Tag Archives: adams homestead nature preserve

Enjoying Nature in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

12 Jul
A Lesser Yellowlegs poses as it hunts for a meal at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Taking a jaunt to Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is always a nice way to start one’s day. Of course that is after having a couple cups of coffee to jump start the day. I am finding one needs to be an early riser to find nature’s creatures a bit more active as they hunt for their morning and mid-morning nourishment. For the shore birds, they sometimes do this just underneath a bird blind that the preserve has put in place in numerous places along Mud Lake for visitors to enjoy the residents and passers through.

A Canada goose informs a visitor that the bird blind is currently occupied at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A Redwing blackbird makes some noise on a perch at Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Two Lesser Yellowlegs look for food in Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As I try to improve my photography of nature it’s nice, and convenient, to have willing subjects, as long as they are not too aware of one’s presence. Hence the bird blinds. I know I will not be traveling to far flung places on the earth like Africa, Peru or even the Rocky Mountains to photograph animals in the wild. But will be content with the “local wild creatures” I have nearby at preserves and parks and do the best I can to capture them in motion. Not a bad way to spend a morning.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

American white pelicans slowly circle overhead at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A wood duck floats in Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A Lesser Yellowlegs hunts for a meal at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
An Eastern Kingfisher studies its surroundings from a tree branch overhanging Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Cruising in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

19 May
A muskrat nibbles on a snack at Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a few places in Siouxland one can go to and watch nature. Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is just a few minutes north by vehicle and most days affords one an opportunity to watch and photograph nature unfolding, with creatures cruising the park. There are a few blinds set up along one of the small lakes found there that water fowl, shore birds and other creatures frequent.

A muskrat tries to slip away after being seen by a visitor at Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A friend who is a avid birder generally arrives pre sunrise to see as many species and identify them for a local club. I admire his determination to get out early and enjoy the sunrise and day’s activities beginning. I on the other hand need some caffeine to get my day started a wee bit after sunrise.

And then there are those creatures who value their privacy, and when spotted by the occasional visitor leave before one has a chance to see what they are doing. Evidently shy by nature, and probably with good reason, fleeting glimpses are all one sometimes gets before realizing what it was that one saw.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A muskrat makes its way to to the other side of Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Quiet Time in Siouxland, Adams Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

11 Apr
A couple of Canada geese find a “dry” spot to sun themselves at Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when visiting places in Siouxland it’s just nice to stop, sit and watch and listen. Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is one such place. Even though it is “late in the season” for migratory waterfowl and the chance to see a number of birds, there were still some “locals” hanging out in a water hole at the preserve, taking in the morning and enjoying the day.

I always try to remember that maybe there is a lesson in that.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Two American coots paddle about at Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A Canada goose stands on “dry” ground at Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A Canada goose makes its way swimming around Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter’s season in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

4 Feb
A winter’s sunset at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes the winter season in Siouxland can seem to last forever, or just feel that way like a lot of upper midwestern states. Dull, grey skies, chilly or downright cold temperatures just gives one the interminable “stay indoors fever”. But then some days there is a respite and a chance to enjoy a little break.

Winter season at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A little color in the sky, even at sunset, makes one hopeful the next day will be “nicer”, with another 30 plus days to go. It’ still January, February hasn’t even knocked at the door yet and already I am thinking about spring. Patience, the virtue. One can only hope.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Winter season at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Winter season at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Color in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

15 Oct
Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I don’t often utilize the filters that are available these days in most digital cameras or apps for phone cameras. But there are interesting effects one can achieve and utilize to either dramatize or bring attention to an image. And the filters these days are pretty amazing and seamless for any level of photographer from beginner to those with more advanced knowledge and skill.

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

From my standpoint I just think the filters are fun. I utilize a miniature effect filter that mimics using using a swing on a large format camera of which I previously photographed with and found helpful in in bringing a viewer’s eye to a certain area of a photograph. Sometimes more effective than using shallow depth of field.

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This time I used a selective color filter. At one point in my photo career I did color tint black and white photos with oils or colored watercolor pencils depending on the paper the image was printed on. Fine brushes and deft dexterity was needed in being precise. Now it’s done with software. Painlessly and in nano seconds. I am not complaining, I like the results, but it’s a far cry from the skill needed to create a tinted photo in years past. Patience, a steady hand and magnifying glass for some close up work. It was a real skill.

These days it is more imagination and with digital, if you at first don’t succeed, delete and try again. In days past it was toss out the “ruined” print, make another and try again. Slowly, slowly to achieve the affect one wanted.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Walk in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

23 Sep

Shady trail lanes are a welcome respite on a hot day at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always nice to get and enjoy the day with sunshine and fresh air in Siouxland. Although lately with western wildfire smoke and haze the air quality has suffered a bit even in Iowa. I can not begin to imagine what it is like on the west coast in those states. Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is always a nice place to take a walk, giving one a choice of trails, long or short, sunny, shady or a mixture of both. I walked a trail I haven’t been on for a number of years and noticed how it was built out a bit and gave some side trail choices to explore more of the park as well as seeing restoration underway at the Preserve.

Signage helps visitors understand the mission at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The side trail I ventured onto took one into a meadow area and with a little patience, more than I had that particular day, one could find numerous critters traversing the area early morning or late afternoon, early evening as they foraged and meandered themselves around the park.

Signage informs visitors at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A summer’s day at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Prairie restoration in action at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So it was nice to find some added benches along the way for those of us who wanted a break from enjoying all that fresh air and walking. Too much of a good thing? Maybe.

Shady benches are always a welcome sight after a bit of walking on a hot day at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This particular trail runs along the Missouri River at a couple of points and gives a visitor a chance to check it out as well. I found it nice that along the trail signs of wildlife were about, leaving hints. And also running into some other “hikers” who themselves were out enjoying the day and passing through the preserve.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Souvenirs await for visitors walking a trail at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Deer wander across the trail at a distance at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On a quiet and cooler summer’s day a young deer approaches a visitor in its neck of the woods along a walking path at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Outdoors in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve

26 Aug

People enjoy a day out through various ways at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As the hot days of summer linger and the heat and humidity once again ratchets up people still make some time to get out and enjoy the outdoors in Siouxland. One activity to get a little exercise and still feel safe in a large environment because of the virus. Mornings are generally best before the heat sinks in and each footstep feels a little heavier when the heavy air really hits one.

Signage added to trails help visitors understand more about Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Trails beckon at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a few different paths to take although most runners and bicycle enthusiasts stick to the gravel path. Although on more than one occasion I was almost hit as the bikes glide silently up on you and no one rings a bell or calls out until it’s almost too late. Call me grumpy, but courtesy in avoiding a disaster doesn’t seem too much to ask.

People maintain distance while exercising at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Just a nice day to take a walk in nature at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s nice to see some animal friends as well and also to make new ones while out walking. But the latter while curious, are still cautious and young enough to encounter a friendly person who bores them no harm, just delighted to see them out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

One of the donkeys that resides at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Curious young deer check out a visitor in their neck of the woods at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota August 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Nature in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

19 May

A Cooper’s Hawk around its nest at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, April 9, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spending time outdoors in Siouxland that is devoid of people has been a bit of a blessing in that I am seeing, or rather, paying more attention to nature around me when I am out. Not in a hurry to be anywhere, I sit and watch and have been pleasantly surprised.

A Cooper’s Hawk sits atop its nest at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, April 9, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I tend to go places early and generally during the week, avoiding crowds at nature preserves and parks for the most part, although sometimes it just doesn’t matter. When it’s all said and done, I hope people will appreciate what there is rather than what they no longer have or have missed. But knowing human nature, that’s unlikely. Animals use what they need and call it good. Humanity just isn’t built the same way.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Cooper’s Hawk around its nest at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, April 9, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Learning to Share in Siouxland, Adams Homestead, North Sioux City, SD

1 May

Looking for a little space at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

These recent days and weeks I have spent a bit of time checking out parts of Siouxland that are relatively in my own backyard. A favorite is the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve a few miles away. Enough trails to tire a soul out and places to stop and “smell” the proverbial roses.

In doing so I have been watching nature’s creatures more closely and the antics or habits they have. And to this novice am surprised with some things I have seen, although to birders some of the actions I have witnessed are probably normal and occur time to time.

Looking for a little space at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Finding a vantage point at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So one day I spied a couple geese sitting in a tree next to a small pond or lake and was struck that web footed creatures could also roost in trees. I guess I had never thought much about that. One of the two seemed to be looking for a little solitude, as sometimes couples will do with a mate and flew to another tree. A brief respite short lived. Even in nature.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Looking for some space of its own another goose flies into a tree a friend occupies at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Looking for some space of its own another goose flies into a tree a friend occupies at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Looking for some space of its own another goose flies into a tree a friend occupies who then leaves at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Looking for some space of its own another goose flies into a tree a friend occupies who then leaves at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Light and Shade in Siouxland, South Dakota and Nebraska

15 Jan

Shadows and lines in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Driving about Siouxland and parts near and farther, it’s not always the destination that I look to photograph or even the journey. Sometimes I am motivated simply because of the light, or lack thereof that draws my attention. Light and shade, it’s what makes images. Most times it’s the lighting of a subject or place or landscape a person is trying to share. But for me, it’s the interplay between the two and what transpires and the result.

Shadows and lines in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes it is not always as “clean” an image as I would like, but I still like the interplay that I see before me and try to capture and show what I saw at that moment in time.

Of course it helps to have objects that allow the interplay of light and shade to happen all around them, more easily done in urban settings, but sometimes it’s found more in nature, well, maybe where man had a hand in “shaping” nature.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shadows and lines in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light play through windows onto the floor of a former court room in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Lights and shadows in a bird blind at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

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