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A quiet time in Siouxland, Quimby

9 Jul

Living in Siouxland affords one an opportunity to visit small communities and their festivals or celebrations. Although as with anything else, timing is everything.

A downtown street is closed for Quimby’s Watermelon Days’ activities Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I visited Quimby, a small community of about 300 people, not too long ago when it was celebrating its Watermelon Days. A tasty treat on a hot day. Since Siouxland has been experiencing a lot of rain recently, I checked the forecast and it was possible there might be rain beginning early afternoon. So I visited in the morning. And before getting there had done some due diligence to see what kind of schedule of events there might be.

Residents play a bean bag game during the morning at Quimby’s Watermelon Days Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Beyond finding some folk tossing bean bags and relaxing, there wasn’t a lot going on mid-morning, and a couple of girls told me that the rides set up downtown probably wouldn’t start until the latter part of the afternoon. Timing is everything and the thought of grabbing some homemade pie from a local booth or a burger soon disappeared from my lunch plans.

Two girls walks through the downtown streets before the Quimby Watermelon Days’ activities start Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Downtown streets are quiet before the start of Quimby’s Watermelon Days’ activities Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So it was a quiet morning in a small Iowa town as people enjoyed their weekend and celebrating their community, just a bit later in the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Carnival rides are quiet before the start of Quimby’s Watermelon Days’ activities Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Siouxland, Storm Lake

7 Jul

This recent July 4 I visited Storm Lake and its July 4 celebration in Siouxland , at least its parade and a few other activities during the holiday. The small community has become a melting pot of diversity and embraced the many heritages that make up its community.

Thousands of visitors watch the parade and celebrate the Fourth of July in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Becoming a melting pot as a community, a number of nationalities now live and celebrate the Fourth of July in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Everyone was showing his/her patriotic enthusiasm, some a little more than others as one former resident was looking to sell his oil paintings during the holiday gathering along the lake front. Others showed their support through the many flags on floats and dressing in red, white and blue.

Charles Bade, Denver, Co and former Storm Lake resident, dresses the part for celebrating the Fourth of July as he sells oil paintings in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mascots for a band performing in the parade were decorated in red, white and blue balloons while celebrating the Fourth of July in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Many floats and vehicles participating in the parade were decked out with flags as they celebrate the Fourth of July in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even gathering storm clouds couldn’t deter people from attending and enjoying the parade and other festivities for the day which also included an artist’s row.

Storms clouds started gathering after a parade celebrating the Fourth of July in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On a very hot and muggy day with a high heat index some people came prepared as they watched the parade and celebrated the Fourth of July in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A tuba player entertains the crowd with various patriotic tunes as they celebrate the Fourth of July in Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But with so much white noise going on in this country these days and rhetoric that people use to make us as a nation more divided than united, it was refreshing to see one community come together and share their respective heritage with each other and visitors showing people what actually makes this country a great nation.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing tonality in Siouxland, Cherokee

1 Jul

While out and about in Siouxland recently visiting a community festival I dropped by Cherokee. With recent rains there have been many reports of small and large rivers rising and flash flood warnings. I was curious to see if a small creek running through town had reached the tops of its banks. It hadn’t.

But I liked the quality of light I was seeing that day and saw areas that intrigued me and reminded me of the days working for newspapers and shooting only in B&W, film.

Fading wall art in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One had to be really conscious of tonality and contrast to make one’s image pop and help it jump off the page. Not all images taken did that, as some were more documentary in nature.

A path to adventure in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A shady creek in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©) 

But like shooting in color, the viewer still needs to find the path through a photograph that draws him/her into it and through it and makes the viewing a worthwhile effort.

In those days one could always shoot the film, tweak the film processing and finally adjust some of the printing to give an image more snap. Now it’s all done via software. Whether it’s successful or not is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Revving up for Summer in Siouxland, Le Mars

17 Jun

As a kid growing up in the Midwest and on a farm, I never got into the fast cars or muscle cars phenomenon that friends of mine did. And I do enjoy looking at someone else’s passion and know-how in creating some of these machines. And to keep them running all these years as so much now seems more computer chip powered as mechanically powered.

A variety of cars appear at a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa at the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Le Mars Ice Cream Days kicked off recently and people turned out for a car show at a local drive-inn eatery. The fun lasted for only a short time as a rain storm was pushing into the area and many people didn’t look prepared in getting wet.

A woman keeps her umbrella handy as rain begins to shower on a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa for the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Some vintage and other muscle cars populate a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa at the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I myself didn’t exactly dress for rain and so as the storm neared, I made a few photos and then retreated to my own vehicle to avoid melting in the soon to be downpour. I kind of wondered about one of the car owners who drove a roadster that had no top. It certainly was going to be a damp evening, but whether (weather) or not it dampened his enthusiasm I don’t know.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa is a popular spot for car shows, especially ones involving vintage and muscle cars for the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People walk a short stretch on a major thorough fare that has been blocked off for a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa at the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Color in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

13 Jun

Sometimes I feel a little stymied while out looking for images in Siouxland. I don’t always go looking with something definitive in mind, but as I walk about I come across subjects that sometimes  strike me (not physically) visually and later a clearer objective comes to mind. Walking about Vermillion, SD earlier this summer it was an overcast day. Color just seemed to come more alive. The color scheme of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, is red. And many items around the campus reflect that. And there are hard to miss.

A red bench after the school’s colors invites passers-by to lounge on campus at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Later I took a walk along the Vermillion River below the campus area that begins at a park and a paved trail lets one meander with the river course. Spring was still unfolding and snatches of color attended the observant visitor and made a more delightful walk.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Soft light and soft petals enhance a walking path in a park along the Vermillion River in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature and Man in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

11 Jun

As I get about I am continually fascinated with man’s attempt to include nature into his world, even though we as a race have spent a great deal of time excluding it as well. And I find that all the more prevalent when looking at landscaping around public institutions. I am glad colleges and universities include nature in their design of space, I just find the juxtaposition always interesting. And it adds more texture and light and shade possibilities for me when photographing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Depending on an angle of view it’s either nature or man at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Pieces of nature “decorates” the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shade and framing at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Floating in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

5 Jun

I don’t often get to the Iowa Lakes Region in Siouxland that includes Arnolds Park, Okoboji and Spirit Lake, but I do enjoy my time there when I can make it. On a recent trip the day started out raining, harder as I got closer, but then after a little walking and ducking into places to avoid the rain, it dissipated and turned out to be a nicer day.

I like hanging out near the water. The sound of it lapping up against something is soothing and relaxing and can easily reflect various moods depending on how a person may feel.

A hazy day makes objects to somewhat float in the atmosphere in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one can almost believe you are floating above the water and all, buoyed above all else. Water is so deceiving in a way, reflecting what is around it and “blending” into the scenery, although you know it’s there.

A pier under construction sits quiet and ready for summer action in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But water is enjoyed by many, no matter the species or current occupation employed, it just offers a short escape from the hectic world giving one a little time to relax, enjoy and dream.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A fisherman watches his yellow bobber while trying his luck in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

While people enjoy their lunch above at a restaurant near the water, so do two ducks enjoy a quiet day on a pier in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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