Tag Archives: Lauritzen Gardens

Anticipating Spring in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

10 Apr
A barren winter’s look at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

For some reason, this winter feels like it has lasted a long time in Siouxland. I know that probably isn’t true, but sometimes the slow march of time makes it feel that way. With unusually warmer days than normal, am guessing myself and others were spoiled a bit and the anticipation of warmer days lasting more than one or two and again some green scenery is palpable.

Renovation work is underway seen on a barren winter’s day at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Renovation work is underway seen on a barren winter’s day at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Turkeys have the grounds to themselves of a barren winter’s look at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I look forward to returning to some favorite haunts and seeing how they have or have not changed. Lauritizen Gardens is one such place and the flowers in spring and early summer are a delight to behold.

I enjoy visiting places “off season” as it’s nice to see a contrast from what one would normally expect, especially at the Gardens as it’s generally “dressed up” and looking nice. And it looks like some changes are also underway so I look forward to seeing what transpires and as I understand it a rearrangement of assets will make it a better environment for the patrons’ visiting experience. Progress is just that. Good, bad, indifferent, everyone has their own take. Change is constant, and beauty is in the eye of the individual beholder.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A barren winter’s look at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Renovation work is underway seen on a barren winter’s day at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Turkeys have the grounds to themselves of a barren winter’s look at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Merry and Bright in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

25 Dec
Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During the holiday seasons I try to visit various places because of the displays that one can see at them and the work that goes into making visitors appreciate and enjoy such displays. I must say I am never disappointed with what I have seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE. I can only guess that planning must start one to two years out as to what supplies, plants and other accoutrements are necessary for these delightful visions to take life.

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The indoors gardens this year became a visual light play and can only be really appreciated as the sun sets and the lights seen in a darkened environment. And the fascination someone has with train sets as each year the trains that might be running out of doors at a display do shorter runs indoors the during Christmas season.

And I find it a marvel what is done with plants to create various scenes holiday or not and give visitors a chance to walk through and enjoy a small world away from the white noise that seems to be everywhere these days, if only for an hour or two. A brief respite in time to be a child again.

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes I think the staff of the gardens can not possible out do what was done the year before and then am pleasantly surprised to enjoy a new experience and see how creatively plants can be used.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Bah, Humbug and Dance in Siouxland, Old Dominion Dance group, Omaha, NE

23 Dec
A mix of ages attend the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always fun attending various events in and around Siouxland, whether during the holidays or not. To see like-minded folk enjoying themselves and supporting something is always good. The Old Dominion Dance group of Omaha, NE again sponsored a Fezziwg Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens. Attending this year it was nice to see a larger mix of ages, and folk “dressing” for the occasion of an 18th century period.

People dance during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A group circle dance is performed by folk attending the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A dance caller walks people through a particular dance sequence during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having participated in a folk dance group while in college, I always find it fun and enjoyable to see people relive history through some particular form. Most times it is theatre or music, but dance as I learned in college was happening during some very important historical dates and never really gave it much though until a college professor pointed out those facts. History can be illuminating as well as fun.

The dance group always performs a portion of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” involving Ebenezer Scrooge’s fond memory of the Fezziwg dance he attended as a younger man and before life’s intervening circumstances changed his path. The actors for this evening’s portion rehearsed ahead of time although I think after year’s of practice they have their parts down cold. One of these years I will have to stay for the entire evening. But an early morning appointment for bird watching the next day didn’t allow me.

I don’t know if there was any offering of mulled wine but the dance revelers probably didn’t need it to give their spirits a lift. Although, maybe later as the temperature dropped and the prairie breeze picked up.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gentleman gets makeup as he readies to play the ghost Marley during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A dance caller walks people through a particular dance sequence during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some people dance while others opt out until the next one during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Young people the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Young people the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while dancing during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while waiting for the next dance to start during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while dancing during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while dancing during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The “ghost” of Bob Marley watches others dance during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Geometric Lines in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

16 Jul
Geometric shadow lines at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when visiting places in and around Siouxland I default to shooting in B&W. It’s what I started with and used for photography, personal and professionally for many years. Even though scenes are in color, unless one is color blind, I see some scenes in black and white. And it took a while to understand the color of objects and how each color or variation there of was rendered in a shade of grey.

Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And depending on the subject one might also be able to utilize whatever texture is found in the scene to add one more visual element. Black and white can create a simplicity when photographing. Geometric lines and shapes, tonality, gradations. The use of Ansel Adams Zone System. Ten steps of gradation from black without detail to white without detail. At least that was how I was taught. Something though I haven’t critically thought about in a decade or two, but still aware of it and it figures into my thought process when shooting and working on black and white images.

Geometric shadow lines at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Then one can let the imagination take over and pursue visual imagery that engages oneself, focusing only on capturing what will translate the what is seen. Then photography becomes fun.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mary Poppins Proud in Siouxland, Laurtizen Gardens, Omaha, NE

27 May
Umbrellas on display at a garden exhibit at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting various places in and around Siouxland I always delight in fantastical exhibits and the imagination and inspiration of folk who create these exhibits. Seeing a recent one at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE I could only imagine that Mary Poppins would be proud, and most certainly I and others would have been delighted had she dropped in for a “spot of tea” and a song. But maybe that is my imagination running away with me, as a lyric to some now forgotten song plays in my head. Still, exhibits should elicit responses from those seeing them and enjoy them for what they are and represent.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Observing the Lines in Siouxland, Laurtizen Gardens, Omaha, NE

21 May
Jet trails create streaks in the sky near flag poles at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when photographing in Siouxland my mind’s eye sees images that I consciously think won’t pass muster. But nothing ventured….

Simple images, few distractions, hopefully will help and not hurt. And maybe the spark of an idea will be fruitful, or something to file away for another attempt with another subject.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Jet trails create streaks in the sky near flag poles at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Ethereal in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

7 May
An exhibit using symbols at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When visiting places in and near Siouxland I always try to find a different way of viewing something I might previously have seen. Shooting photographs in color is different from shooting them in black and white. Color most times influences what a viewer sees, but in black and white one can uses shapes and light, light and shade, to influence what the viewer sees.

Shapes and lines at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A child follows the path at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Black and white photography can sometimes be a bit more stark and strips away elements that don’t really add to the image but just happens to be there. Placement and use of light and dark shapes the images and maybe a viewer’s impression.

Good, bad or indifferent, it’s good to stretch beyond how one normally sees. Creating images that don’t necessarily fall into a way of seeing that one might consider.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shapes and lines at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A mystical view during an exhibit of symbols at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Light and Shade in Siouxland, Laurtizen Gardens, Omaha, NE

27 Apr
Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When visiting places while out and about in Siouxland or nearby locales, I try to stay conscious of imagery and look for those scenes that I think might look sweet in black and white as well as in color. Although maybe not the same scene. And not matter where I might venture, there is always an opportunity awaiting if one stays aware or open to seeing such.

Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Windows always provide the best opportunities on sunny days. I really prefer clean and little cluttered scenes, but sometimes one doesn’t have a choice. Then you must be choosey and see if something you see in color will translate well enough into black and white. Mysterious is also good. But everyone has their own way seeing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Feeling Koi in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

23 Apr
A koi fish swims about in its pond at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Friends who have known me for a while know I like the bad pun every now and again. And to visit a koi pond and to find coy fish seems like something made for exploiting. At the Lauritzen Gardens there is a pond with fish in it swimming about. I assume these are the traditional koi fish. Most are gold but some seem to have lost color and appear white.

With an overhead skylight reflecting in the water it seemed a perfect time to experiment shooting black and white and seeing how the two subjects correlate with one another. One live and there in real time the other more ephemeral existing in a reflection, fleeting as the fish because of the daylight needed to make the reflection appear.

A koi fish swims about in its pond at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Koi fish swims about in their pond at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was moment of realizing patience as the fish swam through the reflections and autofocus was fooled more times than not with the reflections and moving fish. And sometimes the fish became lost in the ephemeral making its existence almost non existent, but a fleeting moment, dream, thought or other wistful bit of time and space that may or may not have been.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A koi fish swims about in its pond at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Learning about Mythology in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

28 Feb
The face of at large gnome in the Lauritzen Gardens fantasy “fairy land” which recounts various mythologies from around the world seen in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always find it worthwhile as I travel about Siouxland to learn. About places, history, and other sundries of life. It was a pleasant surprise to see mythology on display at the Laurtizen Gardens in Omaha, NE, and done in such a creative way.

A walk through a fantastical fairy land at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE.

The Gardens touched on various mythological creatures from different parts of the world and ended with a walk through a magical and inventive use of plants in its display of some of these creatures.

The Lauritzen Gardens creates a fantasy “fairy land” recounting various mythologies from around the world seen in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Information about various mythologies shown at the Lauritzen Gardens fantasy “fairy land” seen in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

For a cold day it was a pleasant way to spend time indoors learning in a fun setting and enjoying someone’s imagination. Since “timed entries” are required it was an uncrowded environment to explore.

Families look over an exhibit at the Lauritzen Gardens which creates a fantasy “fairy land” recounting various mythologies from around the world seen in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A display about world mythologies seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With the coronavirus limiting various aspects of life, it’s nice to see some places behaving responsibly and giving people a chance to get out and take in a little “art” and enjoy a little time away from home.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fairy housing at the Lauritzen Gardens fantasy “fairy land” recounting various mythologies from around the world seen in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.With the umbrellas one could almost imagine Mary Poppins dropping in for a visit. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Fairy housing at the Lauritzen Gardens fantasy “fairy land” recounting various mythologies from around the world seen in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
The Lauritzen Gardens creates a fantasy “fairy land” recounting various mythologies from around the world seen in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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