Tag Archives: flowers

Enjoying Late Blooms in Siouxland, Orange City

24 Jul

Tulips planted for the May Tulip Festival are now fading in Orange City, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Flowers are a good reminder of fleeting moments and changing seasons in Siouxland. During the Tulip Festival in Orange City the Dutch community relishes in displaying its “Dutchness” and tulips are found everywhere and every year, except when that darn pesky winter season hangs on into spring.

A few weeks after the cancelled Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Tulips continue blooming in Orange City, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s nice to be able to enjoy the spring blooms as long as one cans, in vain hopes of slowing down time or preserving another moment of stillness and contentment. But time doesn’t stop and these late bloomers have since passed with summer now in full bloom.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Tulips planted for the May Tulip Festival are now fading in Orange City, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Not yet the Garden Party in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

24 Jun

Timed reservations are required to visit the now reopened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Life in Siouxland as elsewhere is beginning to return to some kind of normal. And for those folk I encountered visiting the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE recently, most don’t mind the slow reopening. The gardens now allow patrons and visitors to walk the grounds although indoor exhibits and some other areas are still sequestered and people are advised to wear masks, although it’s not necessary. And one must make reservations ahead of time to enter at a specified date and time.

Signs ask visitors and patrons to respect others space at the newly reopened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Most visitors are wearing face masks at the reopened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it was nice to get out and enjoy the beauty of the gardens. Entry begins at 11 am and during the summer months it’s not an ideal time for photographing outdoor subjects due to the harsher light at that time, unless one wants to create light and shadow photographs. Previously the gardens opened around 9 am, when the summer light is a little more directional and not yet so harsh.

Visitors and patrons can once again see the blooming spectacle at the recently opened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shady paths are always a welcome sight on a hot day at the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So it’s nice to be able to walk a shaded path and take a break from the sun overhead as the day also heats up. Living in the Midwest doesn’t mean one becomes used to heat and humidity, one just learns to mitigate the effects if possible.

Signage informs visitors and patrons about ongoing projects at the recently reopened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors and patrons enjoy a day out at the recently reopened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With the timed entries there were not too many folk wandering about the paths, and those who were put masks on when they encountered others along the way. And all remarked how nice it was to be able to enjoy the gardens again, closed since mid March, and spend some time just enjoying the beauty and quiet.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Recently reopened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People enjoy a day out at the recently reopened Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Backyard Beauty in Siouxland, Sioux City

8 Jun

Iris plant blooming Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Siouxland region already feels like its plunged into summer with soaring temperatures already in the 90’s and humidity to match. And however late spring seemed to be or not arrive at all, it’s delightful to find some backyard beauties making mornings a bit more pleasant.

Iris plant blooming Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Not one for a green thumb or fingers, the few hardy plants that survive this yard welcome the summer season for a day or two with the reminder that time moves forward never backward, even though some seem to perpetually dwell in an era that hopefully never returns.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A columbine plant blooming Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing History in Siouxland, Gerald R Ford Birthsite and Gardens, Omaha, NE

30 Jun

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While trying to research something else about the Omaha, NE area I came across the Gerald R. Ford Birthplace and Gardens site online. Something I didn’t even know existed in this area, having associated the 38th president with being from Michigan. Once again, those little details of history that are never really known unless encountered in one manner or another.

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a number of informational postings along with images and objects to give visitors a little historical background. One of which is that Pres. Ford’s mother divorced her first husband, his father, and moved to the Michigan area where she eventually remarried and he garnered the name of his second father who adopted him and which as they say is now history.

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Situated in a residential area where the garden looks out onto is the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The garden is quite nice, although it looked like a hail storm may have passed by at one point prior to my visit because the plants looked poorly with a number of them having shredded leaves. In another area of Omaha plant life looked fine. The area like much of Siouxland has gotten much rain so that wasn’t an issue.

Recent plants look damaged from a hail storm in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Camera Club visit the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Camera Club check out the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Again, it’s always fun to explore new areas just to see what is there and maybe learn something new. But another visit another year when the plants are in better health might be another trip.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A list of presidents names is seen in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The history of the 38th U.S. president is told in part in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blooming Beauties in Siouxland, Sioux City

18 Jun

It may be trite to say, but as said before, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In a Siouxland backyard area of a home one flower blooms while what some might consider a weed has also bloomed. Depending on a person’s perception of flower and weed, wanted and not wanted, beauty is there in simple form and contrast and personal perception. While I would like more of the flowers and less of the dandelions sprouting in a yard, the mosaic look of the dandelion before the seeds launch is fascinating and complex and a sight to behold.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Blooming flower in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A seeded dandelion in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

2014 Siouxland Tulip Time, Orange City

25 May

A week ago Orange City, Iowa, celebrated its annual Tulip Festival over the weekend. Two parades a day Thursday, Friday and Saturday with local marching bands and floats. The residents of Orange City take great pride in their Dutch heritage, dressing in traditional costumes and serving somewhat “authentic” food, as well as providing a carnival. This year was no different. I have been many times over the past few years and always enjoy the spectacle, seeing, most times, a profusion of tulips in bloom around the downtown area along the boulevards and in people’s yards. That is unless cold weather dampens the occasion. This year there were tulips but not as many as previous years as this spring has been unusually cool.

But still, sunny days and traditions and parades, make it a good time.

 

When the time rolls around again next year, I will be wandering the streets downtown looking for photo opportunities and watching a community genuinely enjoy itself, bringing its heritage to life for its weekend guests who stop by to see for themselves, and if just for a day, to understand a little more about what it means to be Dutch.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Rainy Farmers Market, Sioux City

22 Jun

The first official day of summer brought the typical Iowa summer weather with it, hot, muggy with high humidity, and plants stressing from no moisture. A lot of promise, but the weather people were not delivering. This year has been nothing if not unusual in the weather department. Snow falling in early May and seven days later, temperatures hitting the 100 degree mark. But today, Saturday, June 22, 2013, the weather has changed. It’s raining. The better part of yesterday watering my plants didn’t happen in vain, but, I could have saved a few dollars.

It seems though the vendors at the farmers market in Sioux City are not catching that good weather break. Today and last week the rain dampened the normally enthusiastic crowd. I find the wet weather doesn’t dampen (pun intended) my enthusiasm, but eating breakfast there can certainly be soggy. But one has to admit, the food couldn’t be any fresher with just a quick rinse before the buyer takes it home.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Morning Light, Sioux City

17 Jun

Waking up early can sometimes be a challenge. The first cup of coffee can help, the aroma gets the senses going, and then stepping outside and hearing the birds and their chatter. But it’s seeing the first light of day that inspires me, as the sun spreads its glow across the sky in Siouxland. I am not always awake enough and quick enough to capture this light. Sometimes it takes a concerted effort because so much is going on as the day starts. But morning light has its own special quality, no matter where you find it. And if nothing else, enjoy it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Kitchen roses Morning Light Morning Light

Siouxland 4th of July, Latham Park, Sioux City

7 Jul

A hidden gem in the city of Sioux City, Iowa, is Latham Park. It is an original family site of Benjamin Tuets Latham’s family. Benjamin retired from farming near Moville, Iowa, and then settled in Sioux City at 1806 S. Lemon Street. The last member of that family, Clara Latham, died in 1937, and had set up a trust to ensure the park would remain just that, a park to be enjoyed by neighbors and residents. 

Latham Park is open at various times for people to stroll through the grounds and enjoy the surroundings and quiet of the park. Photographs of the Latham Park pancake breakfast.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux CIty, Iowa

Creating “Holga” photography images

3 Jul

I have always liked shooting arty kinds of photographs. More than a few times friends and colleagues will ask “Why did you shoot that? or Why did you do that to the picture?” One of the arty styles I enjoy shooting is with a Holga camera. The Holga is a plastic camera with a plastic lens and a fixed aperture of  around f/8. In the world of journalism it was always remarked, “F/8 and be there!” But I don’t think the person or people saying this had the Holga camera in mind. So when using the Holga the only way to adjust your exposure was by the type of film you used, that is, 100 ASA or 400 ASA or 800 ASA celluloid film. Not digital. I still have some of my Holga film shots, both negatives and transparencies, but at this time no film scanner to be able to reproduce them to show.

The images created by the Holga camera were imperfect, hazy, ethereal, soft and not your typical landscape types of shots that are crisp and clear. The only way to adjust your focus is with a little dial that shows a single person, a 3-person group, a large group and a mountain. Very much like guestimating a point and shoot. And of course there is no autofocus.

The cool thing is that I recently came across a post somewhere that talked about the Holga company making Holga camera lenses for both Canon and Nikon. And so I bought one. These are some samples of some recent shoots I did with this lens. The affect is okay, but not quite the same as I remember from shooting with the Holga camera itself and with film. These samples were done with a Canon dslr body and the Holga lens. But it is fun and a nice way of seeing. Reprints of images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux City, iowa

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