Tag Archives: birds

Enjoying Backyard Neighbors in Siouxland, Sioux City

23 May

A cardinal eats a seed while visiting a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Life in Siouxland like in many places is running at a much slower pace these days. While I can’t say I am bored because I get the occasional visits from some animal neighbors who drop by, sound off a greeting, and then continue on their way. These days with sunrises earlier and sunsets later, I miss some of these friends as they tend to be earlier risers than I am.

A red-bellied woodpecker looks for a snack in a backyard Sunday, March 29, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A squirrel peeks out a feeder to see if the it’s safe to leave in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, April 11, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It has been and will continue to be fun watching these critters now that I am more fully aware that they come and visit. It’s funny the things one might see while traveling at a speed less than warp.

A starling sits on a line in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, April 11, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Hairy woodpecker sits in a tree in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, March 30, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And as the weather continues to warm and be nice with only the occasional rain showers I hope my neighbors continue to spend some time in the neighborhood.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A sudden breeze ruffles feathers on a robin in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, April 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©)

Enjoying Backyard Acrobatics in Siouxland, Sioux City

9 May

Sometimes simple things are best, even in Siouxland. Generations ago, now another century, people’s tastes for entertainment were probably much different. Then no internet, no TV, movies on cd’s, movie theatres and other musical venues that have populated the current landscape.

A common grackle looks for a reward through its acrobatics in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, April 11, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Watching a show titled “Wild Kingdom” while growing up one could always see nature entertaining viewers, in person or on the air because some took the time to film and share what is a natural occurrence but viewed by a larger number of people.

A common grackle looks for a reward through its acrobatics in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, April 11, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Animal antics are still popular, evident in the number of cat videos and other pet videos that people now share online.

A common grackle looks for a reward through its acrobatics in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, April 11, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But sometimes a private showing is just the ticket. No screens, in person, and an appreciation for the creatures that visit.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A common grackle looks for a reward through its acrobatics in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, April 11, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Snack Time in Siouxland, Sioux City

5 May

A squirrel enjoys an ear of corn to itself in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, March 29, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A house finch checks to see if the coast is clear in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, April 2, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is never a bad time to snack. Although don’t tell many moms that. Visiting neighbors have always stopped by and checked out what’s available, sometimes even saying thank you. And it’s always good to wash that snack down with a beverage.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A robin sounds off while getting a snack in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, March 30, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A squirrel helps itself to a meal visiting a feeder in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A squirrel helps itself to some water while visiting in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, March 30, 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©)

Seeing a bit of Spring in Siouxland, Hinton and Sioux City

29 Apr

A house finch sits in a newly budded tree in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, April 11, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There have been snippets of spring popping up in Siouxland between recent snowfalls and temperatures in the 20’s. Patches of green and here and there, surviving those cold days that are becoming fewer, but nevertheless still here. While not yet widespread, the green is a nice reminder of warmer days approaching and sunny skies with light breezes and shirt sleeved weather.

Pathways are beginning to green up at the Hillview Recreation Area in Hinton, Iowa Thursday, April 6, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A maple tree begins to bud Sunday, March 29, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

At least with warmer temperatures the opportunity to take a walk these days will become more tempting as long as people continue to use common sense and share the space respectfully and give everyone a chance to enjoy the day as the long wait continues before we see an all clear somewhere down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A bush begins to bud at the Hillview Recreation Area in Hinton, Iowa Thursday, April 6, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Snowy Easter in Siouxland, Sioux City

13 Apr

Like in many parts of the U.S., people will always say, “Just wait 5 minutes and the weather will change.” It’s also true in Siouxland. This area of Iowa as probably others in the state and beyond got a snowy, chilly Easter Sunday with which to celebrate. Just some visiting neighbors in a backyard didn’t seem to mind and actually enjoyed their “brunch” while the snow fell, and continued falling throughout much of the day.

An Easter snow doesn’t discourage birds from a morning brunch in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 12, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Easter snow doesn’t discourage birds from a morning brunch in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 12, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was convenient to see them enjoying themselves, or at least getting a meal during this untimely weather event. I didn’t see many robins and am guessing they were trying to stay warm and decide what the heck happened to spring.

An Easter snow doesn’t discourage birds from a morning brunch in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 12, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Easter snow doesn’t discourage birds from a morning brunch in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 12, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am kind of wondering that myself. And like most, am trying to be patient and looking forward to enjoying a cup of morning coffee outside, without a scarf, jacket or hat and boots. Hopefully sooner than later.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An Easter snow doesn’t discourage birds from a morning brunch in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 12, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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