Tag Archives: north sioux city south dakota

Spring Wishing in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, South Dakota

13 Feb
A female eastern blue bird sits perched in a tree at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even though February has barely begun in Siouxland and elsewhere, the current warm weather spell has increased that longing for spring to arrive, early even, for an opportunity for early morning walks and searching for song birds again at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve.

A photographer searches a wetland area for a specific species of songbird at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A young robin puffs out its feathers sitting in a bush near a wetland area at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The fresh air that doesn’t freeze the air passage on the way in and sunlight early in the morning is a delight that some folk enjoy. Plus it makes getting exercise easier when one doesn’t think about frozen toes walking on one the preserves many trails. And if one happens to linger a bit to just enjoy the moment, hot coffee doesn’t pop into one’s mind giving incentive to hurry back to the car and a warmer space after a brisk walk.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A robin sits in the shade of a tree at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Day out in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

30 Jan
A man ice skates on a frozen Mud Lake at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, December 24, 2021 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some days when the weather is a bit warmer in Siouxland and more congenial without a north wind and windchills driving temperatures to the double digit minus degree area, it’s just nice to get out and enjoy the day and the moment. A little exercise doesn’t hurt as well as winter months can sometimes make one a bit sedentary.

A woman rides her bike on a trail at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, December 24, 2021 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Hunters pack it in late morning along the Missouri River and across from the the river Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, December 24, 2021 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Humans and creatures try to enjoy a brief respite in the weather roller coaster as it careens from cold to warm back to cold again. The only difference is that people have a bit more of a refuge to shelter in than the critters as the winter continues and the temperatures begin to plummet to their normal seasonal range.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A young deer cautiously watches a figure up ahead on a trail at the Adams Homestead Nature Preserve Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A young deer decides a detour is the right choice after spying another trail user at the Adams Homestead Nature Preserve Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Canada geese begin their descent to a field near the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, December 24, 2021 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Canada geese circle about a field as a landing area near Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday, December 24, 2021 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sigh, They Never Say Hello, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

4 Jan
A young deer looks cautiously from a cut path at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday Oct. 22, 2021as autumn leaves begin to show and a hiker appears on another path.

A young deer bolts through a meadow after seeing a hiker at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday Oct. 22, 2021.

Some days when I am out walking about at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve I have my chance encounters with wildlife. Sometimes deer, turkeys, mostly songbirds, occasionally some raptors and waterfowl. I have learned to walk more quietly and take paths away from brisk walkers and runners out for exercise in that they sometimes scare the critters away into the brush.

A young white tail buck warily watches a walker approach on a trail at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A lone deer makes its way down a cut path at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Most times I get only a brief moment to take a photograph. And instead of rushing the camera and lens to my eye I try to move very slowly so that the deer become a bit more curious than bolting as what they probably interpret as aggressive behavior. Photographs I have seen other photographers have taken of these creatures in the wild, whether sitting in blinds for hours (maybe) or walking in large more heavily wooded areas that foster a greater number of these creatures I don’t know.

I just see fleeting white tails in the distance, maybe hesitancy, and then flightier my nearly made a nice photograph episodes. Hoping my settings are correct and I might take one or two decent images. I am not the kind of person who would sit in a blind for hours, but wouldn’t mind walking for a few as I enjoy the movement and seeing places. In this new year maybe that should be a resolution to take more walks in the woods and explore areas I am not that familiar with, hoping I get lucky there or learn about specific new places that might afford me an opportunity to photograph wildlife. The first resolution though, is overcoming inertia and getting out. And as the days begin to lengthen and the sunlight warms the countryside, that becomes more feasible and possible. If I plan to walk a few hours looking for critters, I don’t mind coming home empty-handed without images, I just don’t want to freeze my ass off making the effort.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Deer move away as they see a walker on a trail at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Deer stop and take notice as they see a walker on a trail at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A young fawn looks for its mother at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Monday, August 30, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Two young deer check out a walker and passerby on a nearby trail at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Tuesday, August 3, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

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