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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©)

Siouxland Weather Good and Bad, Falls Park, Sioux Fall, SD

22 Sep

Some visitors get a closer look at the fast moving Big Sioux River at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I previously visited Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD, in the northern reaches of Siouxland. But I haven’t been to the park since a Photo Safari class I taught visited over a year or so ago. With this year’s frozen spring and then rain fall and heavy rains over the summer and even into the fall, the Big Sioux River which runs through the park has been working overtime filling its banks to the brim as has the James River and the Missouri River. And it seems there is no end in sight.

Visitors take a break and watch the rushing water of the Big Sioux River at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Big Sioux River runs fast over the rocks isolating some of the outcroppings at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The week day I visited there were lots of folk walking about also checking out the water levels and the “roar” of the water through the park. It’s an amazing sight but also dangerous. People can get up close and personal with the water and a slip on some of the outcroppings could prove disastrous if one is not careful. A few incidents have happened over the years where people fall in and sadly lose their lives. But seeing nature in a raw state that close is hard to pass up.

With increased water action because of the year’s rainfall locally and upstream of the Big Sioux River, a visitor from Connecticut takes photos at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Big Sioux River runs fast over the rocks at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And with more rains expected then probably snow fall over the winter, it doesn’t seem there will be any disappointment from park fans in the foreseeable future.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A visitor records the turbulent Big Sioux River flowing at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Big Sioux River runs fast over the rocks at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Waiting for a Weather Change in Siouxland, Beresford, SD

28 Jul

History sitting in place sight seen during an outing of the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

This past week Siouxland experienced a very insufferable heat wave much like the eastern part of the U.S. is now experiencing. The start of this week has brought cooler temperatures which will hopefully last a few days before those Dog Days of Summer, and the month of August gets here. Everyone knows when it’s fair time it’s got to be hot and humid.

So it was a little to my delight when I came across a photograph I had taken in April during a Spring Photo Safari class I teach. There was unexpected weather that day. Snow, then rain. Now it sounds kind of nice, but then not so much. Winter had over extended its stay.

Having lived in a few places throughout this vast land there is one thing in common that I found people to say, “Just wait five minutes and the weather will change.”

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Take Me Out to the Ballgame in Siouxland, Omaha, NE

1 May

Creighton University plays University of Nebraska, Lincoln in baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently a friend invited me and a couple others to take in a college baseball game featuring Creighton University and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, played in Omaha, Ne. It has been decades since I attended a college sporting event for fun. Since graduating college I only attended college athletic events when working for daily newspapers. And I must admit the trip to Omaha was on

 

a beautiful spring day and evening.

A beautiful day and then evening for the Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Baseball fans attend the Creighton University against the University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There was a good mix of blue and red fans supporting each school, with some Creighton students “dressing” up for the game and showing their colors.

Two Creighton student fans display their colors before the Creighton University and University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when I get students in my Lifelong Learning photography classes I find some students want to acquire new gear, especially lenses so they can photograph their kids playing sports or in school plays or choir. Most of these folk have the kit lenses that came with their camera and sometimes a zoom telephoto. Both are generally variable zooms meaning the f-stops automatically changes as they zoom out to the telephoto end of the lens’ range. I tell them to learn to use the equipment they have and find those moments to photograph that will accomplish what they want to achieve before deciding on spending the big bucks to buy a fast f/2.8 lens. I used the Fuji X kit lens, 18-55 f/2.8-4 for these images of the game and surrounding atmospheric shots.

Creighton University’s mascot greets visitors to the game between Creighton University and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln at the baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Creighton University players warm up for their game against the plays University of Nebraska, Lincoln in baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Fans take a selfie of themselves during the Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

It was a little tough trying to shoot action but it can be done. The head first sliding image was taken at f/4 because I was at the 55mm end of the lens and maybe 1/250th of a second shutter speed. But with the runner coming toward me I figured I would be safe in stopping action without much chance of blur. And it would have been too great a crop to produce a tighter image. Besides, I wasn’t covering the game but more interested in the ambiance of the experience. It makes a difference when as a photographer you know your end usage and what you are trying to achieve.

A Nebraska players makes it safely to third base during a Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Creighton University plays University of Nebraska, Lincoln in baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even shooting an overall image of the playing field the movement is minimal during a game as the contest between these two teams revolved around their pitching staff and each team plowed through 4-5 pitchers with some achieving a better result than others during the nine inning game.

A good representation of both Creighton University and theUniversity of Nebraska, Lincoln fans turn out for the rival baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And then it was time to go home and taking a photograph of the downtown “skyline” of Omaha from the park was easy with a slower shutter speed and a cement foundation to place the camera on to keep camera shake at a minimum. Baseball is a little like photography and life in that one enjoys those moments like a nice spring day when it happens and a free ticket and worry about the other stuff later.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The skyline of Omaha, NE is seen outside the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium during the Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

25 Apr

Enjoying a nice day out pedaling down from the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even though officially spring has already “sprung” in Siouxland and elsewhere, some days just don’t feel like it. But people are beginning to venture out and explore after what seemed to be a long, cold winter in the area. A recent outing with my Photo Safari Lifelong Learning class to Yankton, SD was pleasant. It was warm. Although the morning started off pretty chilly. The nice weather has been intermittent with the rainy still cold weather. And it makes it so much nicer in getting out and begin exploring again what surprises one can find in Siouxland.

members of the spring Photo Safari class from Lifelong Learning at Western Iowa Tech find vantage points for photographs on the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sign tells the history of the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And a little sunshine would be nice to admire and photograph under once again. Giving some contours to landscapes and buildings and other objects of interest. But until then one must make do with what one finds and juxtapose them to create something dynamic or at least interesting.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shapes and angles at the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, and another highway bridge into Nebraska in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Capturing Moments in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

11 Apr

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I recently drove around parts of Siouxland after a weather bomb had visited the area like so many places and flooded fields and communities. Driving along one stretch of road where the water reached up I noticed a driveway into a field, actually two fields, both filled with water. The images taken were literally one minute apart, but yet enough time for wind to effect a scene.

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes in photography it is only moments when the effective image can be taken before something occurs that changes the scene into another scene, different from before. Most times we may think the time of year or time of day will most definitely change what we saw before. But sometimes it’s just moments.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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