Spring in Siouxland brings new Arrivals, Bacon Creek Park

10 May

With the arrival of spring and the Siouxland landscape now becoming green and lush after this past winter’s brown tones, there are also other new arrivals. During a recent walk out at Bacon Creek Park I came across a number goose families lounging on the shore with their young brood of goslings. As I approached this gathering which was spread along the walking path, it struck me as reminiscent of a French painting by Georges-Pierre Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, only instead of people, geese.

As I slowly approached the grouping of geese slowly began to disperse, all being a little wary of the approaching person. Not wanting to disturb them more than I needed, I walked even slower, but one gallant young goose hissed very loudly and slowly began circling me as I tried to get around him and his family, not wanting to startle the little goslings, which I succeeded in not upsetting.

But it was a touching scene, more like a social event for these families of geese and nice encounter, without any biting on their part, as spring continues to unfold.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Color in Siouxland, Heritage Village in Sioux Center

9 May

On my most recent outing with students in my Lifelong Learning class of Photo Safari we spent a good portion of the class at the Heritage Village in Sioux Center. It was a brilliant spring day and colors just seemed to pop everywhere one looked. The Heritage Village is a historical montage of area history with a sod house similar to what early settlers may have lived in, as well other stores like a leather maker, general dry goods store and a blacksmith shop. It was just a nice day to be outside, enjoying the spring weather and taking photographs.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Checking out sights in Siouxland, Spirit Lake

8 May

With warmer weather and lengthening days of sunlight, it is a little easier to get out and check out sights in Siouxland. On a visit of to the Iowa Lakes Region I stopped into Spirit Lake. It has an older historic building, a former hotel built in the early 1900’s listed on the National Historic Registry. I also found it interesting that most settled communities have the typical county courthouses built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. But Spirit Lakes’s is rather modern looking and refreshing in that sense that it utilizes a lot of glass. I didn’t spend a lot of time driving about this community, but on the early April day I was there, I saw a lot of fishermen taking advantage of warmer weather and waiting for the fish to bite. Summer is on the way and those lazy, hazy days of summer are approaching.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring’s Rebirth in Siouxland, Bacon Creek

6 May

It was a cold and blustery day, that even saw a few flakes of snow falling. It’s almost May and Mother Nature keeps tossing small reminders of winter at the Siouxland area. While out for a walk at Bacon Creek in Sioux City it was nice to see vibrant greens contrasting with the dark bark of trees, signaling the rebirth of spring and a new season. Some “valleys” in Bacon Creek Park look like rivers of green. Spring is here, although Mother Nature seems to be warming to the idea of that slowly.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A walking path snakes through Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, April 28, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Vibrant green of new growth looks like a river of green in Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, April 28, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Creating photos in Siouxland, Sioux City

4 May

When photographing objects or places, sometimes I find that B&W medium works better than color. In B&W one relies on shape, form and tonality. In color, some or all of what was just mentioned are overwhelmed with the color. The warm light and the brown basket just “feels” differently than the B&W photo of the same basket. It’s all personal interpretation and sometimes it’s good to ponder what one might think is more appropriate or better fits the image at least in the eye of the photographer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying a Spring Day in Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

2 May

In early April I took a trip up to Sioux Falls, SD to enjoy lunch at a little eatery I found and to just enjoy a warm day in spring. Currently the weather is much cooler again with rain, and that is too be expected. But the nice day brought like-minded people out as they too came to Falls Park in Sioux Falls to enjoy sunshine, the water and just being in the moment.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing what is there in Siouxland, Onawa

30 Apr

On a recent outing with a class to check out Onawa, Iowa, we visiting a museum, surrounding grounds and the downtown area including a Carnegie library now the public library. The purpose behind this class is to put students into various situations and places and then photograph what appeals to them. I answer some technical questions as well as point out some visual items to them to help them broaden their perspective when photographing. On this particular outing I was looking at a variety of subjects that attracted my attention which included color and light play. Then I tried to isolate those scenes or objects in a way to make my vision something any viewer later would also see while looking at my photos.

When shooting photographs, it’s the photographer’s viewpoint and impression they are or should be trying to convey to the viewer, whoever that might be. For the classes it is always a fun exercise and outings. The last class everyone shows their favorite photos from the previous outings. And so they can compare notes and see where they may have seen something similar or be amazed at what another person saw and they did not.

It was a nice way to spend part of a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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