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Summer Concerts in the Park in Siouxland, Sioux City Municipal Band

13 Aug

Summer is that season everywhere and here in Siouxland as well when all want a chance to relax and enjoy local festivities and other forms of entertainment. The local Sioux City Municipal Band has been playing summer concerts for a number of years. It’s a free event and people can bring lawn chairs, pack a snack or summer and sit back and enjoy the sounds which can include patriotic tunes, show tunes, movie tunes and classical tunes. Although I am sure music aficionados would not refer to the music as tunes.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The musicians themselves spend the time to practice and then play these summer evenings which occasionally can include thunderstorms and most likely hot and humid nights towards the end of July. But they persevere as well as perspire like the rest of us, they just don’t show it. But it’s a nice event for local residents and those visiting family over the summer months. The 8-week long series varies with the music selection year to year. But their performance never varies, always enjoyable.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Something residents can look forward too again next year now that the last performance has come and gone and as parent’s thoughts return to the coming school year and others to autumn season which is just around the corner. Instead of hearing the municipal band’s music wafting over the neighborhood Sunday nights, some will begin hearing marching band music Friday nights as the local high school football season kicks off and a different kind of entertainment marks another season of its own.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Patchwork Boat Dock Design in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

3 Aug

New boards on a pier give a checkered board effect at West Lake in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent visit to the Lake Region in Iowa I saw some rebuilt docks around Arnolds Park and Okoboji, probably due to age and recent storms. The old and new gave me the impression of a patchwork quilt I see in museums and from what I remember seeing in relatives’ homes growing up as a child. Unlike the museum and wall hanging pieces, these are real life and oft used “quilts” that add a visual element if one is keen to observe.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Waiting for a Weather Change in Siouxland, Beresford, SD

28 Jul

History sitting in place sight seen during an outing of the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

This past week Siouxland experienced a very insufferable heat wave much like the eastern part of the U.S. is now experiencing. The start of this week has brought cooler temperatures which will hopefully last a few days before those Dog Days of Summer, and the month of August gets here. Everyone knows when it’s fair time it’s got to be hot and humid.

So it was a little to my delight when I came across a photograph I had taken in April during a Spring Photo Safari class I teach. There was unexpected weather that day. Snow, then rain. Now it sounds kind of nice, but then not so much. Winter had over extended its stay.

Having lived in a few places throughout this vast land there is one thing in common that I found people to say, “Just wait five minutes and the weather will change.”

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Exploring History in Siouxland, Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa

26 Jul

A commemoration of the expedition that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertook after the Louisiana Purchase, and where current day re-enactors gather for the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Lewis and Clark Expedition history display can be found at the Lewis and Clark State Park in Siouxland. With displays that recount the historical journal by the expedition mapping out a way to and back from the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase Territory. The displays give information about the journey itself as well as those who inhabited the local area here in Iowa.

Visitors look over a replica of the keel boat used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park visitors center near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But for those visiting the park a popular attraction is riding in a replica keel boat, from which visitors are spared from rowing and oaring it out on the lake. For some a hour’s excursion might turn into a few days worth trying to navigate away from shore and back again. The replica keep boat has a small motor that propels it through the water. I find it interesting in context to see more modern day water craft zipping in and around the keel boat as people learn a little what life was like for Meriweather Lewis’ and William Clark’s men who made the 8,000 mile journey.

Visitors prepare to take off on a motor outfitted keel boat on Blue Lake as re-enactors paddle nearby during the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors ride a motor-enabled keel boat as re-enactors portray period people during Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s time well spend to understand a little more about how this country had taken shape and what was involved creating a place that many now call home, with many more seeking admittance. In some respects life seems as arduous now as it was then, depending on what advantages an individual has and the opportunity that awaits each person. But I believe they is a saying, ” In order to know where one is going it’s good to know where you’ve been”. Otherwise history could get caught in a loop with repeats a sure thing down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Fish are a Jumpin’ in Siouxland, Okoboji

24 Jul

Young anglers try their luck fishing near the dock in East Lake in Okoboji, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Whenever I visit the lakes region in Siouxland and walk along the “beach” areas around Arnolds Park and Okoboji I always find people trying their luck fishing. One particular day while visiting four young lads were having fairly good luck in catching blue gills near a dock area.

Young boys hoping for a bite while fishing in East Lake from a dock in Okoboji, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Toss the hook and bait into the water and soon one of them was reeling in a hungry and now sorrowful fish. Although one of the four enjoyed casting enough and playing the fish and reeling it in, but  could not bring himself to touch one. So he would let it dangle on the line out of the water until one of his friends took pity on the poor fish back into the water. I couldn’t make up my mind who might be more stressed, the fish which couldn’t breathe, the young man who couldn’t bring himself to touch it or his friends who seemed to be tiring of the repeated scenario. Summertime fun, or a variation thereof, casts its own fascination over those who pursue their interests.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Cruising the Countryside in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

18 Jul

A country road and knee high corn near Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes a drive in the country can be a simple retreat from an otherwise hectic pace of the day to day. Some people might think a drive in the country is cruising on an interstate and occasionally looking over to see the “countryside”. Personally, living in a predominantly agricultural area and having grown up on a farm, I like driving those back roads and seeing what’s there. Summer time on the farm meant baling hay at some point. And when driving about I can smell the hay field before I see it, something I can’t share on a page but which brings back childhood memories of stacking bales, lunch in the field, sunshine, hot days and learning about hard work. So drives become a bit of a trip down memory lane as well as curiosity to see what is around the next bend.

A hay field drying in the sun near Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Also stopping anywhere along my slow cruise and sitting quiet, I can hear nature entertain those who take the time and spend a moment to listen and appreciate what lies in view because tomorrow will be a different day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer scenics of a sparrow sitting a wire fence in Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Long Day in Siouxland, Stone State Park, Sioux City

24 Jun

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens leads a solstice hike on the longest day of the year in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The longest day of the year recently passed here in Siouxland as it did in other places too. A group of friends and like-minded individuals assembled at a local state park, Stone State Park, to celebrate solstice and get in a hike with plenty of light still available to find one’s way through the forested area. At least with this hike one didn’t have to worry about slipping on ice or stepping off the trail in the darkness.

The Northwest Iowa Group, Sierra Club rented two campsites for people to camp out overnight and enjoy nature. However, nature wasn’t having any of it as it has been raining a few days and folk showed up to walk and enjoy a meal cooked outdoors, but no one was staying the night. So it was a hike they made to just enjoy nature and revisit some areas a few had previously hiked on their own.

Solstice hikers stop to check out certain foliage along a trail in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens leads a solstice hike in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This group of avid explorers remarked about certain plants they found along the way, noting that young deer eat plants that older deer do not, as well as tiny moths glowing white (they are white) in the early evening light within the forest and standing out against a carpet of green.

Stone State park intern Emily shows a solstice hiker a confirmation of a moth species they found in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With all the recent rain beginning in early spring Stone State Park was carpeted in green as far as the eye could see during a solstice hike in in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens said it’s because of these core people that have an interest in their local parks that stopping by and spending some time with them, even taking them on a short hike is always delightful and a way to celebrate the longest day of the year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens, left, talks with Bill Zales during a solstice hike in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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