Tag Archives: flowers

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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