Tag Archives: nature

Making Choices for Placement when Photographing in Siouxland, Sioux City

16 Feb

One of the toughest things to decide sometimes when I am photographing in Siouxland and elsewhere is how I want to frame up a subject and where I want to place that subject within the frame. Placing a subject within the frame of a photograph can evoke different emotions or feelings about that photo, even if it’s a simple outdoors image. Does a viewer believe they are right there with the photographer viewing the subject, or at a distance, purveying a scene from afar.

Perspective has a lot to do with presenting viewers images and the subjects contained within. And what is it the photographer wants the viewer to see, or experience with the image, if anything.  It’s all very subjective. But the photographer needs to show a person seeing an image what it is he/she sees, because it is their vision or perspective or object they want to share. And photography is all about visuals and sharing them with others.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A foggy day near the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A foggy day near the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Warm-up in Siouxland, Bacon Creek Park, Sioux City

14 Feb

A runner takes advantage of a warm day at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During a recent change in weather in Siouxland, I ventured out to a local park, Bacon Creek, to enjoy some breathable fresh air without my lungs freezing. And I wasn’t alone. The recent extreme temperatures that with windchill was well below zero, approaching almost a -40 degrees. But people with their dogs or by themselves getting some exercise were enjoying the 40 degree weather, practically a 100 degree swing from the couple days previous.

On a warmer day than normal people walks the path at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A runner and her dog enjoy the warmer than normal day at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

More snow and cold is expected in the forecasts which is not to be unexpected for this time of year. But it is nice for a respite from the very cold weather and a chance to enjoy nature again without feeling the need to hurry from one indoor location to the next.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Someone left a Christmas ornament hanging on one of the trees at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A warm day at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring Temps bring Fog in Siouxland, Sioux City

10 Feb

Fog along the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently Mother Nature has been giving Siouxland residents a roller coaster ride with temperatures going from extreme cold, to warm and extreme cold again. But visually it’s a break during the winter months, as well as a nice break to get outdoors without wearing 10 layers for warmth. I attended a presentation about wildlife photography recently and spent a few moments on the walking path nearby and enjoying the warmer temps and the fog created as it rose off the Missouri River. Not one anymore for being out in extreme cold, it was nice to spend a few minutes enjoying some fresh air and creating some images that don’t always occur. But Mother Nature has more in store yet this winter, and sometimes one needs to be patient to enjoy it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A foggy day along the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Fog obscures the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Rescuing Raptors Near Siouxland, Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue, NE

2 Feb

A recent visit south of Siouxland took me to the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE. A nice park with plenty of trails and some easy board walks for everyone to easily navigate and enjoy the outdoors.

The visitor center contains a wealth of information before checking out the trails at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Another interesting aspect of that park/preserve is there is a raptor rescue center which helps rehabilitate wild birds.

A raptor refuge can be found at the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A raptor refuge can be found at the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There were only a few birds there when I visited but the set up for the center was similar to a large tree house, or collection of a few tree houses that housed the creatures and situated visitors on a hillside overlooking the park.

A raptor refuge can be found at the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A raptor refuge where a variety of birds are rehabilitated and cared for can be found at the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It made an enjoyable experience to see such birds of grandeur up close and the fact that if successful, most, if not all, would be returning to the wild once their medical situations were over. A nice way to enjoy nature for part of a day and something to look forward to again once warmer temps arrive this spring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A raptor refuge can be found at the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors are given a tour of the raptor refuge at the Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, NE Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Enjoying a Short Day in Siouxland, Solstice at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

19 Jan

A solstice hike is led and explained by naturalist Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Hikers head out for an hours walk led by naturalist Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Thursday during a solstice hike , Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In December I went for a short walk on a short day in Siouxland to learn a bit about the solstice at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director for the nature center led a a small group during a late afternoon hike up to a hillside and overlook and talked about the shortest day of the year and reminding people that longer days of sunlight are coming hopefully with more sunshine to counter the current cold spell.

Even on cold days, the sunshine is still sweet to help one overcome any feelings of gloom that sometimes happens when days are filled with overcast skies and snowfall. And it’s always nice to get out and enjoy nature with others of similar mind. And to learn a bit more about area parks. The group stopped under an oak tree that Snyder pointed out was probably 200 years old or so according to its branch structure, having grown in such a fashion  because they were fewer trees at the time allowing it to “spread its wings” so to speak, compared to other nearby trees that were growing more vertically. This would have been a period during pre-Iowa statehood when the area was probably mostly prairie.

During an hour hike naturalist Dawn Snyder, left, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center talks about nature and some of the park’s older inhabitants like the oak tree speculated to be about 200 years old during a solstice hike Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A few hikers spent an hour learning from naturalist Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center during a solstice hike Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On extremely cold days I don’t venture out as much as I used to when I was younger. Enjoying my creature comforts too much as I age and liking to spend my time during the daylight hours and pondering such thoughts as I have on those long winter nights.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A few hikers make their way down a hill spending an hour learning from naturalist Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center during a solstice hike Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A few hikers spent an hour learning from naturalist Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center during a solstice hike Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Children get into the spirit of a solstice hike is led and explained by naturalist Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A solstice hike is led and explained by naturalist Dawn Snyder, Education Program Director at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (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©)

Enjoying the Outdoors in Siouxland, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

13 Jan

I’m not a very often wildlife kind of photographer. On occasion I will photograph birds when I come upon them and am happy when I get a fairly decent image like one near Winnebago, NE not too long ago.

A raptor takes off from a tree near a snow covered field where bison grazing outside of Winnebago, NE Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©) (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

I recently visited the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge that straddles both Iowa and Nebraska and has communal link which is the Missouri River. My visit happened before the recent nonsense brought on by Washington politicians who always seem to be out of touch with folk in the real world and never seem to care about those affected. They still get paid.

I was testing out a newly acquired lens (to me) to see if I wanted to actually purchase an older manual focus Canon telephoto lens. And I was pleased with the results, and glad the geese I photographed were not moving too quickly.

Geese on open water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese on frozen water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The refuge is a nice place to visit and hang out, even if one is not photographing migratory birds, but just wanting to enjoy the quiet and what the refuge has to offer which I learned about from a previous visit. And some of the history that is associated with the area during the expansion west.

But I wanted to see if the lens still retained its sharpness even on an overcast day with created its own mood with the birds and even though it was chilly or rather cold, still a nice way to spend a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Geese on open water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese on frozen water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese walking on frozen water at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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