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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

Siouxland Farmers prepare for Spring Planting, Sioux County

17 Apr

While driving and checking out parts of Siouxland up by the Iowa Lakes Region and again returning home, I came across some farmers prepping for planting this spring. The two I saw appeared to be disking their fields, although these days I understand that farmers employ a no-till option and just plant directly without any prep work. It’s been a little wet with rain passing through Siouxland, but not all parts are getting rain. I must admit that when I smell newly turned soil in a field it brings back memories while growing up on a farm. Probably the same for people who grew up near a body of water like a lake or the ocean.

Although reminiscing now is easier than the part of growing up, I still have fond memories.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring in Siouxland and a walk along a bike trail, Le Mars

7 Apr

As the weather approaches more “normal” (whatever that may be anymore) temperatures and the sky is sunny, it’s hard not to go for a walk. The Le Mars, Iowa walking and biking trail is not very long but a nice experience bordering a creek for most of it and farmland as it lies on the outskirts of the community. The sky was blue and sunny. The clouds mushrooming and filling the expanse. And after driving around a bit it was a good way to end the day. Although, having pizza and a soda afterwards was an even better way to end.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Finding the light in Siouxland, Sioux City

25 Mar

I always like watching travel shows on PBS because normally they are filmed in beautiful light. The camera people work their schedule at a location to create memorable images. When I travel about looking for images I too am hopeful for really nice light and the possibility of creating a memorable image. But having worked in the news business for years I know that isn’t always possible. What I do know is that one should always be aware.

The other day I had to complete some work and was relaxing in the afternoon, catching up on some reading when I looked up and saw the sun setting and the beginning of a nice sunset. I was no place in particular with a high vantage point to create a sweet photo so I sat there imaging where I could have been to capture the sun going down. Then for whatever reason I looked over a fence and saw clouds in the sky and the play of light on them and that prompted me to grab my camera and make a few frames. It is not a spectacular photo, but the play of light and the silhouette of the tree made it worthwhile to me and reinforced the fact that one tries to the best one can wherever you happen to be and sometimes it works out a little better than you might think.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Clouds are lit up as the sun sets west of Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Siouxland’s Brown Winter Coat, Loess Hills in Monona County

23 Mar

In taking a drive in Siouxland a few days ago I had hoped to maybe see some greening of hillsides and other areas around the Loess Hills down in Monona County. I know I am just a little impatient to see spring arrive and announce itself. In some small ways it has though, like now finding the robbins once again singing in my backyard. But still, once I see some green hillsides, I will definitely know winter has left until next year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Double Decker Walking Bridge, Yankton, SD

21 Mar

I have made a few trips to the small community of Yankton, SD. It originally was  the gateway to the Dakota Territory in the late 1800’s. The first territorial Capital of the Dakota Territory when North and South Dakota was one large land mass. On every trip to Yankton I always take a walk on the Meridian Bridge, which is a double decker bridge built in 1924. According to the National Park System the bridge’s lower deck was designed to carry a rail line which never materialized. Eventually the bridge was sold to the city of Yankton in 1946 and from there the ownership came to the state of South Dakota. Just upriver is a newer vehicle bridge the double decker is now a walker’s paradise connecting South Dakota and Nebraska that give an individual a “bird’s eye” view.

I am never disappointed when I walk it, always finding something new to view and enjoy. The different seasons present different images a person can photograph. One of these days I will need to make an early trip to see what the bridge looks like during sun rise. For now, I think I will sleep in and get there to enjoy the late morning, have lunch downtown and again enjoy it late afternoon, maybe catching a sunset.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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