Tag Archives: Lost in Siouxland

Exploring Small Towns in Siouxland, Blair, NE

9 Jan

On one of my visits in southern Siouxland I stopped by to visit the nearby community of Blair, NE. A small community with a pretty downtown. It’s just down the road from the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge and is maybe 10-12 miles from Missouri Valley.

Downtown’s main street remains busy in Blair, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

The Washington County seat is located in Blair and it has a rather impressive courthouse just off of the downtown area. It has a population just under 10,000 and seems to be a fairly thriving community with a lot of harvest trucks passing through the downtown area as farmers finished their fall harvests of corn and soybeans.

Washington County Courthouse in Blair, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A statue of a Union Soldier on a monument to those who served during the Civil War stands in front of the Washington County Courthouse in Blair, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I kind of figure with prediction of snow coming and colder temps my forays out may slow a bit, but I am still hopeful to do more exploration around Siouxland during the winter months. I may just not be walking as much  when I am out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Learning what’s new Agriculturally in Siouxland, Dakota Farm Show, Vermillion, SD

7 Jan

The past week I took a trip to Vermillion, SD to see what is new in the world of agriculture at the Dakota Farm Show here in Siouxland. At least what is new to me since I don’t farm, but grew up on one. I always find the advances in technology for farming to be fascinating. But I guess I was more interested in the transformation of the Dakota Dome, the sporting athletic complex which the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and home to the Coyotes or “Yotes” for short. The school’s football games and basketball games as well as track meets are held in the Dome.

This particular day there weren’t many students to be found, although to be fair, the spring semester had not yet started, and so those folk making “tracks” on the track were a bit older.

Three attendees take off on the track but are not competing in any competition while attending the Dakota Farm Show in the Dakota Dome at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And there was quite a bit of diversity of product for area farmers and those involved in the agricultural industry to check out. With many, many booths covering the entire floor area along some machinery.

The floor area of the Dakota Dome is filled with agriculture products or related items at the Dakota Farm Show on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Farm equipment and related items fill the floor area in the Dakota Dome at the Dakota Farm Show on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Very similar to what one might find at a home and garden show, the concept being the same, just that the wares here help feed a nation’s and world population which is kind of amazing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the art of Art near Siouxland, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE

5 Jan

On a visit to the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE south of Siouxland I spent a little time looking at facility itself and enjoying its architecture. At the same time I was also looking at color. And how it adds another dimension or feel to the museum.

Admiring art in the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Muted colors and the specially lit venue helps visitors to concentrate on the art hanging in the various galleries and not to think about anything beyond the room one is in and the joy of seeing some excellent pieces.

An entryway with a fountain adds to place and lends an elegance before you start the journey of seeing. As does the art installation of a Dale Chihuly piece that hangs in front of a large window. It’s nice to sit nearby and look and enjoy. Some days should be quiet days.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Chihuly art piece hangs in the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Mosaic tile in the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Sharing History in Siouxland, Council Bluffs

3 Jan

Council Bluffs probably sits on the southern border of Siouxland and it’s a place I have only recently begun to explore while visiting there. I find it fun to see how different communities explore their own history and share that history with visitors.

Historical tile work in the sidewalk at street corners in Council Bluffs, Iowa Wednesday Oct. 4, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Historical tile work in the sidewalk at street corners in Council Bluffs, Iowa Wednesday Oct. 4, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It seems to be a pretty city with fairly clean streets and welcoming to those walking about. Brick pavements in part and maintained older buildings seem to populate part of the downtown area.

Downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Wednesday Oct. 4, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Tile in the intersections of some streets in Council Bluffs, Iowa Wednesday Oct. 4, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I enjoyed walking through one of its parks and along a thoroughfare downtown were planted green spaces. It’s place I want to return to and walk around some more, although that probably won’t happen until spring, maybe summer. Winters in Siouxland can sometimes change quickly and if I don’t have to get out into the cold, I don’t. Plus I find it is nice to being to stroll and enjoy surroundings without looking for a place to duck into to warm up. And maybe even enjoy a park I came across.

A downtown park with water fountains give a fresh feeling in Council Bluffs, Iowa Wednesday Oct. 4, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Just outside this downtown area are some historic homes also with brick streets that lend to the historical nature and feel for this community that at one time was the “edge” of civilization as America was expanding west with hope and promise to people who were born here and to immigrants looking for an opportunity to better themselves in a welcoming new country.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Warm Weather in Siouxland, Sioux City

1 Jan

Like much of the country, Siouxland is caught in the current arctic vortex with air temperature hovering below zero in the single and double digits for a few days. It was sad recently to see buds forming and beginning to leaf on a neighbor’s tree before the cold spell hit. I  haven’t checked the tree recently but can’t imagine the bud will survive to spring. The weather has definitely been wacky and hopes are that it will become a little more moderate. Winter in the 20’s and 30’s temperature wise is great and fun to be outdoors. But single digits and below zero with frost bit setting in within 10 minutes is not so delightful.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Warm “winter” weather has some trees producing leaves from buds Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Framing a view in Siouxland, Grand Meadow Heritage and Storm Lake

30 Dec

Sometimes trying to capture images in Siouxland I struggle to see what is before me and really strive to make an image that reflects what I see. Some images jump out at you and others you have to work a bit. When it comes to framing, does one need to be literal all the time and really “frame” your subject matter, or can one be a little less rigid in how the framing is done and does it still work. Some images work regardless of the artifice used in making them stand out on their own. Others not so much. But the more one attempts I believe the better one begins to see the possibilities.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Photo Safari class at the Grand Meadow Heritage Center near Washta, Iowa Saturday Oct. 21, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A short walk on a short pier into the lake at Storm Lake, Iowa Wednesday Sept. 6, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Savoring Light in Siouxland, Rural Woodbury County

28 Dec

The late fall and winter seasons are times I really enjoy savoring light in Siouxland in the early morning and evening. With the change from daylight savings to standard time, the mornings are not so early and the evenings come earlier. So I can savor and still get some rest. The quality of this light is just really nice. On a recent drive out into rural Woodbury County the sun was beginning to set and the light was sweeping across the landscape. I thought it was just gorgeous. Another evening out the sunset glowed behind a hill as it set. I enjoy its beauty, though fleeting and the effect it has on the objects or landscape it surrounds and the peace that comes to me in watching it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A glow from the setting sun filters across rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

An afternoon sunlight glow filters across a farmland as the sun sets in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

The sun glows over a hilltop in the countryside near Bronson, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

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