Tag Archives: birds

Enjoying the Outdoors in Siouxland, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

13 Jan

I’m not a very often wildlife kind of photographer. On occasion I will photograph birds when I come upon them and am happy when I get a fairly decent image like one near Winnebago, NE not too long ago.

A raptor takes off from a tree near a snow covered field where bison grazing outside of Winnebago, NE Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©) (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

I recently visited the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge that straddles both Iowa and Nebraska and has communal link which is the Missouri River. My visit happened before the recent nonsense brought on by Washington politicians who always seem to be out of touch with folk in the real world and never seem to care about those affected. They still get paid.

I was testing out a newly acquired lens (to me) to see if I wanted to actually purchase an older manual focus Canon telephoto lens. And I was pleased with the results, and glad the geese I photographed were not moving too quickly.

Geese on open water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese on frozen water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The refuge is a nice place to visit and hang out, even if one is not photographing migratory birds, but just wanting to enjoy the quiet and what the refuge has to offer which I learned about from a previous visit. And some of the history that is associated with the area during the expansion west.

But I wanted to see if the lens still retained its sharpness even on an overcast day with created its own mood with the birds and even though it was chilly or rather cold, still a nice way to spend a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Geese on open water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese on frozen water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese walking on frozen water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland’s Spring, coming soon, Bacon Creek Park

11 Mar

On a recent visit to Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, the day was sunny, but chilly. Some geese were walking on water, frozen maybe, but still walking on water which was fun to see. Other geese were practicing take offs and landings. Maybe getting ready for that day when they would be returning north and getting the youngsters a little extra practice in.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring still eludes Siouxland, Sioux City

4 May

It seems the spring season is still eluding the Siouxland area. Last week there were a couple days Sioux City and the surrounding areas hit the 80’s. It’s like we’re zipping past spring and right into summer. A little warm for my taste this early, but the sun felt nice and my plants enjoyed a burst of growth. Then the cold weather comes back, rain, sleet, some snow flakes and it makes one wonder will spring arrive or bypass Siouxland this year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Spring Brings More Snow, Sioux City

25 Apr

The last of the recent Siouxland snow is just about gone, except maybe the deeply shaded areas. It was surprising to see snow again, even small amounts, fall from the skies this past week. It is after all, April, and late April at that. Now forecasters say temperatures may hit the high 70’s, even possibly 80 degrees this weekend. I am ready for spring, not summer though. Although the warmer temperatures will feel nice. And I am sure my feathered guests will enjoy this change in weather, because the last couple of days wasn’t so kind to them either.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Animal Drama in Siouxland, Sioux City

5 Dec

Growing up on a farm there was plenty of yard space to run and around and be a kid. Playing soldier or hide and seek and running and chasing the family dog.  But as you got older and supposedly matured, so did the chores expected of you. Like mowing the yard. Which was okay, but sometimes you would rather be running around or playing ball. Now I have my own yard though not as large as my parents’ at their farm. I have tried cutting down on the maintenance aspect by adding more shrubs and other plants. And these have proved beneficial for bird watching. For myself and my cats. Now my cats are like any cats, curious, and no friend to a small creature. I have found many a live garter snake, baby rabbit, bird, and even a vole inside my house upon returning home. Most times still alive, but alas, sometimes not.

I find it fun and challenging to photograph the small critters in my backyard. I use a Canon 20-200 lens with a 2x converter most times when photographing. And I will set out a camp stool and just sit quietly for an hour or more waiting for the birds or squirrels to feed. Late afternoon generally has very nice late if it is a sunny or partially sunny day. And with the shrubbery getting more mature, there are more places for the birds to hang out. And my cats, as well as they are fed by me these days, they tend to lie about and watch, and I suppose dream, about catching one of these little guys. The cats have a sort of truce with the local squirrels who feed in my yard. They watch the squirrels eat and then sometimes “chase” them, as the squirrels run away fast, but no so fast that the cats think they can catch them. And the cats run “fast” but not so fast as to actually catch them. I always warn my cats not to play with the squirrels because they may catch fleas as well. And the cats generally behave.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux CIty, Iowa

 

%d bloggers like this: