Archive | Travel RSS feed for this section

Photographing scenes in Siouxland, Hillview Park in Hinton

15 Jul

I always find it interesting when visiting places in Siouxland or elsewhere how people interpret those visits. Especially doing so through photographs the viewer can take away a myriad of perceptions. And it all depends on what the photographer has in mind. Does he or she what people to see something in particular or take away a certain viewpoint of what they themselves encountered? One can only speculate. But a line from a Christmas movie kind of sums it up when the character said “Seeing is believing,” not believing is seeing.” And so too a photographer’s interpretation of what is seen.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A difference in exposure changes a scene in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A difference in exposure changes a scene in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Nature around Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE

13 Jul

Visitors enter a formal garden at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always with a bit of anticipation when one enters a new area what a person will find on the other side. Laurtizen Gardens in Omaha, NE has a number of gardens to visit within its 100 plus acres of landscape. From formal and informal gardens to other little gems with artwork.

Visitors explore a formal garden setting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A visitor could spend 2-3 hours just wandering and enjoying the beauty that unfolds before one’s eyes.

Light play illuminates a plant at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rose garden at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While the time of day, mid to late morning when I visited in June might not be an ideal time to photograph a perfect garden scene, it was still pretty spectacular. I especially enjoyed the Lithuanian and Baltic folk tales garden area one walks into just strolling down a path.

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The interpretive signs are handy in putting into perspective a visual artist’s rendition of the folk art one encounters.

A Baltic myth tells of a young sea-goddess who lived in the Baltic Dea and fell in love with a young fisherman. One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Egle is the Queen of Serpents who was a young girl who married a serpent prince. One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And after walking a few trails there are places to take a break and just view the activity or scenes of beauty that surrounds, astounds and trail into another area for more exploration.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Pathways lead visitors through wooded areas and into garden settings at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Benches in shaded areas give visitors a feeling of seclusion when stopping to rest or admire the view at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brick fence sets off a formal garden setting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An outing of out Siouxland, Henry Doorley Zoo Omaha, NE

11 Jul

A recent outing for a Summer Photo Safari class I teach through Western Iowa Tech’s Lifelong Learning program took us to the Henry Doorley Zoo in Omaha, NE. It also happened to be the opening day for the NCAA College World Series held in Omaha and one of the hotter days at that point in summer that it was an interesting day of shooting.

People enjoy zoos. As hard as it is sometimes to see the animals caged and pacing or simply ignoring the humans staring at them, people are still drawn to go and see the animals that only see in pictures in a book or magazine.

A young girl poses for a picture inside a viewing area as a Lowland Gorilla sits outside in the shade during a hot day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes people receive lasting impressions as they are able to interact with some of the animals and it makes an impact.

A visitor gets a personal experience as she feeds a giraffe at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Children the antics of one of the Lowland gorillas at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But the heat that day definitely made an impression and people took advantage of mist stations along the way to stay cool and have some fun at the same time.

A family cools off under a misting station on a hot and humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

By and far though I found the best way of staying cool was to visit the indoor exhibits which were as fascinating as the outdoor ones.

A visitor takes photos of fish swimming overhead in the Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But I think it’s not only the guests visiting the zoo that enjoy it as do the individuals who work with the animals and care for them and bond with them on a daily basis much like many of us do with our own pets. Sometimes visiting and seeing something exotic doesn’t necessarily have to take one to the other side of the world, but it is a nice first step in that direction.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A parrot gets cozy with its trainer at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE Saturday June 16, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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

Looking for Good Neighbors in Siouxland, Rural Monona County

5 Jul

Driving around Siouxland I am always looking for examples of photography to share with people who take my Lifelong Learning photography classes at Western Iowa Tech. I like to update what I share instead of living on “past glories”, plus in teaching I think I should continue practicing what I talk about. And what a better way to spend a day. Driving about Monona County a old saying struck me while I was looking at various “leading lines”. “Fences make for good neighbors.”

And I assume the neighbors in this area of the Loess Hills were fairly happy with one another. And so was I as I stopped to photograph another leading line.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A road grader smooths out a dirt road after a harsh winter and spring rains in rural Monona County, Iowa, Monday June 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A fence line in rural Monona County, Iowa, Monday June 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A fence line in rural Monona County, Iowa, Monday June 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Honoring the Birth of a Nation in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

3 Jul

A lot of my driving around the backroads of Siouxland is done in anticipation that I will find something surprising and not previously seen by me. Although many of the places I visit I am certain are frequented by those living nearby.

I came across a small, well kept cemetery recently that I don’t recall visiting in the past. In the country it was quiet. Not even passing traffic disturbed the quiet. Seeing one grave in particular it made me think of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday that America celebrates, as do all countries when it comes to their birth and becoming the nation they are today.

A remembrance of a person who served his country in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fourth of July celebrations for most communities involve parades, backyard cookouts and fireworks. Two out of the three are noisy but fun and delightful. Children these days live for parades and the free candy generally tossed their way by those on participating floats.

So it was this quiet and solitude, a salute to a person who served their country that resonated. No distractions, no noise, just a thoughtful embrace of those who came before.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

A dove finds a quiet spot to rest in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

%d bloggers like this: