Tag Archives: Lauritzen Gardens

Enjoying a Summer’s Day in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

9 Sep

A summer’s day at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As summer days dwindle here in Siouxland and elsewhere, people try to enjoy its last few days of sunshine and heat. I myself look forward to fall as I enjoy cooler temperatures the change in light as well as nature’s colors. Labor Day is a marker of the change to come as schools generally are back into full swing, all things considered this year.

A summer’s day at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Lauritzen Gardens is a nice place to spend the time. Seeing the changing blooms from spring into summer. Because of travel time I can never arrive early enough to see the gardens in morning light. Not a fan of rising before the sun and driving distances just to make it happen. So I content myself with what I am able to do and the time of day I can do it in.

Enjoying a summer’s day at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And while we humans can relax and appreciate the bounty before us, other guests seem to like the place as well, although shy, they come popping around at times and stroll the gardens area too.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A turkey enjoys a summer’s day as well at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Light and Shadow in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

1 Sep

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Because of the current virus pandemic sometimes it seems that options for getting out and enjoying nature can be limiting in Siouxland and nearby. But that also means it is just a photographic challenge looking for images when returning to the same venue. The Laurtitzen Gardens in Omaha, NE now has timed entries so the flow of people is controlled and it doesn’t get overly crowded and people are asked to be careful and distance themselves when outside and mask up when inside.

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The garden is all about plants, flora and fauna, green ones and pretty blooming ones. A variety that spans the seasons coming to fruition as those seasons change. However, the settings in which the gardens are placed have their own unique look depending on who is looking.

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The challenge of seeing beyond all the color and greenery can seem daunting. A strong summer sun helps to create those shadows underneath a canopy of green. And maybe taking a little time to enjoy the light play that comes with photographing a stark or near stark image breaks the monotonous of shooting color which can bring its own joy.

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A nice change of pace even for a photographer can be a good thing, learning to “see” differently and creating different results than one might normally obtain. A little variety in life can be good. On hot days, moving slowly and just looking can be rewarding and help reduce some sweat.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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

2 Aug

A wooden figurine stands post at Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while out and about in Siouxland it occurs to me that as I visit a place the visit may be more about moments than one entire experience. While visiting the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE I enjoy my time there seeing the plants and perfect gardens that are created and the bit of exercise in fresh air as I walk about the grounds. But it’s the individual moments of different scenes I take in that sometimes strike me the most.

A light and shade scene at Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Delicate appearing flowers on a plant at Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Each one is distinct and a perfect subject in and of itself. It’s easy to wander and forget time for the moment enjoying these sights and limited sounds of mostly birds chirpingand going about their business uninterested in the humans who are visiting their domain.

A lone flower on a pond at Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flower adding color to a landscape at Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The gardens even in summer have places that allow a visitor to linger out of the sun, and provides informational pieces to help educate us of less than cursory knowledge of garden life.

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©)

 

An informational sign help visitors learn about the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And fun pieces of art are a delight to view. Attending a number of outdoor art shows and festival viewing a vast number of sculptures and other items to put in one’s yard, mine would become more a “junk piece” refuge but here on these grounds and spaced out they add a viewing interest.

Fun art pieces dot the landscape at Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Friendly suggestions for visitors who might like to create their own special place at home can be found at Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even a reflection pool gave way to some mesmerizing moments watching the light play on the rocks in the pond as a light breeze moved the water about, creating an ongoing and ever changing dapples of the light dancing, fairy-like, giving the viewer a pause. Was it Tinker Bell of Peter Pan lore or a garden sprite of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

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

Moments to enjoy and give space during days of uncertainty, and possibly a new reality. But there will always be a moment, maybe two, to just pause and enjoy and think about tomorrow, tomorrow.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Big Wheels in Siouxland, Union Pacific Train Engines, Omaha, NE

20 Jul

A display of the Union Pacific Big Boy 4023 and Engine 6900 on a hill near the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Old trains are fascinating. The size alone bears some respect and the amount of steel in them seems somewhat unreal. South of Siouxland is a two-train exhibit near the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE. The display is dedicated to a couple of Union Pacific engines, one a Big Boy and the other a workhorse of a locomotive designed to pull tonnage across the country. When driving on I-80 through Omaha one only has to look up to see them looking down.

The Union Pacific plays a large part of the history of Omaha and a display of the Big Boy 4023 and Engine 6900 sits on a hill near the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The display of the Union Pacific Big Boy 4023 and Engine 6900 on a hill near the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center overlooks I-80 freeway in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Union Pacific has history in Omaha as well as in Council Bluffs. I would imagine thousands of rail cars pass through this area weekly. There is no telling yearly. And these two engines sit proudly on a hill top looking down as passing motorists look up, admiring their size and what stories each might tell during their years of service.

The history of Engine 6900 which sits in a display on a hill near the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The history of the Union Pacific Big Boy 4023 situated on a hill near the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A display of the Union Pacific Big Boy 4023 and Engine 6900 on a hill near the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A recurrent theme for railroad buffs must be that the trains never stop moving. Neither should the folk admiring them, although these days some added precautions are probably a good thing. And this exhibit is free and a chance to get up close and personal with history.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A display of the Union Pacific Big Boy 4023 and Engine 6900 on a hill near the Lauritzen Gardens botanical center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 11, 2020. (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©)

Longing for Trips in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

21 May

A coral reef Lego exhibit by Sean Kenney that took over 500 hours and 88,000 pieces to build seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I imagine it will be sometime before the opportunity will allow certain places to reopen as the coronavirus is still prevalent in so many places. I enjoy visiting the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, as well as the Henry Doorly Zoo there. Spending part of a day wandering about and enjoying the moment. And I know those moments will come again, and try to remember such adages of patience being a virtue. When these places do reopen I am certain there will be many, many folk angling to get in. But it will still be nice to revisit places to relax and enjoy and think of other things.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A sea coral reef Lego exhibit by Sean Kenney that took over 500 hours and 88,000 pieces to build rises above a wall to entice visitors to check out at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the “Seasons” in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

4 Mar

A fountain and water fall flow inside a plant enclosure at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes during inclement weather or seasonal changes, one can seek refuge exploring the indoors as opposed to the outdoors. On a visit to the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE I was surprised to find “waterfalls” in various places within a green house that added to plant environment which is limited during the winter months in the Midwest. While small, the area utilized by the gardens encompasses every inch.

Space is not wasted for exhibiting plants at the the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Unexpected treasures are stashed to be seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And on a cold winter’s day it was a nice refuge to see something green and growing and just lending more credence to the upcoming spring season when it will be possible to walk out doors in just a sweater or light jacket and not worry about one’s ears turning red and falling off.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Waterfalls continue to flow at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Summer Moment during Siouxland’s Winter, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

13 Feb

A blooming plant at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes “getting away” from the cold and thought of winter is an easy fix around Siouxland. The Laurtizen Gardens in Omaha, NE can give visitors a little break from the winter weather, although it can be challenging for a photographer.

Condensation on a window in a plant room during winter at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Walking only a few meters within a plant enclosure looking Lego exhibits the camera lens would condense and it would take a few more minutes to wait for it to clear while visiting the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Cod days outside can mean an enjoyable time indoors but one must take a bit of time if you want to capture any memories during a visit. During a recent visit to the gardens the temperature within the “greenhouse” changed in matter of meters which was interesting. Or if standing by a door leaving the room the change in temperature was immediate as was the condensation that followed. But still, such a small sacrifice to pay for seeing a “little bit o’ the green” and a chance to forget about the outdoors and think of what’s coming.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A steamy room keeps plants healthy in the winter months seen during a Lego Exhibit at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Christmas’ Past in Siouxland, Old Dominion Dance, Omaha, NE

25 Dec

It’s always fun to encounter something new and this Christmas season I came upon a group that celebrates Christmas through bringing to life Charles Dickens’ novel, “A Christmas Carol”. The Old Dominion Dance group enjoys the holidays be reliving the past. The group’s founder, Emily Mayes, said the group;s Fezziwig Ball held at Lauritzen Gardens is a chance for people who enjoy dance and a family night out to come participate and dance and participate in a Dickens’ Christmas party.

Young participants socialize before dancing during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Emily Mayes, center, began the Old Dominion Dance group that embraces English country style dancing done during Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The dance group focuses mainly on English country dances and takes some time to teach the simple dance steps (it’s very much like attending an American square dance get-together) and then participate. The group later performs short skits based on Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. The ball itself is based on Ebenezer Scrooge’s visit from the Ghost of Christmas’ past. It was fun watching people socialize and participate in an event that celebrates kindness, friendship and the spirit of Christmas. Something one might think is in short supply these days.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

People pose for a portrait during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Participants dance during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Participants dance during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Participants dance during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Participants dance during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Participants dance during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Participants dance during Old Dominion Dance group’s Fezziwig Ball that encompasses English style country dance at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Nature around Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE

13 Jul

Visitors enter a formal garden at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always with a bit of anticipation when one enters a new area what a person will find on the other side. Laurtizen Gardens in Omaha, NE has a number of gardens to visit within its 100 plus acres of landscape. From formal and informal gardens to other little gems with artwork.

Visitors explore a formal garden setting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A visitor could spend 2-3 hours just wandering and enjoying the beauty that unfolds before one’s eyes.

Light play illuminates a plant at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rose garden at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While the time of day, mid to late morning when I visited in June might not be an ideal time to photograph a perfect garden scene, it was still pretty spectacular. I especially enjoyed the Lithuanian and Baltic folk tales garden area one walks into just strolling down a path.

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The interpretive signs are handy in putting into perspective a visual artist’s rendition of the folk art one encounters.

A Baltic myth tells of a young sea-goddess who lived in the Baltic Dea and fell in love with a young fisherman. One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Egle is the Queen of Serpents who was a young girl who married a serpent prince. One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And after walking a few trails there are places to take a break and just view the activity or scenes of beauty that surrounds, astounds and trail into another area for more exploration.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Pathways lead visitors through wooded areas and into garden settings at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Benches in shaded areas give visitors a feeling of seclusion when stopping to rest or admire the view at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brick fence sets off a formal garden setting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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