Tag Archives: le mars iowa

Playing with Light and Polarizing filters in Siouxland, Le Mars

26 Jun

Creating a heavy effect while using a polarizer on a sunny day in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, June 13, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Dialing down the effect of a polarizer on a sunny day in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, June 13, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Depending on who one talks with or reads and one’s own personal preference, the use of filters can be a touchy subject. Landscape photographers use neutral density filters and polarizers to enhance the scenes they photograph. While traversing about Siouxland on bright sunny days, I personally like using a polarizer to enhance my skies. But then how much an effect is too much. Sometimes being over the top can add to an image if that is what the photographer desires while at other times less is more.

I don’t think all will agree on any kind of like mindedness with this topic and that’s okay. The saying variety is the spice of life, and if you don’t like the soup, don’t eat it, but then, don’t spoil it for others who do.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying a National Show in Siouxland, the 153rd American Watercolor Society, Le Mars

22 Jun

Viewing the American Watercolor Society’s 153rd annual travel exhibit at the Le Mars Art Center in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, June 13, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s not often that a small town can boast about exhibiting world class works or get the chance to share such work with its community, especially in Siouxland. But the Le Mars Arts Center is currently hosting the 153rd traveling edition of the American Watercolor Society exhibition. Originally scheduled to first be shown in New York City, the show was done virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic and shutdowns in many cities across the country. The show will run through July 31 at the Arts Center.

Viewing the American Watercolor Society’s 153rd annual travel exhibit at the Le Mars Art Center in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, June 13, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A member of the Le Mars Art Center talks with people visiting and viewing the American Watercolor Society’s 153rd annual travel exhibit in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, June 13, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Art Center has also recently finished a redesign within its space that provides more room to exhibit art work and gives the interior a more polished feel. Volunteers at the art center were also appropriately attired wearing face masks as they greeted visitors and had extra masks on hand if someone requested one.

Viewing the American Watercolor Society’s 153rd annual travel exhibit at the Le Mars Art Center in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, June 13, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some of the artists included are: Suzanne Accetta of Columbus, OH, Ingrid Albrecht of Chicago, IL, Deena Altman of Escondido, CA, Mina Angelos of Plattsburgh, NY, Karen Barnes of Rome, NY. Will Bullas of Carmel Valley, CA, Chung-wei Chien of New Taipei City, Taiwan, Jansen Chow of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia and Junwei Dai of Singaore, Singapore.

Even if one is not exactly a fan of watercolor or art in general, in terms of such an event taking place in the Ice Cream Capital, it is amazing to see the work and the variety of the 40 artists who were selected. And it’s nice that sometimes the little guy does okay for the home team.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Visitors viewing the American Watercolor Society’s 153rd annual travel exhibit at the Le Mars Art Center in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, June 13, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Strolling Through the Lights in Siouxland, Pioneer Village in Le Mars

4 Jan

I always enjoy strolling through the Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County fairgrounds during the Christmas holidays. It looks so much different than when seen during the county fair in the summer. Christmas lights and families walking about, even on cold or chilly nights looking at Christmas displays and visiting Santa before the big day.

Christmas lights light up Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Christmas lights light up Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Near the village is a round barn that is set up to display Christmas scenes and gives the chance for children of all ages to enjoy a remembrance from childhood or to make memories that will will carry into adulthood. Even when it is cold it’s hard not to linger and enjoy.

The entrance to the round barn near the Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Christmas villages on display at the Pioneer Village on the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Santa finds his way in the dark in a display at the round barn at the Pioneer Village on the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Near the village is another building with donated decorated Christmas trees where people can enjoy someone’s handiwork in creating such a delight which one can put in a silent auction bid while music plays in the background and local 4-H clubs pass out cookies and hot chocolate or coffee. Sugar rushes are always a nice side benefit to enjoying someone’s decorating attempts and the chance to savor the Christmas holiday for another day or so until next year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Christmas trees on display near the Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Christmas trees on display the Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Enjoying the Lights of the Season in Siouxland, Le Mars

27 Dec

Santa is watching who is naughty or nice before the Lighted Parade downtown in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Even though they happen every year, I still enjoy the local Lighted Parades that take place locally in Siouxland, like in Le Mars. Same floats most times, but the joy on children’s faces and their parents seeing their kids get excited is always fun to see. And when the weather cooperates and it’s not below freezing, that’s even better.

An ice cream float by a local ice cream company seen in the Lighted Parade downtown in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Helpers pass out candy during the Lighted Parade downtown in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I can remember as a child it seemed Christmas Eve and Day would never arrive. Years away, even though it was only weeks after Thanksgiving. As adulthood looms it seems the time grows shorter to finish that holiday shopping. Now it is just fun to watch others scurrying to finish their pre-Christmas chores and lists and just enjoy the moments that come with the holiday spirit.

The Big Guy is carried in a horse drawn wagon in the Lighted Parade downtown in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

But even on good weather like days, there can be a delay in festivities, especially when the railroad tracks pass through town and intersect a parade route. There’s no stopping commerce as people patiently wait.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A train passes through the downtown area halting the parade’s progress during the Lighted Parade downtown in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Enjoying a Fair History Trip in Siouxland, Plymouth County Fair, Le Mars

6 Sep

The display about the farming milk industry is on display in the Round barn at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One aspect of county fairs I enjoy is a history component that some fairs offer to visitors through exhibits, celebrating Siouxland’s past and what may still be relevant in this day and age. With the Blue Bunny Ice Cream company located in Le Mars it is not a stretch when an exhibit about dairy farming is presented in the historical Round Barn at the fairgrounds. Dairy farming is not for the faint of heart. It’s a become a 24-hour operation with the larger scale “industrial” type of dairy farms. After all, it’s America, and to continue to thrive bigger is always better and these days necessary.

The Round Barn has been a fixture at the Plymouth County Fair grounds for years in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A display about the milk industry and farming on display at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Growing up on a dairy farm though I remember my dad milking in the early morning hours and then again early evening. Even with a small herd, it’s a twice-a-day operation 365 days of the year with no days off and seldom any vacations. But farming is that, a calling with a dedication and a willingness to always be on call as needed to get the necessary chores done and enjoy life, while certainly hard at times, had rewards many people seldom experience.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A display about milking and its role in farming is on display at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A small display about barns is seen inside the Round Barn at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Pioneer Village has food booths, a blacksmith shop and other places to browse as well as a small outdoor stage where performances occur at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A popular place in the Historical Village at the Plymouth County Fair is the Bakery Shop in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

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