snowstorm although the area has been threatened with such the last few weeks. But inevitably it will happen. But recently the area had a light dusting of snow, enough to give some shape and form and contrast plus fairly mild temperatures in the 30’s which is always pleasant to photograph in, especially when hiking in Stone State Park.

Walking through fresh snow at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Tree sentries scattered throughout at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And it was nice to see I was not the only intrepid individual out to enjoy the day.

Tracks in the snow of another hiker at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Stone State Park has a lot to offer any time of year, but in winter it becomes a bit more navigable if there is a good amount of snow on the ground which makes it easier to bushwhack through the park, although with a light snow fall trails were just slick enough to enable sliding down them a bit tricky. But the quiet, fresh air and stark landscape make it an escape from the daily routine and the other noise that occurs all too often.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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