Tag Archives: omaha nebraska

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©)

Spending time at a Zoo near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE

12 Jul

A giraffe eyes some eats at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A tiger pacing along the fence line on a humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Zoos are fascinating places to visit for those of us who can’t travel to those far away exotic places where these various animals live. Although I know the importance of, and for the most part great care, that these animals receive, many born into captivity, it still breaks my heart to see them in their enclosures. And I wish funds could be established to enable people to visit these animals in their natural habitat as opposed to the various zoos.

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is noted for its care and continuing expansion to give the animals a better habitat and visitors a better experience. And I admit it’s enjoyable to be so up close and “personal” with these animals as I venture south of Siouxland to visit.

Visitors watch a tiger pace in its enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A seal enjoying the shade at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The animals have their own personalities which I am sure zoo handlers will attest to as probably patrons who frequent their favorite spots more often than I can. And we see them through out humanistic eyes and our relationships we have to our own pets, who definitely have their own personalities, and aren’t afraid to exhibit them when it suits the situation. “Not now, no petting, I’m busy napping!”

A monkey on display at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One of the many parrots on display at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As a photographer I am intrigued in trying to photograph them. Some of the big cats don’t make it easy, especially on a hot and humid day. They want to stay out of the midday sun and do a spectacular job of it.

A leopard peers through tall grass at visitors at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A big cat burrows into the shade of its enclosure barely seen by visitors at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

But we come and stand and watch and stare and enjoy the time and hopefully learn. To be better shepherds, keepers and ultimately humans who actually care and not just through lip service.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A young child watches a giraffe eat foliage at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and Shade in Siouxland, Omaha, NE Riverfront

10 Jul

I tell friends that when I am out shooting in Siouxland or anywhere I am terrible when it comes to clouds. I love clouds. And inevitably shoot a lot of scenes with clouds in them. But I also love light and shade photos. I shoot a lot of these as well. When traveling about and visiting places my eye travels to where the light makes an impression. It generally does so in contrast with shade.

The lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently while visiting Omaha, NE I walked down to the lagoon area that eventually connects with the riverfront down there. I was meeting a friend for some dinner in Old Market and had some time to kill and decided a walk to the lagoon area would only help my appetite. I don’t generally think about shooting in themes. Well, actually, I do at times, but this day I spent most of my time at the Henry Doorly Zoo and had walked nearly three hours and my mind was a bit hazed. Then I saw the shadows.

Light and shade images at the lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nothing stellar, but still appealing to my eye and I always find that practice makes perfect. And I had quite the appetite when I returned to the Old Market for dinner. That was a bonus.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shade images down by the lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing History in Siouxland, Gerald R Ford Birthsite and Gardens, Omaha, NE

30 Jun

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While trying to research something else about the Omaha, NE area I came across the Gerald R. Ford Birthplace and Gardens site online. Something I didn’t even know existed in this area, having associated the 38th president with being from Michigan. Once again, those little details of history that are never really known unless encountered in one manner or another.

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a number of informational postings along with images and objects to give visitors a little historical background. One of which is that Pres. Ford’s mother divorced her first husband, his father, and moved to the Michigan area where she eventually remarried and he garnered the name of his second father who adopted him and which as they say is now history.

The history of the 38th U.S. President is told in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Situated in a residential area where the garden looks out onto is the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The garden is quite nice, although it looked like a hail storm may have passed by at one point prior to my visit because the plants looked poorly with a number of them having shredded leaves. In another area of Omaha plant life looked fine. The area like much of Siouxland has gotten much rain so that wasn’t an issue.

Recent plants look damaged from a hail storm in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Camera Club visit the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Camera Club check out the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Again, it’s always fun to explore new areas just to see what is there and maybe learn something new. But another visit another year when the plants are in better health might be another trip.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A list of presidents names is seen in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The history of the 38th U.S. president is told in part in the garden area of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Take Me Out to the Ballgame in Siouxland, Omaha, NE

1 May

Creighton University plays University of Nebraska, Lincoln in baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently a friend invited me and a couple others to take in a college baseball game featuring Creighton University and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, played in Omaha, Ne. It has been decades since I attended a college sporting event for fun. Since graduating college I only attended college athletic events when working for daily newspapers. And I must admit the trip to Omaha was on

 

a beautiful spring day and evening.

A beautiful day and then evening for the Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Baseball fans attend the Creighton University against the University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There was a good mix of blue and red fans supporting each school, with some Creighton students “dressing” up for the game and showing their colors.

Two Creighton student fans display their colors before the Creighton University and University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when I get students in my Lifelong Learning photography classes I find some students want to acquire new gear, especially lenses so they can photograph their kids playing sports or in school plays or choir. Most of these folk have the kit lenses that came with their camera and sometimes a zoom telephoto. Both are generally variable zooms meaning the f-stops automatically changes as they zoom out to the telephoto end of the lens’ range. I tell them to learn to use the equipment they have and find those moments to photograph that will accomplish what they want to achieve before deciding on spending the big bucks to buy a fast f/2.8 lens. I used the Fuji X kit lens, 18-55 f/2.8-4 for these images of the game and surrounding atmospheric shots.

Creighton University’s mascot greets visitors to the game between Creighton University and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln at the baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Creighton University players warm up for their game against the plays University of Nebraska, Lincoln in baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Fans take a selfie of themselves during the Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

It was a little tough trying to shoot action but it can be done. The head first sliding image was taken at f/4 because I was at the 55mm end of the lens and maybe 1/250th of a second shutter speed. But with the runner coming toward me I figured I would be safe in stopping action without much chance of blur. And it would have been too great a crop to produce a tighter image. Besides, I wasn’t covering the game but more interested in the ambiance of the experience. It makes a difference when as a photographer you know your end usage and what you are trying to achieve.

A Nebraska players makes it safely to third base during a Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Creighton University plays University of Nebraska, Lincoln in baseball at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even shooting an overall image of the playing field the movement is minimal during a game as the contest between these two teams revolved around their pitching staff and each team plowed through 4-5 pitchers with some achieving a better result than others during the nine inning game.

A good representation of both Creighton University and theUniversity of Nebraska, Lincoln fans turn out for the rival baseball game at the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And then it was time to go home and taking a photograph of the downtown “skyline” of Omaha from the park was easy with a slower shutter speed and a cement foundation to place the camera on to keep camera shake at a minimum. Baseball is a little like photography and life in that one enjoys those moments like a nice spring day when it happens and a free ticket and worry about the other stuff later.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The skyline of Omaha, NE is seen outside the Ameritrade Park baseball stadium during the Creighton University versus University of Nebraska, Lincoln baseball game Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Experiencing Museums Around Siouxland, Omaha, NE and Council Bluffs

7 Apr

An art installation hanging above the cafe area at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It doesn’t need saying that museums of all stripes are wonderful places to spend time. Whether it’s paintings, sculptures or history, I enjoy how most utilize its art or aspects of telling a story to engage visitors. And around the Siouxland region there are plenty of these places to enjoy. The Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha has art work in a public eating space, so one can marvel while enjoying a snack at the same time. The Union Pacific Railroad museum has an interactive railway agent that talks with visitors through a projection set up.

An almost real life looking ticket teller projection gives some history about the railroad while trying to sell you a ticket for the next train out at the Union Pacific Museum in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Friday, Aug. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

At the Durham Museum in Omaha there is a trolley display to show visitors what early transportation was like in the community. And a background mural was painted to put the trolly display into context, showing school children how these early day “buses” were used to transport city residents to other destinations. Sometimes it’s in the telling that also helps inform a viewer and put history into a context for understanding past events or experiences.

Replicating what an early days trolley car scene in Omaha appears like at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Understanding the past hopefully will make the future a better place for all of us and a little wiser in decisions going forward.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Photographing in Siouxland, Durham Museum, Omaha, NE

1 Apr

Descending stairs at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes as one pursues his/hers photographic interests or various endeavors, clicking the shutter can be a leap of faith. Going somewhere while making images but not really certain where that somewhere will lead them.

I enjoy creating images with light and shade. The two work hand in hand to help create an image. To me at times the images can be intriguing and ambiguous, and at other times pretty straight forward.

But unless one clicks the shutter and captures a moment to share with others, one may never know. One foot in front of the other and one click of the shutter at a time. Following the light into the darkness and vice versa. And I guess it is as some folk say, it’s not the destination, but the journey.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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