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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

Seeing Creatively in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

20 Apr

I have made a few trips to Vermillion, SD recently. It is relatively close, has some nice eateries and also some events I have attended. A University of South Dakota campus is also located there.

It’s because I have gone often that sometimes I struggle to find scenes I would like to photograph. Students who attend some of my Lifelong Learning classes are probably scratching their heads when I show them some of the photographs I have made. Being aware and open to interpretation is a helpful aspect of a photographer’s tool kit.

This particular trip was also overcast and grey. And as I walked about I saw some buildings with interesting doors. And then I stepped closer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

History in Siouxland, the Pettigrew House and Museum, Sioux Falls, SD

19 Apr

On a trip in Siouxland to Sioux Falls, SD, I stopped by a historical house and museum of one R.F. Pettigrew. This gentleman was the first sitting U.S. Senator from the state of South Dakota. He also sounded like a bit of a rough and tumble character, actually involved in a brawl with another politician, beating someone with his cane. Evidently gentleman were not synonymous with genteel. Pettigrew however did much for the city of Sioux Falls in its early days and was also a world traveler. There is a small collection of items in the museum from Egypt and the Orient from his travels.

It’s fun to learn about local history, even if it is next door and to find out how places were shaped through the actions of its citizens.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

A Siouxland Small Community and its famous author, Doon, Iowa

11 Apr

On a nice day I headed in the northern area of Siouxland with a specific destination in mind and to revisit and see what was new. But along the way I got sidetracked. Too many side and back roads, too little time? I came across a sign for Doon, Iowa. A small community with a population of roughly 590 residents. Like most small, rural communities, Doon’s downtown was anchored on side by a grain elevator. It had some nice features and a memorial to those who served there country. It was a pleasant place to hang out for a while as I was making my way further north in Lyon County.

The community of Doon, Iowa Friday March 31, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

It was a pleasant day to be out and about finding new places. I talked to a young lady as she was returning home after fetching her mail downtown from the post office. I asked her a few questions about the community and she told me there was an author who was born in Doon, now buried in the cemetery outside of town in the country. Frederick Manfred wrote an number of novels and according to his site, coined the term “Siouxland”. The New York Times also wrote an obituary about the author after his passing. Even famous people remembered by a national newspaper came from someplace. And it is fun to explore one’s region and find such nuggets of history. I searched a bit through Hillside Cemetery that day but was not able to find his headstone.

As the days get longer and warmer, I am looking forward to more exploration with the hopes of being surprised by other such gems. One never knows what one might find over the next horizon, but it is always to fun to find out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Just Searching in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

2 Apr

Recently on a trip to Vermillion, SD I ate lunch and walked about looking for some different images that maybe I have overlooked in the past. I have been to Vermillion numerous times and walked about the campus of the University of South Dakota there, as well as the downtown area. This day it was heavy overcast and no sunshine to speak of, but at least it was “warmish” and pleasant to walk about and be out of the house as spring begins to settle into the Siouxland area.

The prospect of finding something new I think is always a challenge when photographing a place one knows fairly well. The overcast day also presented a challenge with its flat light. No chance of using lights and shadows to create images. And then I saw it. Shapes. On a bright sunny day I might have overlooked these, but on this particular day these images just stood out. Hiding in plain sight some may say. Or just being observant and looking for images to make the day a little more successful.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Good Karma in Siouxland, Storm Lake

31 Mar

I took a recent trip in Siouxland with a friend to Storm Lake, Iowa as she checked out some items for possible use in a move to a new place. Previously my friend traveled to a location to check out an area she thought she might like to relocate to, and after a few incidents of getting there which were more annoying than harmful, she decided the universe was trying to tell her she needed to look into a more specific direction to find her happiness. My friend was happy with her choice. In Storm Lake while waiting for this friend to run errands, I met a local proprietor and got to chatting about eateries in the town. Somehow we drifted to a conversation about one particular restaurant that is located in Peterson, Iowa and this person told me the story of her unmarried daughter living out of state, the chance meeting of a young man who actually grew up not far from them in their community and how things might work out that her daughter and this young man might eventually make a go of life.

We never really know how life might turn out, but generally I believe it’s true that one gets back what one puts out. If it is all hate and vile, why should a person expect different? While waiting for my friend to finish errands I walked to the lake in Storm Lake and just sat watching what was before me and contemplating the two ventures or journeys these two different people have taken and ended someplace where they could find happiness. Fairy tales? Maybe, but a person must still retain hope for the best while, sadly, sometimes expecting maybe the not so worst, but events that can detour or even slow down one’s path to where you hope to be.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Two geese paddle about in the lake at Storm Lake, Iowa Monday, March 27, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A short walk to infinity in Storm Lake, Iowa Monday, March 27, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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