Tag Archives: north sioux city south dakota

The Great Escape in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

3 Aug
A deer begins its retreat after seeing a passer-by in a meadow at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, July 05, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Anthropologists have sometimes said that early society retained a fight or flight outlook on life that was in part due to self-preservation. The same is most certainly true in the animal kingdom, even here in Siouxland. Early morning walks in Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve has given me a chance to see nature a bit more upclose and personal that previous visits during later hours when I have visited there. Nature’s actions take place in twilight hours, early and late. I am just glad I can witness some of it as I venture out earlier to escape the current heat of the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A deer spies a passer-by in a meadow and begins its retreat at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, July 05, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A deer spies a passer-by in a meadow and begins its retreat at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, July 05, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A deer spies a passer-by in a meadow and begins its retreat at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, July 05, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A deer takes flight after seeing a passer-by in a meadow and begins its retreat at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, July 05, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Taking a Walk with Nature in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

6 Jul
A deer pauses to watch another early morning walker at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In recent months I have spent some early Siouxland mornings out walking at local nature preserves. Enjoying what I see and also the cooler temperatures that one finds as the sun barely peers over the horizon. A young self would never have guessed that I have become an early riser. Although naps later in the day are never a bad thing, either.

A deer feeds on corn leaves in a field near Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A deer enjoys a little corn leaf snack in a planted field that borders the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in South Sioux City, South Dakota, Thursday, June 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a couple of different occasions walking at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve I found a deer eating corn stalk leaves in a field that abuts the preserve. Someone said with lack of recent rain in late spring and early summer the deer probably find the corn leaves tastier than the dry grass they encounter. And I can’t swear to it, but on two different walks I spied a deer in the same location munching away, thinking he/she must have found a new breakfast spot to get the day started.

A deer stands still in a shaded area as it makes its way across a meadow at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in South Sioux City, South Dakota, Thursday, June 10, 2021. Weather forecasters predict a heat index of 100 with severe storms to move into the area overnight into Friday. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s fun to see the creatures in their habitat, and fun as well to be able to photograph them without them being one or two miles in the distance. Standing and watching and not being in a hurry, the deer generally continued their browsing and eventually moved on into deeper shade areas to await the still rising sun and temperatures that were sure to follow. Other creatures were also enjoying the morning cool temps greeting the new day in song, and then some prefer their water element to stay cool on yet another steamy, summer’s days.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An Eastern Kingbird sits on a barbed wire fence in the shade at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in South Sioux City, South Dakota, Thursday, June 10, 2021. Weather forecaster predict a heat index of 100 degrees Thursday with severe storms overnight into Friday. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Two turtles sun themselves on a log sticking out of Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Cruising in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

19 May
A muskrat nibbles on a snack at Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a few places in Siouxland one can go to and watch nature. Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is just a few minutes north by vehicle and most days affords one an opportunity to watch and photograph nature unfolding, with creatures cruising the park. There are a few blinds set up along one of the small lakes found there that water fowl, shore birds and other creatures frequent.

A muskrat tries to slip away after being seen by a visitor at Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A friend who is a avid birder generally arrives pre sunrise to see as many species and identify them for a local club. I admire his determination to get out early and enjoy the sunrise and day’s activities beginning. I on the other hand need some caffeine to get my day started a wee bit after sunrise.

And then there are those creatures who value their privacy, and when spotted by the occasional visitor leave before one has a chance to see what they are doing. Evidently shy by nature, and probably with good reason, fleeting glimpses are all one sometimes gets before realizing what it was that one saw.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A muskrat makes its way to to the other side of Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, May 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Quiet Time in Siouxland, Adams Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

11 Apr
A couple of Canada geese find a “dry” spot to sun themselves at Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when visiting places in Siouxland it’s just nice to stop, sit and watch and listen. Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is one such place. Even though it is “late in the season” for migratory waterfowl and the chance to see a number of birds, there were still some “locals” hanging out in a water hole at the preserve, taking in the morning and enjoying the day.

I always try to remember that maybe there is a lesson in that.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Two American coots paddle about at Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A Canada goose stands on “dry” ground at Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A Canada goose makes its way swimming around Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, March 11, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Color in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

15 Oct
Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I don’t often utilize the filters that are available these days in most digital cameras or apps for phone cameras. But there are interesting effects one can achieve and utilize to either dramatize or bring attention to an image. And the filters these days are pretty amazing and seamless for any level of photographer from beginner to those with more advanced knowledge and skill.

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

From my standpoint I just think the filters are fun. I utilize a miniature effect filter that mimics using using a swing on a large format camera of which I previously photographed with and found helpful in in bringing a viewer’s eye to a certain area of a photograph. Sometimes more effective than using shallow depth of field.

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This time I used a selective color filter. At one point in my photo career I did color tint black and white photos with oils or colored watercolor pencils depending on the paper the image was printed on. Fine brushes and deft dexterity was needed in being precise. Now it’s done with software. Painlessly and in nano seconds. I am not complaining, I like the results, but it’s a far cry from the skill needed to create a tinted photo in years past. Patience, a steady hand and magnifying glass for some close up work. It was a real skill.

These days it is more imagination and with digital, if you at first don’t succeed, delete and try again. In days past it was toss out the “ruined” print, make another and try again. Slowly, slowly to achieve the affect one wanted.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Sept. 28, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Nature in Siouxland, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa

20 Jun

A pheasant runs through a field near Winnebago, NE, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Because Siouxland is comprised of areas in three different midwestern states, Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska, it is easy to drive from a “metropolitan” area into the country in a matter of minutes. And that is a nice attribute about living in such an area if you enjoy nature.

A woodduck sits on a nesting box while its mate peeks out at Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it’s nice in my opinion to get away from the urban into the rural and enjoy what nature presents. Although it is possible to find these bits of nature in an urban area, but that requires patience, waiting to see what is about and noticing the fleeting moments.

A common grackle grabs some lunch at a backyard bird feeder in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, May 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A downy woodpecker stops to a take a look around before heading to a feeder in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, March 30, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I personally enjoy watching nature, its creatures and listening to their sounds. Hearing rain falling, a gust of wind, the birds chirping early in the morning, the lack of traffic on a street and a motorcyclist enthusiast not revving an engine to an extreme rpm because they are probably deaf and can’t hear their motor anymore. An older adolescent with a toy.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Northern Shoveler paddles about Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday April 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Not worried about appearances, a squirrel enjoys a snack while visiting a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

 

Seasonal Changes in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

14 Dec

Wishing patrons of the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve a pleasant holiday season in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seasonal changes in Siouxland always brings the expectations of coming holidays and a change in weather. The last waning days of fall like weather makes me a bit wistful of the impending cold that is sure to envelope the area. But along with that comes holiday lights, Christmas music and tons and tons of holiday confection. But I think I will most miss the fall light.

The waning days of fall at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The last vestiges of fall laying on the ground at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Not so direct with a clear quality to it that can make subjects pop and imbue them with a special quality. Early morning and late afternoon in the fall are not so early or so late. A plus in my book when out photographing places. With the cold setting in I have to push myself to set my bare feet onto a wood floor in the morning before finding socks to help them a little warmer. And then to get dressed and go and out photograph when the temps can hover in the teens or single digits make me make a little bigger pot of coffee before venturing out.

The last of the leaves clinging to their branches at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The last remaining leaves at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Now I will find bare trees and the leaf covered forest floors are snow covered, with can be fun, especially when critter tracks are seen. But it won’t be until sometime in late March when I am hopeful temperatures return to a more modest clime and give me a better impetus to stick my nose out the door and once again explore Siouxland and see what new wonders I might find.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The last remaining days of fall at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fall Remnant in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve

12 Nov

The last vestiges of fall laying on the ground at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland has already had a couple of very cold days and overnights in the single digits and teens as well as just a dusting of snow, although some areas received up to 8 inches or so. So I already miss the short fall season the area had while trying to get into the spirt of the holidays that will soon be here. The bright colors of fall have mostly turned brown or shades of grey depending on how much weather some have seen already. I took one last walk around the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve to just enjoy the color and quiet and milder temps that were still around.

The last remaining leaves at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The last of the leaves clinging to their branches at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But with winter activities and the decorations that are going up around the area it will be easy to overlook the chill or cold and enjoy the festivities leading into the celebration of the birth of Christ and the many holiday events that will soon begin unfolding.

The waning days of fall at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The last remaining days of fall at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And many will begin thinking about those Sugar Plum fairies dancing in their heads, the Nutcracker ballet traditional performance and hearing some cry out, Merry Christmas, and to all a Good Night.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Wishing patrons of the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve a pleasant holiday season in North Sioux City, South Dakota November 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

7 Jul

No matter what time of year, I always like stopping by the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve. Walking through the homestead area this last time I visited I saw some new signage both for directions and for information giving some historical perspective about the family that lived there and preserved this area for its fellow residents of Siouxland. Plus with year round residents it now has (four-legged critters), it is fun to see them and the joy they bring to visitors.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Quiet Refuge in Siouxland, Adams Homestead

30 Oct

It’s not that far away, but sometimes visiting the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve it feels like one has escaped the hustle of city life while taking a walk through the Homestead grounds or through the Preserve itself. The last of the Adams’ family descendants lived on site until their passing and gave the land to the state of South Dakota as a park for local residents and visitors alike to enjoy it. by mid-November the Homestead will be celebrating its annual Christmas at the Homestead which is always fun.

The day I visited in August started out as a little dreary and overcast, which seemed a perfect match for my using a Holga lens to photograph the area on my Fuji X camera. The day’s atmosphere and the lens seemed to create a bit of dreamscape affect which I liked.

I find I am getting different results using this lens with an adapter on my Fuji camera than when I used it directly on my Canon. During the film days I shot with a 120 Holga camera and so know the results I hope to come close to. The digital affect is not quite the same since Holga cameras and their light leaks were unpredictable yet always amazing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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