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Spring in Siouxland brings new Arrivals, Bacon Creek Park

10 May

With the arrival of spring and the Siouxland landscape now becoming green and lush after this past winter’s brown tones, there are also other new arrivals. During a recent walk out at Bacon Creek Park I came across a number goose families lounging on the shore with their young brood of goslings. As I approached this gathering which was spread along the walking path, it struck me as reminiscent of a French painting by Georges-Pierre Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, only instead of people, geese.

As I slowly approached the grouping of geese slowly began to disperse, all being a little wary of the approaching person. Not wanting to disturb them more than I needed, I walked even slower, but one gallant young goose hissed very loudly and slowly began circling me as I tried to get around him and his family, not wanting to startle the little goslings, which I succeeded in not upsetting.

But it was a touching scene, more like a social event for these families of geese and nice encounter, without any biting on their part, as spring continues to unfold.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Checking out sights in Siouxland, Spirit Lake

8 May

With warmer weather and lengthening days of sunlight, it is a little easier to get out and check out sights in Siouxland. On a visit of to the Iowa Lakes Region I stopped into Spirit Lake. It has an older historic building, a former hotel built in the early 1900’s listed on the National Historic Registry. I also found it interesting that most settled communities have the typical county courthouses built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. But Spirit Lakes’s is rather modern looking and refreshing in that sense that it utilizes a lot of glass. I didn’t spend a lot of time driving about this community, but on the early April day I was there, I saw a lot of fishermen taking advantage of warmer weather and waiting for the fish to bite. Summer is on the way and those lazy, hazy days of summer are approaching.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying a Spring Day in Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

2 May

In early April I took a trip up to Sioux Falls, SD to enjoy lunch at a little eatery I found and to just enjoy a warm day in spring. Currently the weather is much cooler again with rain, and that is too be expected. But the nice day brought like-minded people out as they too came to Falls Park in Sioux Falls to enjoy sunshine, the water and just being in the moment.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing what is there in Siouxland, Onawa

30 Apr

On a recent outing with a class to check out Onawa, Iowa, we visiting a museum, surrounding grounds and the downtown area including a Carnegie library now the public library. The purpose behind this class is to put students into various situations and places and then photograph what appeals to them. I answer some technical questions as well as point out some visual items to them to help them broaden their perspective when photographing. On this particular outing I was looking at a variety of subjects that attracted my attention which included color and light play. Then I tried to isolate those scenes or objects in a way to make my vision something any viewer later would also see while looking at my photos.

When shooting photographs, it’s the photographer’s viewpoint and impression they are or should be trying to convey to the viewer, whoever that might be. For the classes it is always a fun exercise and outings. The last class everyone shows their favorite photos from the previous outings. And so they can compare notes and see where they may have seen something similar or be amazed at what another person saw and they did not.

It was a nice way to spend part of a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Trying new Visual Undertakings in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

28 Apr

One trip I took in early April to Vermillion, SD found me walking around the campus of the University of South Dakota on a grey, cool day. There really wasn’t much in the way of color appearing and lights and shadows were really nonexistent. Because I didn’t like what I saw in color I decided to photograph in B&W. The writing on a sundial was easier to read in B&W and I thought I would see if I could create a little story about a garden area on the campus by continuing to shoot in B&W. There is a little garden called Shakespeare Garden and dedicated I believe to the bard. A snippet I found online says the gardens contains flowers, shrubs and herbs mentioned in Shakespeare’s works.

Shooting in B&W helps me isolate items in a couple of the photos but overall are not stellar images. But without trying, and maybe failing, one never knows if an attempt succeeds or not. But for the gloomy kind of spring day it was, I had a nice cup of coffee and snack in a student center later that hit the spot. Sometimes trips are hard to capture via image through the camera, but can leave an indelible impression or image in one’s mind.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Prepping for Summer, Arnolds Park

24 Apr

I stopped into Arnolds Park, Iowa recently just wanting to get out and enjoy some spring sunshine and warmer temps. After having a lunch I walked about seeing the nice weather being put to use as workers were prepping the sight seeing boat the Queen II for cruising the lakes this summer. Docks along the shoreline near the Arnolds Park amusement park were not yet installed. And a boat was hauling a boat docking device of some type across the lake as boaters will later begin bringing their boats to the lakes for idling away summer hours.

I met another couple out “walking” their dog. Well, part of the walk was in a stroller. The woman explained their pet was 17 years old and not as spry as it had been when younger, but it still enjoys getting out and sniffing to its heart content. And it was a nice day for a warm with blue sky and temperatures in the 60’s.

A woman takes her 17-year-old dog for a walk in a stroller in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, April 11, 2017. She said the little guy still gets out to walk, but not as well as when he was younger. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing the work being done at West Lake Okoboji reminded one that warmer, sunny days are coming and it is nice to have the opportunity to enjoy these moments.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying Spring Weather in Siouxland, Milford

22 Apr

A week or so ago when the sun was shining and the sky was blue in Siouxland, I went to the Iowa Lakes region. I stopped at a trail head in Milford. I didn’t bring my bike this time but instead walked a ways along the trail. It was just a nice spring day. And others had to agree as I met a variety of people either walking themselves or riding their bikes.  The sun felt fine, temperature in the 60’s. A nice day to enjoy spring and what it brings.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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