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Finding an Image in Siouxland’s Winter Wonderland, Adams Homestead

25 Feb

Finding the right angle for photographing frost encrusted grass stems at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wandering about in Siouxland looking for images one sometimes needs to slow down and check various angles. A few inches one direction or another can give a particular image a “different” look. Is the background appropriate to set apart the subject you are photographing. On especially cold days when the toes begin to go numb that can be challenging. Slowing down and looking for different angles.

I find photographing frost a sometimes tough proposition in that one needs a background to set the grass stems apart from the background and standout. And photographing ice particles is tough in and of itself. I do not own a macro lens and make do with a zoom lens that I have. Shooting too tight doesn’t give one sense of place and too loose the focus on the subject is somewhat lost.

Finding the right angle for photographing frost encrusted grass stems at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Finding the right angle for photographing frost encrusted grass stems at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But a person can’t photograph different subjects if the attempt is not made. But planning ahead is never a bad thing and the welcome center this particular day was open and a welcome break for feelings to return to toes and fingers and then a second round of looking for intriguing images on a sunny but particularly cold February day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Greener Pastures in Siouxland, Rural Buena Vista County

19 Feb

Cruising in rural Monona County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

in rural Buena Vista County, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while out driving in Siouxland in nicer weather I never know who I might see off the beaten path. More likely a critter of some sort. And I am glad when driving backroads I am moving slowly enough to be able to brake and then get one or two photographs made before the elusive creatures vanish.

Planted crops on a summer’s day in rural Monona County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Cornfields and woods near corn and soybean fields can be an ideal spot to find nature hanging out and I feel lucky when I can both enjoy and photograph the scene at the same time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Robins, a Hopeful Spring Sign in Siouxland, Omaha, NE

9 Feb

Robins looking for food and staying warm on a cool day at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

I am always happy to see robins flitting about and gathering this time of year around Siouxland. It makes me feel that spring is much closer than it seems. Weather folk predicting more snow and maybe a mixture in the coming days. And while I have not seen any of these gems in the Siouxland region proper, as Omaha is generally 10-15 degrees warmer, I just think they are taking a brief respite before continuing their journey north.

Robins looking for food and staying warm on a cool day at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Robins looking for food and staying warm on a cool day at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

These little guys didn’t want me coming anywhere near them as they scavenged among the leaves looking for morsels. They looked plump, but am guess they just had on their “down” jacket as the temperatures still hover below and just barely above freezing. But soon as the prognosticating rodent made his call about the spring and the weather recently, this year feels like it can’t come soon enough.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Robins looking for food and staying warm on a cool day at historic Fort Omaha, now the Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding the Time and Place in Siouxland, Sioux City

3 Feb

The setting sun creates a colorful sky seen in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. 9photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

A recent two-day warm up has put a smile on a lot of folks’ faces in Siouxland recently. Inches thick ice on sidewalks and driveways has melted away and even blue sky and sweater apparel made an appearance. But some times those nice days don’t coincide with other work projects and while looking out a window towards evening the beginning of a beautiful sunset was in play. Knowing there would be no time to “get anywhere” with a nice view and interesting foreground elements, I walked into an alley near my home and made a few images. Sometimes it’s hard to just take a photograph when you know that a different place could make it a very splendid photograph. But life doesn’t always work that way, so I settled for enjoying a sunset, and wishing for more warm days to come and blue sky and some color to celebrate.

And then I realize that the month of February has not yet really begun and will try to curb my enthusiasm as I am certain more winter weather will this the area. At least the little rodent, Punxsutawney Phil did not see a shadow which predicts an early spring. One can only hope.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The setting sun creates a colorful sky seen in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. 9photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Weathering the Political Storm in Siouxland, Sioux City

18 Jan

A pedestrian makes his way on a city street donwtown as winter weather envelopes Sioux City and other parts of Iowa. The weather prevented former U.S. Sen. and vice president and 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden from campaigning in Sioux City and Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, today ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter can be unpredictable when it comes to weather in Siouxland, or any place in the Midwest. Sioux City has been spared a lot of winter type weather so far this season, but that came to an end recently as a major storm passed through dumping 6-7 inches on its way east to spread more joy and happiness to other “lucky” residents.

An Iowa DOT snow plow clears a lane for traffic on a state roadway as winter weather envelopes Sioux City and other parts of Iowa. The weather prevented former U.S. Sen. and vice president and 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden from campaigning in Sioux City and Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, today ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Because of the presidential election year coming up and the state of Iowa being the first in the nation with a presidential caucus vote, many candidates have been making last ditch efforts to visit and engage potential supporters and energize the base they already have. But Mother Nature can forestall any hopes such as a visit by former vice president Joe Biden to Sioux City. An event here and south in Council Bluffs were cancelled because of weather.  Last year NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio visited the Sioux City area campaigning as the one to lead the Democratic party for the 2020 presidential election. A winter storm was blowing in carrying mostly rain and sleet, and reporters from the eastern city covering their mayor decided to camp out rather than risk driving at night. The Mayor’s team decided to push ahead after the event in town ended and headed out, but for only 30 minutes. The roads became too icy an dangerous to safely drive, and rather than staying where they had been with a choice of accommodations they ended up in a smaller community with one motel choice and at least a Subway sandwich shop to quench their hunger.

Nature doesn’t care about politicians and the schedules they feel the need to keep. Locals will hunker down and only go out if necessary, job depending, but politicians have to “make hay while the sun shines” as the saying goes. And with caucus only a couple of weeks away, to use another cliche, “time is of the essence”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Traffic almost disappears on a state road that leads out of town as winter weather envelopes Sioux City and other parts of Iowa. The weather prevented former U.S. Sen. and vice president and 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden from campaigning in Sioux City and Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, today ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A U.S. Postal Service employee makes his rounds delivering mail downtown as winter weather envelopes Sioux City and other parts of Iowa. The weather prevented former U.S. Sen. and vice president and 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden from campaigning in Sioux City and Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, today ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter’s Beauty in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

10 Jan

On a foggy morning, hoar frost, a deposit of needle-like ice crystals formed on the ground or near the ground by direct condensation at temperatures below freezing point, coats trees and other vegetation at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature has an amazing way of sharing its beauty even in winter in Siouxland. Recently the entire area was blanketed by fog and the below freezing temperature created an amazing vision of ice crystals coating everything in sight. Hoar frost is to me a wonderful sight to behold. Although the sun didn’t peek out much and the still cloud covered sky did not lend a dramatic blue sky background to the frost covered ground and plants, it was still fun to see an entire area covered by frost.

Hoar frost, a deposit of needle-like ice crystals formed on the ground or near the ground by direct condensation at temperatures below freezing point, coats trees and other vegetation near North Sioux City, South Dakota Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Hoar frost, a deposit of needle-like ice crystals formed on the ground or near the ground by direct condensation at temperatures below freezing point, coats trees and other vegetation at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s early January and one can only guess what Mother Nature has in-store for the rest of winter and weather or not it will display more of the same beauty or not. This I enjoyed much in that I really didn’t have much shoveling to do when awoken in the morning. But I’m sure there will still be some snowfall yet that will require some manual labor and a few cups of hot coffee to clear walks before this winter season is past.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

On a foggy morning, hoar frost, a deposit of needle-like ice crystals formed on the ground or near the ground by direct condensation at temperatures below freezing point, coats trees and other vegetation at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Neighborhood Colors in Siouxland, Sioux City

7 Nov

Fall leaves along a residential street in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As the weather keeps changing from fall temperatures of the 40’s to winter temps of the 20’s and 30’s in all of a week, the colors, of what there is keep dwindling. Soon the leaves will just be falling off the trees because of the cold overnight temps. Winter seems intent on arriving early this year. Another couple of weeks of fall weather would be nice, but Mom Nature doesn’t seem to agree. Until then I hope to find some more “local” color which on nice days is doable. A walk in the neighborhood can always bring pleasant surprises.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fall leaves along a residential street in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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