Exploring Areas in Southern Siouxland, Monona County

12 Jun

Recently as I was headed to an area in southern Siouxland to photograph a building I came upon a couple of barns sitting on the side of the road. As I drove by the little voice in my head said, “You’re here, so stop.” And I did. Sometimes when pressed for time I don’t consciously think I need to stop. I always tell myself you can come back. But the light, the look and whatever it was that caught your attention will never be the same the next time. It could be better, but then again…..

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A barn in a field off of Hwy 141in rural Monona County, Iowa Friday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A barn in a field off of Hwy 141 in rural Monona County, Iowa Friday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Lands West Siouxland, Bushnell, NE

10 Jun

Earlier this spring I helped a friend move to western Nebraska far removed from Siouxland. She is excited to start a new chapter in her life and to return to a landscape more to her liking, as well as a dryer climate. While there I stopped into the small community of Bushnell, NE. Like some towns in Siouxland which sit at the western most border of Iowa, Bushnell sits at the western most border of Nebraska. The Wyoming border is only 8 miles away. Because of time constraints on my part, I wasn’t able to explore the region very much, but enjoyed it immensely for its change from what I see daily in Iowa. It reminds a lot of areas in west Texas when I lived there as well as New Mexico.

The community of Bushnell is a small place, like many in Siouxland. There are few residents and the town provides a place to reside which the locals enjoy. Far removed from larger communities, but near enough by car to larger places like Cheyenne or Scottsbluff to “get out of Dodge” for a day to shop or enjoy a change of pace.

The early morning light during my walk around was hard and directional. ‘Tis the season with summer here but like west Texas it illuminates the landscape and its occupants well. Like a lot of small Siouxland communities a few small businesses anchor the downtown area and a multitude of trains regularly pass by. It was a nice visit and maybe down the road I can explore more of the surrounding area without any time constraints.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A wet Tulip Festival Celebration, Orange City

8 Jun

Of the number of years I have now lived in the Siouxland area I can not recall a more rainy day for the Tulip Festival in Orange City. Although I am certain others will easily recall that. One gentleman I talked with this year while attending the festival told me he remembers as a child playing an instrument in the marching band wearing his wooden shoes and trudging through a late snow. Mother Nature can be a bit capricious sometimes.

This time it drizzled and rained almost all of the time. Not heavy, but steady. And with expected storms to roll into the area in the late afternoon and evening, the normally two parade times were combined into one. I stayed around for most of it, but not all. Having never been to the parade in rainy weather I was a bit gamed to see what images I could come away with. The majority of them contained umbrellas. The darker than normal overcast skies helped create a mood but visitors seemed undaunted by the weather.

Sometimes people’s true feelings can show as this couple always enjoyed the festival but not the weather during the Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Saturday, May 20, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The use of so many umbrellas gave me some natural framing devices, as well as the “shade” of the trees focusing a viewer’s eyes on what I want them to see in my images.

Umbrellas could be found everywhere during a wet Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Saturday, May 20, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lastly, I enjoyed being able to some extent single out some of the young dancers of which the girls seemed thrilled to perform and the boys reluctant participants. But the food I had tasted the same, and with so many umbrellas people offered a space while I shot in different locations.A sunny day would not have given me the same results and I didn’t mind a little drizzle and certainly didn’t mind the cooler weather.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Returning to Solitude in Siouxland, Yankton

6 Jun

On many of my visits to the city of Yankton, SD in Siouxland, I like to stop by the Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel that is overseen by the Yankton Benedictine monastery. A beautiful small church that serves the community and specifically Mount Marty College. I take the time to just sit and listen. It’s generally quiet that I hear. And that is what I am looking for, time away from the outside white noise that one finds in everyday life. I always look for different images as well, trying to see something new with each visit. This time, with the lights off, I saw light coming into the ante room to the chapel and reflected on a display case that holds items from the former Bishop for whom the chapel is named. It was a nice image, not adequately captured, but sometimes the feeling and the immediacy also influences the images we take and enjoy, before re-entering the world outside.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Summer brings Fresh Produce, Sioux City

4 Jun

Last year I was negligent in getting to any of the Farmers Market days in Sioux City. Various projects and it seems other needed agendas kept me away. This past week I visited the market. While technically still in the spring season, the offerings will begin to grow as summer gets even closer and vendors from throughout the Siouxland region bring their items to the market, here and other area towns. And delectable treats and organic food awaits for people to enjoy the fruits of others labor.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Near and Far in Siouxland, Quimby

2 Jun

Sometimes when I visit small communities in Siouxland I take the time to walk about and see what may be on the side streets as well as the downtown area. Like in Quimby I spent a hour getting a little exercise and just looking.  I found something in a doorway and then walking along a street I saw a larger view incorporating the water tower. Something near and something far. I find that when I am looking at something I don’t always “see” it. But it becomes clear, and when I am home editing, even more clear.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A decorated business door in Quimby Iowa Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The water tower looms over neighboring homes in Quimby, Iowa Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding a Photo in Siouxland, Sioux City

31 May

The last couple of days I have found myself doing yard work. Sometimes one just has to get some “chores” done as spring moves into summer. With warmer days ahead, now seemed a good time to do some sidewalk repair with a near perfect day with temps in the low 70’s and a breeze. When I finished I took a moment and laid back on the ground to view the sky above and wasn’t disappointed. And I didn’t have to go far in Siouxland to photograph the sky and clouds on a weather perfect day. I just needed to take the time to look up and then go get my camera.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Blue sky and white clouds on a weather perfect day in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, May 30, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blue sky and white clouds on a weather perfect day in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, May 30, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blue sky and white clouds on a weather perfect day in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, May 30, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

%d bloggers like this: