Tag Archives: ho chunk inc

“Winter Dressing” in SIouxland and Rural Nebraska, Winnebago, NE

12 Apr
Hoarfrost decorates a small wooded area in the countryside seen outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mother Nature decorated Siouxland and rural Nebraska recently with remnants of this year’s winter’s season, as some low lying fog areas created that winter wonderland look with hoarfrost decorating the surrounding countryside. This kind of frost never seems to last long. That short shelf life between freezing and sunshine allows the ethereal effect to disappear quickly. Letting one wonder if it was a dream or actually real. Something William Shakespeare make have written about in one of his plays that also took place in the countryside.

Hoarfrost decorates a hillside seen outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Canada geese take off from a pond surrounded by hoarfrost decorating the countryside seen outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Hoarfrost decorates a grass stem seen outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always find it challenging in photographing in this type of environment. One needs enough contrast to bring out the delicate details of the frost, especially if one is attempting macro photography. Blue skies are ideal because of the contrast, but that means the frost will be disappearing soon as the temperatures begin to rise and the sunshine helps the frost “disappear”.

Hoarfrost decorates a roadside seen outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Hoarfrost decorates a fence line in the countryside seen outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As I drove to this area to look about I that particular day I drove through some dense fog. But the temperature there was not cool enough to create the frost I found in rural Nebraska. And just miles apart. Sometimes one gets lucky and gets to witness Mother Nature in action. The hoarfrost being a kind of benign action as opposed to seeing storms and the destruction sometimes wrought after those have ended. This day though, I just wished I had brought a thermos of coffee with me as the sun rose higher in the sky and the landscape changed before the viewer’s eyes.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Hoarfrost decorates a field seen outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A frosty sight along Omaha Creek outside of Winnebago, NE Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Early Morning Light in Siouxland, rural Nebraska, Winnebago, NE

17 Dec
A song sparrow sits in a bush eyeing a visitor to a meadow on an early Nebraska morning near Winnebago, NE Sunday Oct. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Deep shadows are formed as the sun streaks across a yet to be harvested field on an early Nebraska morning near Winnebago, NE Sunday Oct. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So I will wait another year here in Siouxland before enjoying the early morning jaunts looking for light traipsing through the rural landscape in and around Siouxland. Yes, there will be early morning light this winter, but it will be colder, and maybe less inviting without the warm fall colors adding to the scene. White is just that, white. Although there entails a challenge of maybe using trees and other object as a graphic element to create an image.

Sunlight lights up drying meadow grass on an early Nebraska morning near Winnebago, NE Sunday Oct. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wood ducks sit on a log in a pond on an early Nebraska morning near Winnebago, NE Sunday Oct. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sunlight lights up a yet to be harvested field and grain bins on an early Nebraska morning near Winnebago, NE Sunday Oct. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With early light this time of year most critters don’t seem to rouse to forage until the light is up along with warming up the temperature. I don’t blame them. Personally, staying under the covers in bed is a preferred winter’s morning destination for me, but that doesn’t actually accomplish the objective of photographing nature. Such a conundrum. But I will be patient and see what opportunities await this winter and see how much walking through the “tundra” I will do depending on that day’s temperature and the wind. Maybe I just need to bring a thermos of coffee along for those mornings out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Bison graze in a field on an early Nebraska morning near Winnebago, NE Sunday Oct. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Deep shadows are formed in yet to be harvested fields on an early Nebraska morning near Winnebago, NE Sunday Oct. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Capturing Christmas Lights in Siouxland, Sioux City

15 Dec
Christmas lights decorate the front lawn of the Sioux City Public Museum with the Ho Chunk Centre in the background as the sun sets Saturday, Dec. 04, 2021 in downtown Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During the holiday season around Christmas it’s always a challenge to capture images of Christmas lights and decorations hoping to show them at their best and not in total darkness. Like taking photographs of people during the golden hour, the same somewhat applies to photographing the holiday decorations. And then one hopes that nature works in your favor and you get a nice sunset to help set off the holiday lights. Being prepared and ready to always good. But in these cases, being lucky isn’t a bad thing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A lit Christmas tree stands on the front lawn of the Sioux City Public Museum with the Ho Chunk Centre in the background Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A lit Christmas tree stands on the front lawn of the Sioux City Public Museum with the Ho Chunk Centre in the background Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A lit Christmas tree stands on the front lawn of the Sioux City Public Museum with the Ho Chunk Centre in the background Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A View from Above, Under Watchful Eyes in Siouxland, rural Nebraska, South Dakota

29 Nov
A Turkey Vulture flies over a field and a copse of trees seen Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 near Winnebago, NE. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when I see raptors and other large bird species flying or hovering overhead in Siouxland it gives new meaning to “flying the friendly skies” as these creatures look for their next meal. But it is fun to watch them soar, swoop and soar some more as they gracefully glide on the air stream looking for their next snack.

Approximately 25-30 Turkey Vultures fly over a field seen Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 near Winnebago, NE. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A red-tailed hawk sits perches on a branch looking or a snack at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday Oct. 22, 2021.

A turkey vulture perches in a tree top at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

These birds contrasted with waterfowl as they make their way on a twice yearly migration and looking for stops in between to take a break from their trip. Seemingly never crossing paths and yet reaching whatever destination they are attempting.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Canada geese fly over a field and a pond seen Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 near Winnebago, NE. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One Community’s 155 years of a Continuous celebration in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

9 Aug
Tribal members line up in their regalia as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. The pow wow honors the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Women wear different styles of regalia as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Young children learn by doing with their drumming fathers during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska held its 155th Pow Wow celebration recently at its Veterans Memorial Park pow wow grounds. As many tribes around the country do, the pow wow is a community celebration of the tribe’s history and its former (passed away) and current members. Processions, singing and dancing are a large part of the celebration seen by visitors. The other part not often seen or noticed unless one listens to announcer’s comments is the fact that so many various tribal and clan members renew acquaintances and friendships they have with one another at these celebrations.

The Winnebago Tribe’s pow wow honors the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66 working out of Fort Omaha. The tribe’s home is land the purchased from the Omaha Tribe nearly 200 years ago after being forced by the “benevolent white man” from their ancestral home that is the state of Wisconsin. The tribe celebrates the safe return of its warriors from battle. Even in the present day many of the tribe’s members have served and are serving in various branches of the U.S. military.

It is a time for them to embrace their culture, share that culture with visitors and teach that culture to their children. And for a couple days, like others who celebrate various holidays, tune out the outside world and enjoy themselves and what the celebration means to them.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A tribal veteran raises one of the many flag members’ families provide for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans raise the many flag members’ families provide for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans of different U.S. military branches retire the colors for the day during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans of different U.S. military branches retire the colors for the day during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Tribal veterans, many serving in different branches of the U.S. military retire the colors for the day as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A proud father with his daughter at the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A young dances as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Children dance as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Various tribal and clan members dance as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A young girl plays with her father’s beads on a hot day as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
An older tribal member tries teaching dance steps to a younger member during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Sometimes dance lessons don’t always go the way intended as an older tribal member tries teaching dance steps to a younger member during the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebration of its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Children join the circle as the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska celebrates its 155th Pow Wow celebration at Veterans Memorial Park Pow Wow grounds in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 23, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And They are off in Siouxland, Atokad Race Track, South Sioux City, NE

20 Jul
Jockeys urge their mounts toward the finish line and first place during a live horse race which took place at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Once a year in Siouxland a local horse racing track holds live races. Because of a gaming law in the state of Nebraska and refusal of a certain “ruling” political class, proponents of casinos and live horse racing have faced an uphill battle to once again allow it to flourish. It’s probably a certainty that money and politics are involved in denying the venture, as it is in allowing the venture. What aspects of life these days isn’t affected by those two “virtues”.

But it’s impressive to actually witness the racing live rather than watching it on TV. While at Atokad Race Track the crowds are not huge, they still enjoy watching these animals and their riders sprint for the finish line.

An attendee films one of the live horse races which took place at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A crowd watches the finish of one live horse race which took place at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The animals are probably up early with trainers stretching their legs before being paraded in front of the spectators and getting into the starting gates. Waiting for their chance to run full out and best their competition.

Jockeys prepare to mount their entries for a live horse race which took place at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Jockeys and horse handlers ready another race group of horse for live horse racing which took place at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But the track also hosts small fun events like bouncy houses for kids and a crazy hat competition open to all ages. The crowd cheers and claps and help the judges choose the likely winners. All for an afternoon of entertainment that has to be seen in person rather than on a screen. And despite those years when inclement weather cancels or impedes the races, people still enjoy coming to the track and watching the compeition.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Participants for the crazy hat contest during the three live horse races taking place at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
People take selfies during a live horse race at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Jockeys urge their mounts to the finish line during a live horse race at the Atokad Race Track in South Sioux City, NE seen Saturday, July 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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