Tag Archives: badger lake

Experiencing a Drought in Siouxland, Badger Lake Wildlife Management Area, rural Monona County

10 Oct

Birds flying “erratically” looking for insects gives thought of WWI air to air dog fights seen at the Wildlife Management Area, Badger Lake near Whiting, Iowa Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This region of Siouxland has and is currently is in a state of either severe or extreme drought according to state personnel tracking such phenomena and it doesn’t look likely that it will pass anytime soon. Recently I revisited a wildlife management area, Badger Lake, in rural Monona County and saw what wetlands had been there previously has disappeared. Climate change does have its ebbs and flows, but it seems the lack of rainfall and snowfall during the various months will begin to affect the region if water is not forthcoming is a more timely manner. And the former small lake is now completely filled in with plants.

An area filled with water one to two years ago is now a “sea” of green at the Wildlife Management Area, Badger Lake near Whiting, Iowa Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

American White Pelicans rest late in the afternoon at Badger Lake Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 in rural Monona County near Whiting, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An area filled with water one to two years ago is now a “sea” of green at the Wildlife Management Area, Badger Lake near Whiting, Iowa Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The sun rises over Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While out looking for harvest photos for an agency I occasionally photograph for this year seems again hard on those crops being harvested, mainly soybeans and corn. It seems the last few years the crops harvested have been above average, already getting timely rain to sustain them and let them mature.

However, the amount of rainfall to sustain such agriculture is not forthcoming. The timely rains help the current crop(s) but does nothing to alleviate the drought threat. So going forward the ground water level becomes less where it is found further down, below where these kinds of crops can reach. The drought also affects migrating bird species as there is less places for them to stop and rest and find the kind of nourishment needed to sustain their long journey. Although locally, various birds were zipping about frantically catching gnats and other morsels they seemed to enjoy. However, my attempted at showing these small wonders was challenged as they moved so quickly and blended so well into the background.

So this winter, as predicted to be brutally cold and extreme in its own right, will say a lot whether there is large amounts of snowfall that will help alleviate the water problems going forward.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An area filled with water one to two years ago is now a “sea” of green at the Wildlife Management Area, Badger Lake near Whiting, Iowa Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Birds flying “erratically” looking for insects gives thought of WWI air to air dog fights seen at the Wildlife Management Area, Badger Lake near Whiting, Iowa Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Birds flying “erratically” looking for insects gives thought of WWI air to air dog fights seen at the Wildlife Management Area, Badger Lake near Whiting, Iowa Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Migrating American white Pelicans herd fish to feed while others rest in a body of water near Badger Lake Wildlife Management Area in rural Monona County near Sloan, Iowa Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Some folk think migration periods might vary this year to changing climate temperatures in various regions where the birds winter and summer during the year. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Migrating American white Pelicans herd fish to feed while others rest in a body of water near Badger Lake Wildlife Management Area in rural Monona County near Sloan, Iowa Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Some folk think migration periods might vary this year to changing climate temperatures in various regions where the birds winter and summer during the year. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Day out in Siouxland, Badger Lake, Whiting

1 Jun

Seeing double as two Canada geese clean themselves after bathing in a pond at Badger lake near Whiting, Iowa Saturday, April 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some days in Siouxland I find myself checking out a location just to see what I might find. These days I don’t expect to make spectacular photographs or even interesting ones. It’s just nice to be outside, without freezing one’s a____ off and enjoying a drive.

Blue-winged Teal ducks sit in the sunshine in a pond at Badger lake near Whiting, Iowa Saturday, April 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Canada goose refreshes itself in a pond at Badger lake near Whiting, Iowa Saturday, April 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Canada goose sends water on its wings after immersing itself underwater in a pond at Badger lake near Whiting, Iowa Saturday, April 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Canada goose heads for shallow water after bathing in a pond at Badger lake near Whiting, Iowa Saturday, April 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I do like swinging by Badger Lake in rural Monona County. The water levels had been very low, then have increased with some recent rain showers and so while no overly populated as during a heavy migration period, there are still some water fowl taking advantage of the almost “exclusive” availability of the watering hole. No crowding, “elbowing” for space. Just a nice relaxing spring day to enjoy.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

American coots enjoy a swim in a pond at Badger lake near Whiting, Iowa Saturday, April 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

American coots enjoy a swim in the sunshine in a pond at Badger lake near Whiting, Iowa Saturday, April 2, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Transitory Visitors in Siouxland, American White Pelicans, Badger Lake, Whiting

18 May

American White Pelicans settle in enjoying the afternoon sunlight during a brisk, windy day at badger Lake in rural Monona County near Whiting, Iowa Monday April 25, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With the migrating waterfowl like the American White Pelicans passing through Siouxland, I sometimes get confused about what birds find a home in this area and those that are passing on to another destination. Like the majority of Canada geese that use Siouxland as flyover country, but others call it home.

A truck hauling equipment passes in the background as American White Pelicans settle in enjoying the afternoon sunlight during a brisk, windy day at badger Lake in rural Monona County near Whiting, Iowa Monday April 25, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

American White Pelicans settle in enjoying the afternoon sunlight during a brisk, windy day at badger Lake in rural Monona County near Whiting, Iowa Monday April 25, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As I occasionally check various locations around the area to see who’s hanging out, sometimes I am delighted, other times disappointed when I find nothing. But then there is another day, and these critters like we humans are dealing with roller coaster weather than runs cold, then hot, dry, then wet, which probably interrupts their travels as much as it does our daily lives. And some of us are not traveling as far.

Wishing these critters a safe journey and fair winds as they journey to their summer destination.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

American White Pelicans settle in enjoying the afternoon sunlight during a brisk, windy day at badger Lake in rural Monona County near Whiting, Iowa Monday April 25, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Unexpectedly Finding History in Siouxland, Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge, Monona County

21 Feb

A older sign designating a place as a campsite of the Lewis and Clark expedition when it moved through the area exploring the Louisiana Purchase found near Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes I find it amazing as I explore Siouxland the little things that pop up, whether true or not , because of a convenient history and clever marketing or the actual truth.

While checking out the Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge area in rural Monona County I came upon a sign trying to photograph White American Pelicans on the lake area. I was walking around the lake and looking for a vantage point to photograph the pelicans through the trees when I saw the sign, almost covered by weeds and somewhat obscured by a cornfield not yet harvested.

The Sergeant Floyd Monument is located in Sioux City not that many miles from this area located south of it and where the only Lewis and Clark Expedition member died while exploring the Louisiana Purchase territory for then President Thomas Jefferson.

When the anniversary of the expedition occurred so many years ago and people were traveling the country “following” the trail, it’s only human nature to find some sort of tie-in to history. Attracting tourism dollars is never a bad thing. And it’s more than possible that remnants of a campsite and/or mention in the journals’ of the explorers account for this area being a stopping point. Travel in those days was slow, even slower via a reluctant Missouri River.

A older sign designating a place as a campsite of the Lewis and Clark expedition when it moved through the area is found near Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring an area across the road from a where sign states a former campsite of the Lewis and Clark expedition was located when it moved through the area exploring the Louisiana Purchase and found near Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having previously worked for various newspapers I am always skeptical about information I find. I guess it comes with the territory as people either want to embellish their importance in life or trying to deflect something about that life. That truth seems a little more evident these days, but I digress.

Still, it is fun to think that standing there at that spot were some brave souls on an adventure exploring a country still in its infancy and having no idea how the areas they explored would look centuries later. The prairie these men encountered is long gone, now mostly farmland, and the Missouri River “tamed” by a corp of engineers, whose verdict, depending on who one talks with, is still out.

But on a sunny fall day, with a breeze blowing and geese flying for a brief moment one might think you are encountering a scene those men saw so many, many years before.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Geese fly overhead of an area across the road from a where sign states a former campsite of the Lewis and Clark expedition was located when it moved through the area exploring the Louisiana Purchase is found near Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring an area across the road from a where sign states a former campsite of the Lewis and Clark expedition was located when it moved through the area exploring the Louisiana Purchase is found near Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Red in Siouxland, Badger Lake, rural Monona County

13 Nov
The sun rises over Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one needs to make an effort to enjoy the day in Siouxland, like getting up early and staying motivated beyond a cup of coffee to see the sun rise. At least in the fall sunrise is closer to a “normal” hour that say 5 or 5:30 am. But still, the scene, the quiet, although I was disappointed in few critters around the lake, the morning was pleasant. Not cold, mild chilly and a nice way to start the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sun rises behind some grasses at Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sunrise lights up plants surrounding Badger Lake Wildlife Refuge in Monona County, Tuesday Oct. 19, 2021, near Whiting, IA. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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