Tag Archives: Lost in Siouxland

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©)

Patchwork Boat Dock Design in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

3 Aug

New boards on a pier give a checkered board effect at West Lake in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent visit to the Lake Region in Iowa I saw some rebuilt docks around Arnolds Park and Okoboji, probably due to age and recent storms. The old and new gave me the impression of a patchwork quilt I see in museums and from what I remember seeing in relatives’ homes growing up as a child. Unlike the museum and wall hanging pieces, these are real life and oft used “quilts” that add a visual element if one is keen to observe.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating Heritage in Siouxland, Winnebago Pow Wow, Winnebago, NE

1 Aug

 

Various Native Americans with different tribes participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Winnebago Tribe recently celebrated its heritage at its 153rd consecutive annual Pow Wow honoring Chief Little Priest and his warriors who worked as scouts for the U.S. Calvary. The Pow Wow is all inclusive as other tribes also participate from across the U.S. and at times from Canada. The Grand Entrance is the beginning of the celebration each day in the main arena where drums and songs accompany dancing by the many tribe members.

A slow shutter speed accentuates the motion of a young boy dancing during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Various Indian tribes participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Each tribe and possibly clan within a tribe has its own particular style of dancing (traditional, grass or fancy and shawl dancing) which is reflected in the attire worn by the tribe members. And these styles and dances are passed down through the generations of family. Another aspect of the dancers is the incredible attire they wear and beautiful work that goes into each one’s creation.

A woman wears a finely beaded hair piece for the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A couple with the Omaha Tribe and who live in Macy, NE get their son dressed in his Native American attire so he can participate in the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Young girls and women also dance during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Tribe members and visitors can easily interact and chat giving one not familiar with Native American culture an opportunity to learn more about the Winnebago and other tribes and individuals that may travel hundreds of miles to participate and enjoy the camaraderie of similar heritage. If one has never attended such an event it is an enjoyable experience to meet people and gain insight into an American culture that is under appreciated although complicated, like many aspects of American culture, due to a contentious history of the U.S.’ evolution as a nation.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A participant of the Grand Entrance listens to opening remarks at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of Native American dress is represented by various tribes from throughout the U.S. during the Grand Entrance at the 153rd consecutive annual Winnebago Pow Wow, honoring the return of War Chief Little Priest and his warriors of Company “A” Fort Omaha Scouts Nebraska Volunteers, who were scouts for the U.S. Calvary from 1863-66, in Winnebago, NE Friday, July 26, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Zoo Time near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

30 Jul

Visitors walk through the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE has a number of different types of environments where various species are displayed, giving visitors a sense of the climate these animals inhabit as the zoo continues to build out these habitats.

A Cape Thick-Knee stands guard next to its chicks at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bird stays nestled in a bush in the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But still it’s not the same as being in the original space from where the species, if not this particular animal, hails from. But with fascination visitors are drawn to see these magnificent creatures, great and small. I don’t find it morbid, but intriguing along with others who spend a day walking, watching and admiring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gorilla looking for a little solitude as it eats an afternoon snack at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A baby gorilla gets a little TLC from zoo staff at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A seal cooling off on a humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Portrait of a parrot at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Waiting for a Weather Change in Siouxland, Beresford, SD

28 Jul

History sitting in place sight seen during an outing of the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

This past week Siouxland experienced a very insufferable heat wave much like the eastern part of the U.S. is now experiencing. The start of this week has brought cooler temperatures which will hopefully last a few days before those Dog Days of Summer, and the month of August gets here. Everyone knows when it’s fair time it’s got to be hot and humid.

So it was a little to my delight when I came across a photograph I had taken in April during a Spring Photo Safari class I teach. There was unexpected weather that day. Snow, then rain. Now it sounds kind of nice, but then not so much. Winter had over extended its stay.

Having lived in a few places throughout this vast land there is one thing in common that I found people to say, “Just wait five minutes and the weather will change.”

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Exploring History in Siouxland, Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa

26 Jul

A commemoration of the expedition that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertook after the Louisiana Purchase, and where current day re-enactors gather for the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Lewis and Clark Expedition history display can be found at the Lewis and Clark State Park in Siouxland. With displays that recount the historical journal by the expedition mapping out a way to and back from the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase Territory. The displays give information about the journey itself as well as those who inhabited the local area here in Iowa.

Visitors look over a replica of the keel boat used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park visitors center near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But for those visiting the park a popular attraction is riding in a replica keel boat, from which visitors are spared from rowing and oaring it out on the lake. For some a hour’s excursion might turn into a few days worth trying to navigate away from shore and back again. The replica keep boat has a small motor that propels it through the water. I find it interesting in context to see more modern day water craft zipping in and around the keel boat as people learn a little what life was like for Meriweather Lewis’ and William Clark’s men who made the 8,000 mile journey.

Visitors prepare to take off on a motor outfitted keel boat on Blue Lake as re-enactors paddle nearby during the Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors ride a motor-enabled keel boat as re-enactors portray period people during Lewis and Clark Rendevous festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s time well spend to understand a little more about how this country had taken shape and what was involved creating a place that many now call home, with many more seeking admittance. In some respects life seems as arduous now as it was then, depending on what advantages an individual has and the opportunity that awaits each person. But I believe they is a saying, ” In order to know where one is going it’s good to know where you’ve been”. Otherwise history could get caught in a loop with repeats a sure thing down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wealth of information can be found in the visitors center about the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Expedition at the Lewis and Clark State Park near Onawa, Iowa Saturday, June 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Fish are a Jumpin’ in Siouxland, Okoboji

24 Jul

Young anglers try their luck fishing near the dock in East Lake in Okoboji, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Whenever I visit the lakes region in Siouxland and walk along the “beach” areas around Arnolds Park and Okoboji I always find people trying their luck fishing. One particular day while visiting four young lads were having fairly good luck in catching blue gills near a dock area.

Young boys hoping for a bite while fishing in East Lake from a dock in Okoboji, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Toss the hook and bait into the water and soon one of them was reeling in a hungry and now sorrowful fish. Although one of the four enjoyed casting enough and playing the fish and reeling it in, but  could not bring himself to touch one. So he would let it dangle on the line out of the water until one of his friends took pity on the poor fish back into the water. I couldn’t make up my mind who might be more stressed, the fish which couldn’t breathe, the young man who couldn’t bring himself to touch it or his friends who seemed to be tiring of the repeated scenario. Summertime fun, or a variation thereof, casts its own fascination over those who pursue their interests.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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