Tag Archives: iowa

Exploring Areas in Southern Siouxland, Monona County

12 Jun

Recently as I was headed to an area in southern Siouxland to photograph a building I came upon a couple of barns sitting on the side of the road. As I drove by the little voice in my head said, “You’re here, so stop.” And I did. Sometimes when pressed for time I don’t consciously think I need to stop. I always tell myself you can come back. But the light, the look and whatever it was that caught your attention will never be the same the next time. It could be better, but then again…..

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A barn in a field off of Hwy 141in rural Monona County, Iowa Friday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A barn in a field off of Hwy 141 in rural Monona County, Iowa Friday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding the light in Siouxland, Sioux City

25 Mar

I always like watching travel shows on PBS because normally they are filmed in beautiful light. The camera people work their schedule at a location to create memorable images. When I travel about looking for images I too am hopeful for really nice light and the possibility of creating a memorable image. But having worked in the news business for years I know that isn’t always possible. What I do know is that one should always be aware.

The other day I had to complete some work and was relaxing in the afternoon, catching up on some reading when I looked up and saw the sun setting and the beginning of a nice sunset. I was no place in particular with a high vantage point to create a sweet photo so I sat there imaging where I could have been to capture the sun going down. Then for whatever reason I looked over a fence and saw clouds in the sky and the play of light on them and that prompted me to grab my camera and make a few frames. It is not a spectacular photo, but the play of light and the silhouette of the tree made it worthwhile to me and reinforced the fact that one tries to the best one can wherever you happen to be and sometimes it works out a little better than you might think.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Clouds are lit up as the sun sets west of Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Finding the Light in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

13 Nov

Some days when I am driving around I don’t expect to make great images, or even okay images. I enjoy just being outside and cruising some backroads, listening to jazz and enjoying the day. And then sometimes you are pleasantly surprised. I enjoy sharing my images, but it doesn’t break my heart if not all enjoy. Photographing is kind of a personal experience, and while you can’t capture all of the essence of that moment for lack of sounds, smell and atmosphere, one does the best one can.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Blue skies dominate a recent day out looking for scenics in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Monday Oct. 24, 2016.       (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blue skies dominate a recent day out looking for scenics in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Monday Oct. 24, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A tractor that may have seen its glory days in an earlier decade sits in a filed in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Monday Oct. 24, 2016.       (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A tractor that may have seen its glory days in an earlier decade sits in a filed in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Monday Oct. 24, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A quick look at History in Siouxland, Okoboji

3 Aug

Earlier this summer I took a drive up to the Okoboji, Iowa area before the summer season and visitors inundated the area to just relax and enjoy some time away from home. It had been particularly warm the days prior to my trip and pleasantly, arriving early in the morning, it was nice walking along the lake shore, finding a coffee shop and enjoying the breeze before the temperature began rising.

When it did get hotter, I stopped into the Maritine Museum located near Arnolds Park Amusement Park where I found fascinating tidbits of history about the region, boat building that had occurred and photos of early days around Lake Okoboji and its residents and early guests. It was a fun day even spending some of it indoors and learning more about the early days of tourism.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer Time in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

19 Jun

I hadn’t had the chance to get up to visit the Lakes area of Siouxland in recent weeks. Some work kept me busy, but I always like to get away and explore, even if it is somewhere I have been a few times. Away from home, the senses kick in and one gets a chance to just enjoy the moment. Unfortunately it was a warm moment for that day. The area has been suffering like much of the country with high temperatures. I got to Arnolds Park early in the morning and so was able to enjoy comfortable weather and a walk until it began heating up.

I tried a couple settings on my Fuji XT-1 that I had not used before. In addition to bringing along a plastic Holga lens that I used to use with a Canon camera. I used an adapter to fit it to the Fuji in addition to using the “plastic lens” or “toy camera” setting and the “minature” setting, which is like shooting with a 35mm tilt lens. I liked the results. Shooting with the Holga lens and adding the minature lens effect created images I was really pleased with and will probably use again. It’s nice when something unexpected works out when shooting pics. And gives one faith to experiment and see where it takes you.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Finding History in Siouxland in Plain Sight, Onawa

13 May

Driving back from Omaha, Nebraska the other day a friend and I stopped in Onawa, Iowa to get a snack. I have been to Onawa many times but this time the Hotel Monona was standing in bright light and I couldn’t believe I had never paid attention to it previously. It looks like a hotel from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. Stately, and I would guess many people stayed there on their way to another destination, possibly into the Dakota Territory north and west. Such a fine building that looks like it is no longer in use. Another gem from another era that slips slowly, and visibly into the past right before our eyes.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Hotel Monona in Onawa, Iowa Thursday, May 12, 2016.  (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Hotel Monona in Onawa, Iowa Thursday, May 12, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Old Time Music in Siouxland, Le Mars

4 Sep

I have lived in the Siouxland area a little over a decade now and while amazed, am not surprised that I keep finding events and places I have not visited, for which I am the poorer for it.

One such event in Le Mars, Iowa, that this year celebrated its 40th year, is the National Traditional Country Music Association, Inc. It is a 7-day festival at the fairgrounds celebrating old time music, much like was played in the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”. It touches on a lot of genres and like any music festival, the halls and grounds ring with music. If not from the stage shows, then from the impromptu jam sessions that occur.

I only attended one day, but it was a day filled with an overload of music. The evenings are attended by more people when folk are off work, but there were a fair number there during the day as well. As is often said, “it was a good time had by all.” And an event well worth the time to visit and just enjoy the music that early America grew up on and is still played today.

I recorded a couple groups playing and posted. One the groups is an all girl band, Twang,  with one mom and four young ladies from Arkansas. Their playing is very tight and are simply amazing.

 

 

I also heard Glenn Douglas Tubb, nephew of Ernest Tubb.

 

 

I saw Roni Stoneman jamming with some other musicians on the grounds. Stoneman played a number of years on the the TV show Hee Haw. A program my parents watched and enjoyed. Other notables did perform and will be performing. A worthwhile event to attend and just forget about the daily events and immerse oneself in music.

The Ohio River Minstrels

 

 

 

Ronnie Jay Wheeler

 

 

 

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

 

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