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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

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

Learning History in Siouxland, about The Bertrand, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

20 Dec

This fall I made my first visit to the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Siouxland near Missouri Valley which actually straddles two states, Iowa and Nebraska, on either side of the Missouri River.

Besides information and space dedicated to wildlife and migrating birds, the refuge also had an exhibit about an excavated sternwheeler boat, The Bertrand.

Information about the steamboat Bertrand and its history and recovery at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A replica of the steamboat Bertrand on display with recovered artifacts at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

According to information on site The Bertrand was just an ordinary boat hauling supplies northward up the Missouri River from St. Louis to the Montana territory during the mid-1860’s, got stuck in the river and sank. No one was killed. And many boats wrecked in the river during the 1800’s as they carried supplies north into new territory. Much later in the 1980’s two Nebraskans decided to find the ship and excavate items on board at the time of the ship’s sinking, which was basically everyday items people in the 1800’s were using as they went about their everyday chores.

Recovered artifacts from the steamboat Bertrand which sank in the Missouri River in the 1800’s at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Recovered artifacts from the steamboat Bertrand, a supply boat with passengers, which sank in the Missouri River in the 1800’s at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

It’s a fascinating exhibit and gives a really good look into life at that point in history. I always find int refreshing when I can learn something new about an area I am living in or near, and understand more about what earlier settlers’ lives entailed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

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