Tag Archives: le mars iowa

Summer Means Siouxland Fair Time, Le Mars

5 Aug

Quilting samples and one fair-themed quilt showing at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mother takes photos of her daughters at a cutout at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Growing up on a farm in Illinois now makes me a little wistful when I visit county fairs in Siouxland. I tend to go a little earlier than then and spend time watching 4-H and FFA kids exhibiting their animals and realize the amount of work they have put into such projects. One needed to care for an animal as well as log information about it’s feeding and care. A daunting task for 8-14 years old kids. Now there is even more competition for their time than when I was a child.

4-H competitors trying “guiding” their charges during a competition at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

It’s not all glamour for the Pork Queen as she hands out ribbons at the conclusion of a 4-H showing competition during the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But that part of the fair still generates interest among those who participate and their families and friends. Competition and winning and losing is all part of the “building character” schtick that comes with participating. And rarely do I stay later when the fair’s rides begin and those other activities come to life. Especially when it’s hot. I tend to bail. Find a food stand or someplace in the shade and a tad cooler. But walking around the animals barns one can find all sorts of interesting scenes. Those members intent on preparing their animal or following the latest development elsewhere.

A young 4-H member tries to brush her steers while also keeping up on social media during the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A steer gets a soap bath before competing during 4-H competition at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But most members of these organizations take their competition to heart. I never really cared if I got a blue, red or white ribbon. It was being there and seeing friends or neighbor kids one probably wouldn’t see for another month until school started. And of course taking in the Midway where the carnival barkers try to entice one to spend a little money or ride the ferris wheel and other rides. So I can only smile when I see someone enjoying them self and think back to my time spent of the fair, participating in 4-H for 9-10 years until I aged out and left for college. And for these young members hopefully this will be a time they too can look back on and cherish or at least fondly remember the better times as they grow and become interested in other activities which may entice them away from these organizations.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Young 4-H members wait to show their chicken projects at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A chicken rests contently in the arms of its owner as she waits to compete at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Photography exhibit at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Time Changes Scenes in Siouxland, Le Mars Bike Trail

22 Mar

I always tell students of my Lifelong Learning photography classes that revisiting places can often yield different photos depending on the season, time of year and time of day. The recent weather Siouxland has experienced brings that idea into better focus as until a week ago, temperatures were still below freezing and then most recently the area received rain, plenty of it for this time of year, in addition to warmer temps that created snow melt and eventually flooding.

Fall colors on the bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

flooding along Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Baseball’s summer days are waning along the bike trail in Le Mars, IA Monday Aug. 7, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Little League Baseball Complex in West Floyd Park has flooded after a recent rain and melting snow caused the nearby river to overflow its banks seen from nearby Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one doesn’t expect such a drastic change in scenery. But it can happen and then those photos previously taken create a record of what was, and possibly may never be again. The sad thing is that depending on how quickly water recedes from a flooded area determines if trees growing there can survive or will need to be taken down changing the look of an area.

There are a few bridges that cross a stream for the Le Mrs, Iowa, bike trail, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A foot bridge over the Floyd River in West Floyd Park has flood water hitting it after a recent rain and before all the snow has melted seen from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The bike trail I have frequented along with many others  is barely scene along the West Floyd Park next the the Little League Baseball Park. Most of the trail along here is now paved making it better than gravel paths being washed away. But still, they will need to be checked out for any erosion damage.

A bike trail is seen above flood waters in West Floyd Park as the Floyd River came out of its banks with recent rainfall and melting snow combining to inundate the area seen from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Floyd River that runs along the park was almost touching a highway overpass. A much different look than I have previously viewed.

THe Floyd River near Wesst Floyd Park is out of its banks and flowing just under the Hwy 3 bridge seen heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Le Mrs, Iowa, bike trail winds its way through wooded areas following a stream and passing under motor ways and train tracks, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mother Nature graces us humans with quite an array and display in various forms. Thunderstorms and tornadoes are frightening yet fascinating at the same time. The same is true of water. A little can be bucolic, while a lot disastrous. And one generally only gains a perspective after months have passed, sometimes years from when an event occurred and the future becomes the present.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Floyd River, left, floods after a recent rain and melting snow combined to create too much water before the ground has thawed flooding everything around it and see from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blue sky and robust clouds on the walking/bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Le Mars, Iowa, bike trail meanders along a stream as it runs along the outskirts of the community, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Daydreaming in Siouxland, Le Mars

8 Feb

With the recent polar vortex hitting the Siouxland area and other parts of the Midwest and the U.S., I have been daydreaming of spring and summer. Warmer temps and the chance to wander about outside and not worry about freezing one’s arse or nose off. It just doesn’t apply to us poor humans. Area birds seek shelter out of the cold and blowing wind and snow and a perch that isn’t covered. And eventually the warmer temps and chance to wander will arrive, but until then, just some wistful thinking.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A fall scene in a neighborhood of Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Birds sit on a deck railing out of the wind on a cold February day, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Beyond the Trees in Siouxland, Le Mars Bike Trail

17 Jan

Fall colors on the bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes after visiting a place in Siouxland, even a place I have been too a few times, I don’t always see things until later, when I review images. Seeing the forest for the trees is an old saying. I don’t remember who coined the phrase or when. But this particular bike trail in Le Mars I have walked and ridden on a number of times. I enjoy it in all seasons. It mostly runs along a creek and is on the edge of town. It borders along corn fields and you are “in the country” even if you are near the town. But looking at the trees and the brightly lit leaves I begin to see leaf motifs in the trees. The branches and leaves mimic the the veins in the leaves themselves. Walking this trail I have looked at these trees and the area numerous times. And it begins me thinking how many interesting items are sometimes in plain sight, if only we take the time to actually see and wonder and ponder what is right before us.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fall colors radiate a sun shiny day along the bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Branches on a tree appears almost like veins with colorful leaves along the bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Holiday Spirit in Siouxland, Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars

3 Jan

Each year for as many as I can remember living in Siouxland the Plymouth County Museum puts together a Nativity display on the top floor of its facility. There are well north of a few hundred displays loaned to the museum by residents in the area as well as some that I believe have become acquired by the museum itself.

Various Nativity scenes filled the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The display fills the entire floor and it is amazing to see so many different Nativity sets collected from a variety of countries and made of a variety of material. Some a bit more avant guard than others but sticking to the theme of Joseph and Mary and their baby Jesus.

A variety of different Nativity scenes filled the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Nativity scenes are found on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I find it fun to look at how the Wise Men are depicted.

Different Nativity scenes were placed about on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Different nativity scenes are found on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The museum also showcases Christmas village scenes as well and along with some more expected Christmas fare. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and enjoy a little warmth inside before heading back into the winter’s deep freeze, and to have a reminder of the “reason” for the season as the saying states.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Some winter village scenes can be found celebrating the Christmas holiday at the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Nativity and other winter scenes were scattered about on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Village Christmas scenes are on display on the top floor of the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Christmas decorations were scattered throughout the Plymouth County Museum in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Lighted Parade in Siouxland, Le Mars

26 Dec

Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to those attending the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People bundled up against the cold attending the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Despite the cold people lined the streets to watch the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Lighted Parade that is an annual event in Le Mars was postponed a week because of a snow storm that basically brought the area, and actually most of the country, to a stand still. The storm basically shut down I-29 and many secondary county and state roads. A lot of events were cancelled. However, the parade happened the following week. There was less snow, but the cold and a crisp wind made for a very chilly night as people bundled up to watch those parade floats that participated in the second attempt.

Parade participants grab for more candy to pass out during the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Everyone bundled up for the cold to watch and ride in the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And later there is always the visiting of the Pioneer Christmas Village at the Plymouth County Fairground. A brisk walk and ride for those so inclined to sit behind chilled horses giving “sleigh rides”. And a few watch fires to roast marshmallows and warm hands and feet.

Christmas lights lit up the Pioneer Village Christmas at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An attendant feeds a fire at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds Pioneer Village Christmas in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When thoroughly chilled, I ducked inside a couple of places to view Christmas decorations and to see decorated Christmas trees. But inside where the trees and a few dozens other people kept fogging my camera lens which gave a hazy appearance that was not really the case indoors. But still a delight to see many happy people anticipating the day, and especially kids, whose eyes still grow wide seeing Santa decorations in the Round Barn and also in person, granting those last timed wishes for Christmas morning.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A variety Christmas decorations greeted people inside the Round Barn at the Plymouth County Fairground’s Pioneer Village Christmas in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Camera lenses fogged up inside a pavilion where decorated Christmas trees were located for the Pioneer Village Christmas in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

Experimenting with Vision in Siouxland, Le Mars

2 Nov

One of the photo sessions I like to do for my Fall Photo Safari class is have the students shoot at night. It requires a little different skill set and makes people stop and think a bit as the sun sets and night comes on. Different white balances, higher ISO’s, faster apertures if the lens allows. But I find it all part of the learning process. But it can also give them a chance to experiment and create more arty photos than strictly documenting. And it’s another way of exploring Siouxland, something I myself don’t do often enough.

Shooting at dusk during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during a short rain for the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Throughout the evening walking about Le Mars it rained off and on. The photo of the Blue Bunny ice cream sign is nice in and of itself, but I really like the drops of rain hitting a puddle with the sign’s reflection showing. These are the kinds of opportunities I like to point out and the fact that I was using one of the florescent white balance settings that enhanced the colors a bit rather than shooting a more traditional documentary image.

Shooting at night one must be a bit patient, because opportunities will avail themselves.

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I also did a quick demonstration of using off-camera flash than can sometimes help enhance a subject or add a little extra.

Lori poses for a quick off-camera speed lite demonstration while shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I know I took close to a couple hundred images in the span of one and a half hours. But I like shooting and attempting various possible photographs, some which work, and others that fail miserably. But, it informs me the next time I want to try something similar or find a situation I find interesting.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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