Tag Archives: nature

Prepping for Summer, Arnolds Park

24 Apr

I stopped into Arnolds Park, Iowa recently just wanting to get out and enjoy some spring sunshine and warmer temps. After having a lunch I walked about seeing the nice weather being put to use as workers were prepping the sight seeing boat the Queen II for cruising the lakes this summer. Docks along the shoreline near the Arnolds Park amusement park were not yet installed. And a boat was hauling a boat docking device of some type across the lake as boaters will later begin bringing their boats to the lakes for idling away summer hours.

I met another couple out “walking” their dog. Well, part of the walk was in a stroller. The woman explained their pet was 17 years old and not as spry as it had been when younger, but it still enjoys getting out and sniffing to its heart content. And it was a nice day for a warm with blue sky and temperatures in the 60’s.

A woman takes her 17-year-old dog for a walk in a stroller in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, April 11, 2017. She said the little guy still gets out to walk, but not as well as when he was younger. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)


Seeing the work being done at West Lake Okoboji reminded one that warmer, sunny days are coming and it is nice to have the opportunity to enjoy these moments.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying Spring Weather in Siouxland, Milford

22 Apr

A week or so ago when the sun was shining and the sky was blue in Siouxland, I went to the Iowa Lakes region. I stopped at a trail head in Milford. I didn’t bring my bike this time but instead walked a ways along the trail. It was just a nice spring day. And others had to agree as I met a variety of people either walking themselves or riding their bikes.  The sun felt fine, temperature in the 60’s. A nice day to enjoy spring and what it brings.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the Country in Siouxland, Plymouth County

13 Apr

With the return of sunshine and changing temperatures that don’t fluctuate wildly, as in from 25 degrees to 60 degrees and back again, it’s been nice to get outside and explore again. I grew up on a farm and so enjoy driving back roads around the Siouxland area. Western Iowa is mostly agricultural as per its main industry. I enjoy the scenics and places I find in rural Plymouth County and other similar places. I enjoy going to cities from time to time, but after living near San Francisco and in Los Angeles County, I prefer smaller venues. In those places it takes so long to reach a destination and it seems even longer to get outside the city limits to see a horizon line and no cement.

There is no one place is better than another. I may be just realizing that growing up on a farm was just a little more deeply embedded than I thought.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring in Siouxland and a walk along a bike trail, Le Mars

7 Apr

As the weather approaches more “normal” (whatever that may be anymore) temperatures and the sky is sunny, it’s hard not to go for a walk. The Le Mars, Iowa walking and biking trail is not very long but a nice experience bordering a creek for most of it and farmland as it lies on the outskirts of the community. The sky was blue and sunny. The clouds mushrooming and filling the expanse. And after driving around a bit it was a good way to end the day. Although, having pizza and a soda afterwards was an even better way to end.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Good Karma in Siouxland, Storm Lake

31 Mar

I took a recent trip in Siouxland with a friend to Storm Lake, Iowa as she checked out some items for possible use in a move to a new place. Previously my friend traveled to a location to check out an area she thought she might like to relocate to, and after a few incidents of getting there which were more annoying than harmful, she decided the universe was trying to tell her she needed to look into a more specific direction to find her happiness. My friend was happy with her choice. In Storm Lake while waiting for this friend to run errands, I met a local proprietor and got to chatting about eateries in the town. Somehow we drifted to a conversation about one particular restaurant that is located in Peterson, Iowa and this person told me the story of her unmarried daughter living out of state, the chance meeting of a young man who actually grew up not far from them in their community and how things might work out that her daughter and this young man might eventually make a go of life.

We never really know how life might turn out, but generally I believe it’s true that one gets back what one puts out. If it is all hate and vile, why should a person expect different? While waiting for my friend to finish errands I walked to the lake in Storm Lake and just sat watching what was before me and contemplating the two ventures or journeys these two different people have taken and ended someplace where they could find happiness. Fairy tales? Maybe, but a person must still retain hope for the best while, sadly, sometimes expecting maybe the not so worst, but events that can detour or even slow down one’s path to where you hope to be.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


Two geese paddle about in the lake at Storm Lake, Iowa Monday, March 27, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A short walk to infinity in Storm Lake, Iowa Monday, March 27, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Siouxland’s Early Spring, Loess Hills

29 Mar

As I mentioned in an earlier post getting out into Siouxland and driving about now isn’t an awe inspiring drive. The fields are still winter brown and after a while even I am tired of seeing them. But the light is changing though, and I came across a particular hillside with a lone tree in Monona County in the Loess Hills area that caught my attention. Like the field surrounding it, it too is awaiting for those spring rains that will green up the countryside and get it started with its own seasonal trip as buds start forming on its branches.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The setting sun casts a long shadow in rural Monona County, Iowa Saturday, March 18, 2017.

Leading Lines in Siouxland, Monona County

27 Mar

I tell students who take my photo classes to look for images in places they are familiar with, and if they don’t see them the first time, to look again. Even though there is the chance a person could take the same photograph time and again, if one really looks I believe it’s possible to see something new or different than the last time one visited a favorite place.

Recently I took a drive down into the Loess Hills in Monona County and all I saw was brown. Brown (gravel) roadways, brown grass, brown fields, etc. Then as I was making a curve on one of these roads it hit me. Yes the field is brown, but it has some nice lines. I could have tried killing time for a few hours to get a sunset for my leading lines photo, but I actually hate staying in the same place a long time unless the payoff is going to be dramatic. So I stopped, made the image, and then continued on my way through the hills to see what was on the other side.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Leading lines in a field in rural Monona County, Iowa Saturday, March 18, 2017.

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