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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©)

Winter Clinging on in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

23 Mar

Driving to the northern area of Siouxland and visiting Arnolds Park and West Lake Okoboji I thought it was going to be a pleasant day out with sunshine and warmer temps. But somehow those weather forecasters didn’t cast very far. Most times when I check the weather there, I found it is about 10 degrees cooler or warmer, depending on the time of year. I was really surprised to see the lake still iced over and no clear water in sight except near the shoreline.

The lakes are still frozen over around Arnolds Park, Iowa Thursday, March 15, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Queen II, an excursion boat that takes visitors around the lake area was pretty well socked in. I was curious if the water always stayed clear like this or if someone makes the effort to keep the water from freezing right up the hull of the boat, which could probably cause problems during freeze and thaw situations. And it looks like it will be a while before the Queen will be making any excursions in the near future.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Queen II docked and surrounded by ice in East Lake in Arnolds Park Iowa Thursday, March 15, 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©)

Winter wonderland in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserver

3 Mar

As March nears and winter, hopefully, begins receding in Siouxland, and with what little snowfall occurs, people are quick to get outside and enjoy themselves before the sunshine and warmer temps remove all the snow.

Cross country skiers getting in a morning’s workout at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City grooms its trails over the winter time for people to cross country ski and hike. Recently I tried using my snowshoes but the snow was too compacted. Great for skiing, not so much for the shoes. But the trails are nice to traverse and enjoy the winter season.

The sun would occasionally appear from behind clouds casting shadows that was a welcomed sight even as the temperature was still cold at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Except for the small birds that nest in trees, especially if they don’t fly south for the winter. Their nest laid bare in open branches until Mother Nature signals the cycle to continue and the sun warms the earth and green once again covers the area.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A naked bird’s nest getting buffeted by winter’s whims at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD, Sunday, Feb. 18, 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©)

Visual Contrasts in Siouxland, rural Plymouth and Woodbury

21 Feb

Getting out and about reasonably well during the winter months in Siouxland can sometimes be problematic, especially if one ventures onto the gravel roads. Getting stuck in a town leaves a person options, getting stuck in the country one has fewer options. But I noted the contrast of seasons and enjoy the visual vistas I come across. Each season showcases its own unique qualities. This particular winter I have not been out in freezing temperatures to photograph any sunsets. As I get older, the desire is strong but the flesh is weak. But I enjoy the contrast  that reinforces the thought that to see one has to get out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Horses in a field off of County Rd. C-12 in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, Tuesday, August 11, 2015. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Cattle looking for a meal in a snowy field in winter in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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