Tag Archives: omaha nebraska

Making Friends in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

23 Nov

A giraffe takes a treat from a child at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When visiting the animals at the zoo, it is amazing to me to see these creatures interact with visitors. The more tame creatures that is that would not pose a threat under the proper conditions. Outside of Siouxland the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE does provide a chance to people to interact and get a close up encounter. I often wonder if some of the children that do interact later in life become veterinarians or wildlife advocates.

Visitors attract giraffes with treats from a high viewing platform at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A giraffe seems nonplussed about its photo being taken at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The encounter certainly makes a visit more memorable and most likely will entice visitors to return. Although sometimes the “wild” creatures may not only be walking around in the penned up areas. What looked like some of kind exercise building field trip for a group made me curious, but not enough to interrupt their process. Certainly memorable, I would think for the participants and the impersonating giraffe.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

During an outing at the Henry Doorly Zoo one of the participants dresses in a giraffe costume in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A giraffe takes a treat from a visitor at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Zoo near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE

20 Oct

A Flatland gorilla stares back at visitors while sitting perfectly still at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Flatland gorilla sits in a shady area on a hot fall day while visitors watch at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Primates are interesting creatures. Much like their “human” counterparts. They are expressive and inquisitive and sometimes just annoyed. I noticed on a visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE how the Flatland Gorillas would ignore the inquisitive humans looking at them in their enclosure only occasionally looking at them. Many times they sat just beside the paned windows just out of sight. Looking possibly for their own bit of solitude away from prying eyes.

But that’s hard to do in a zoo environment I would think. Even inside people tried to get up close and engage these creatures. And a new member of the gorilla family made it even more apparent that we are fascinated with wildlife.

A parent Flatland gorilla and its youngster lay quietly on a hot fall day while visitors watch at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A staff member of the Henry Doorly Zoo talks with the baby Flatland gorilla as it moves about in its enclosure in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A baby Flatland gorilla works at getting its balance at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In a way you can’t blame these creatures for wanting to avoid prying eyes. And I find it interesting to watch the entire scene while people watching. The lengths we go to see something in our lifetime we will never see in a natural setting. To enjoy the majesty of these animals the lives they represent but do not live themselves. I am not certain what in human nature makes us wonder about such things. But I know I will continue watching, pondering questions I can’t possibly answer but still intrigued the thoughts.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Flatland gorillas sit in a shady area on a hot fall day while visitors watch at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Human Nature isn’t just for Humans in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo and the Great Plains Zoo

2 Oct

A Siamang gibbon looks at a visitor while trying to nap at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am always amazed at the human-like nature that some animals seem to portray. But then again, maybe the animals think that of us humans, behaving in a manner they themselves exhibit. I visited a couple of zoos near Siouxland recently. It wasn’t an extremely hot day on either visit, but it was quite humid and the temperatures were creeping upwards and I arrived at the zoo toward the end of a feeding period, so maybe a nap wasn’t completely out of the question.

A black and white Colobus monkey peeks at visitors watching it take a nap at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A black and white Colobus monkey peeks at visitors watching it take a nap at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some days I myself might be better off with a nap and just enjoying the moment, although these creatures only have so much room to roam about in. They do the best they can. And taking a break and relaxing should be high on their list. Something I might keep in mind myself down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Bornean Orangutan tries to get comfortable on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Bornean Orangutan lays quietly on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Francois Langur yawns before getting down to the business of taking a nap on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Francois Langur relaxes before taking a nap on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

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