Tag Archives: photographer

Taking a Peek Inside Siouxland, Danforth Chapel USD Vermillion, SD

19 Apr

Working with B&W on a grey day on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shad on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD, Tuesday, August 16, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have visited the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion a few times, sometimes for events and other times to just enjoy the ambiance. I have walked by the Danforth Chapel numerous times and enjoy the small church. And then recently found that one could actually take a peek inside. A student of a Photo Safari class of mine said a sister was married inside the chapel and it seemed smaller that what she remembered as a young girl.

Light and shade on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Saturday, April 13, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it was amazing walking into the chapel because of the stained glass windows and with bright spring sunshine the inside became alive with color.

Lights filters through stain glass windows on the Danforth Chapel on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Saturday, April 13, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Lights filters through stain glass windows on the Danforth Chapel on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Saturday, April 13, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always tell students that no matter how many times one may visit a place, there can always be something different or new that pops up. And to me that just increases the joy of photography and what wonders await for a photo adventure.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring’s Rebirth in Siouxland, Preparation Canyon State Park, Loess Hills

17 Apr

A turkey vulture soars overly newly burned grass during a control burn by Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources at Preparation Canyon Park in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while driving around Siouxland a person gets lucky. And it probably depends on the person how luck is defined. Of course for some there’s this on the one hand, and then that on the other. Tradeoffs happen. As I found out early last week when I came upon a control burn in Preparation Canyon Park by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources. Giving Mother Nature a little help in jumping into spring. I found some newly sprung wildflowers gracing part of a trail along with a couple of turkey vultures looking for anything of a fricasee nature after the burn.

Turkey vulture getting a close up view on the ground during an Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources control burn at Preparation Canyon Park in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As ugly as the birds appeared sitting on the ground, they were very graceful gliding over the terrain looking for a meal.

A turkey vulture soars overly newly burned grass during a control burn by Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources at Preparation Canyon Park in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I will assume the DNR does this type of burn yearly, partially to control undergrowth and well as to rejuvenate what’s there. The trail leading from an observation deck is relatively short and a pleasant hike as long as the temperature is not soaring itself into the high 90’s or 100 with high humidity. During the summer without wind it can be pretty stifling walking the trail with tall grass and trees.

A large swath of land is now barren after Iowa’s Dept. of Natural Resources did a control burn at Preparation Canyon Park in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources does a control burn at Preparation Canyon Park seen from its observation deck in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The downside of finding the burning going on is that later I found myself with a very sore throat I am guessing irritated by the something burned and taking a couple days off to recover. By this summer though the hilly park will be a pleasant place to spend a morning or afternoon. Although by then the two turkey vultures might be on to another area to look for meals.

Legend at the observation deck tells the history of the Loess Hills at Preparation Canyon Park in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tueday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A turkey vulture soars overly newly burned grass during a control burn by Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources at Preparation Canyon Park in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And not far away in the valley below where farmers will soon be preparing their ground for planting, more burning was taking place, whether it was planned or not. The afternoon that particular day was smoke-filled and made breathing difficult. But am guessing someone believes it makes a difference.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A grass fire is seen from the observation deck at Preparation Canyon Park in rural Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Ah Spring, where are Thou in Siouxland, Bacon Creek Park, Sioux CIty

15 Apr

Trees are still looking barren around a walking path at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, April 1, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The current season looks much like the past season in Siouxland, winter, not spring. The same brown color, and bare trees reinforce that perception, except the temperature is warm enough to take a walk through Bacon Creek Park and enjoy some of the outdoors until Spring comes into full bloom.

Trees are still barren along a walking path around the path at Bacon Creek park in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, April 1, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In sparse patches some green is emerging which is a welcoming sign. If one like to get out and photograph, finding elements to show spring is here is challenging for a photographer. It’s not there staying back waiting for someone to snap a photo.

Some green lichen appears near the water Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, April 1, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But there are some in the park that are still enjoying themselves, winter or spring, rain or shine, oblivious to Mother Nature’s actions, just enjoying those moments they can.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A duck sits and tries to enjoy a little peace by itself near a walking path at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, April 1, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Two ducks, or maybe geese, find a little solitude in some water across from Bacon Creek in the park of the same name in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, April 1, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring Slowly emerges in Siouxland, Rural South Dakota

13 Apr

Flood water still fills a field bordering a main roadway in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finally it seems spring is beginning to flirt with the Siouxland area, some days of sunshine and cloud play with light over the landscape. But that doesn’t mean the area has rid itself entirely of winter or the leftover of bad weather that combined into too much water, liquid and frozen, that overran much Siouxland and others areas bordering it.

One main roadway is still closed because of flood water in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Still, it is nice to see sunshine and the light and shadow play that comes with clouds passing through, showing glimpses of what may yet be.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light play from the sun and moving clouds on a farm stead in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Nature and Man in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

9 Apr

Pidgeons take flight off of one of the towers at the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always enjoy the juxtaposition of manmade objects of whatever and nature and the interaction between. Man’s hand print is everywhere now. Overpowering in some places and definitely taking up space in others. But nature adapts and birds use some objects or structures to their own advantage. And on a beautiful spring day with temps in the 60’s and a little sunshine, what a wonderful time to do a little soaring with your friends and then take a break on a structure courtesy of man.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Pidgeons roosting around one of the towers on the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, also enjoy a nice day in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

11 Nov

The Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota, held a Christmas at the Homestead this past weekend with the various buildings decorated in a more subtle earlier Christmas decor. The Siouxland preserve spans 1,500 acres along the Missouri River and came into the possession of the state through the donation of the land by Mary and Maud Adams, granddaughters of the original homesteader Stephen Searl Adams. Mary Adams lived on the homestead until recent years when she passed away. A variety of trails traverse the wooded area allowing visitors to walk a few miles of level terrain, some of it along the river and other parts cutting through a cottonwood grove that had been a favorite of Mary’s when she was a child.

The Adams farmhouse was built in the 1880’s and moved to its current location in 1929 by Stephen Adams as the Missouri River’s channel kept migrating from its river bed, and before a U.S. Corps of Engineers tried taming the river to stay within a set channel. Also on the preserve is the Brusseau House, build in 1865 by Tophield Brusseau who came to the Dakota Territory as a homesteader in 1862. It serves as an example of what a home was like for early homesteaders in the territory.

Also at the the preserve is the Stavanger Lutheran Church and the Lamont Country School.The church was built in 1902 by immigrants from Stavanger, Norway and originally located north of Platte, South Dakota. Maud and Mary Adams purchased the church building in 1993 and had it moved to the homestead for restoration. The school was built in 1908 and closed in 1970. It was moved to this location and renovated in 1991. All together, the homestead provides visitors with a look back in time which some might consider simpler, but then again, earlier settlers faced their own set of problems.

Inside the church a group of carolers sang Christmas songs and inside the school youngsters created their own Christmas ornaments from arts and crafts supplied to them. Santa also paid a visit to the kids in the Welcome Center at the preserve where treats and hot cider and hot chocolate was served. More images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Orange Rind film festival, Orange City

10 Nov

Recently a small film festival debuted in Orange City, Iowa, the Orange Rind. SHort mini documentaries created by high school and college students as well as adults, all with varying degrees of skill but a purpose and passion to create something that told a story. Dordt College instructor Mark Volkers conducted a 3-part workshop to start individuals on the road to creating their own mini documentaries. The workshop was sponsored by arts councils of both Orange City and Sioux Center. Fourteen people participated in creating short 6-minute documentaries, although only nine films were shown at the festival. Sadly, Mr. Murphy rode shotgun on some of the participants’s endeavors and there were time constraints, software meltdowns and other spectacular and not so spectacular reasons for all of the films not being completed on time. Those participating included Sarah Simmons, Becky Uittenbogaard, Hana Spangler, Denise Krebs, Shane and Stanton Madsen, Brittany Caffey, Matt Latchaw, Vern Eekhoff, Richard Nyunt, Daniel and Miranda Liebsack and Tina Snieder.

Becky Uittenbogaard received best of show for her pastoral piece about living in the country and received a cash prize, as did honorable mention winner matt Latchaw who did a piece about Northwestern College students trying to influence the outcome of the school’s soccer games as they heckle, politely, the opposing teams. It was an interesting night with quite a wide array of films shown. One of interest was by Denise Krebbs, whose husband will be doing missionary work in Bahrain. It was a short film about his and her calling. I am looking forward to seeing a new documentary by Denise after she and her husband return from their time in the Mideast. A young man in high school tackled a tough subject about the decline in people attending a physical church in the United States compared to earlier statistics. Maybe not so surprisingly some of his found statistics showed more people attending church when some international affair affected the entire country, such as war.

Judging the festival entries were three local Midwest film makers, Jess Brauning, Joe Hubers and Todd McDonald. Anita Bomgaars of OC Basketball Productions, LLC was on hand to present the two cash awards. While none of the films would dazzle those attending Sundance, the 75 attendees seemed well entertained  and the judges remarked that the film makers appeared more sophisticated in their endeavors than each of the judges when they began their careers. That was nice of the judges to say. Hopefully, more people will participate in another year. As one of the judges commented, there are not enough people in the Midwest telling stories about flyover country, but surely, there are enough stories to tell. More images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Winter slowly coming to Siouxland, Sioux City

8 Nov

So while fall is fading and the leaves are leaving along with warmer temperatures, winter is slowly making its way felt here in Siouxland. The other day the area of Sioux City, Iowa, was spared snow, but instead got rain. Which is nice, until the temperature hits 32 degrees or lower. But if you don’t have to travel, that’s okay as well. So this past week winter left a calling card in the way of ice crystals the morning following the rain. It is pretty, but then that gust of wind hits and reality once more takes hold.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fall in Siouxland, Plymouth County

7 Nov

I went for a drive the end of last week to see the remainder of fall and its glorious colors. Although this year the colors have mostly trended toward yellow, there are some trees that show red. A majority of oaks in this area of Iowa have leaves that only turn brown and fall off of the trees. With  cooler weather and rain rather than snow falling lately, the leaves are beginning to “disappear”, covering the ground to start the process all over again. But the drive in Plymouth County, Iowa, was nice. Rolling hills, still some fields of corn that have not been harvested and a sunny day. A nice day to be out and enjoying the remainder of fall. Winter is coming. Pretty soon that falling rain will turn to snow.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Iowa Public Television in Siouxland

25 Oct

Sometimes when I talk about being Lost in Siouxland, it is an easy thing to do. Sometimes while driving on back county roads, either those with blacktop or gravel roads, it is easy to lose one’s direction as you cruise the country. However, Iowa roads are laid out very well in a grid, county roads included, and are numerical or by name always alphabetical.

Sioux City sits on the western edge of Iowa. Cross the Missouri River and you are either in South Dakota or Nebraska. Not many people really visit this part of the state since locals believe no one else, but former residents, really care or are interested. This week at the local farmers market, an Iowa Public Television crew was in town filming. Normally that would be a good thing. But the day of the market, it was raining, it was cold, and it’s late October. Meaning, there are only two more days the market will be open this season. I kind of wonder why IPTV even bothered to come to film, unless it was doing something specific. They didn’t say. This Saturday the weather is supposed to be sunny and nice and warmer than it was earlier this week. And so late in the season there are fewer vendors and customers that it makes this market look like no one attends it, which is contrary to the truth.

Having worked in the media, I am sometimes surprised by the poor judgement that sometimes is applied for covering events or stories. And rather than covering a story at an appropriate time, it seems organizations sometimes choose a time convenient for them, not the story. Which brings me back to being “Lost in Siouxland”. Did this film crew wander the back roads for months trying to find this city, situated on an interstate and major state highways, or just decide nothing was going on in another part of the state that they needed to visit this city, on a rainy, cold day, when for certain attendance at the farmers market would be nonexistent.  I even wonder if there was enough for the crew to film and give them the ability to do a “good” story or accurate one, depending on what that story is.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

%d bloggers like this: