Tag Archives: rural woodbury county

History in Siouxland, Communication Breakdown and the Inkpaduta Tragedy, Rural Woodbury County

21 Jan

A stopping place for Inkpaduta before he and his Indian band in rural Woodbury County, Iowa before he and his group later moved north to an area near the Iowa Lakes where the group killed white settlers and kidnapped young girls, seen Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s probably been long stated that communication is key in any context. Even in today’s vitriolic political stalemate. People just don’t listen to one another and take offense at what is said. So history repeats itself. And a bit of history in Siouxland informs a person that communication between native Americans and the early settlers did not always garner the clarity that would have prevented violence and misunderstanding.

A plaque commemorating a stopping place for Inkpaduta before he and his Indian band in rural Woodbury County, Iowa before he and his group later moved north to an area near the Iowa Lakes where the group killed white settlers and kidnapped young girls, seen Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In 1857 a band of renegade Sioux Indians were wandering what is now the rural Woodbury and Monona Counties and places north. Settlers were pushing the Native Americans off their former land to live their own version of paradise and renewal, starting life in a new place. Inkpaduta was a tribal chief of this small band of Sioux and his name became infamous in what was to become northwest Iowa when later in the same year he and his band killed settlers and kidnapped young girls from the Spirit Lake area. It’s hard to imagine even what the area looked like in the late 1850’s compared to now, with farming of the area continuous since that time period, and probably even more expanded as technology allowed farmers to cover more ground with tractors and other mobile equipment.

Terraced corn crop in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Horses grazing in a field in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And whatever few trails carried travelers through the area probably still exist as one or many of the current roadways that traverse the area. What was probably idyllic looking then is probably the same as now, only with fields rather than prairie grass. Over so many decades one would hope people would learn that it is better to communicate and find a way forward than repeating past mistakes than generally never end well.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gravel road running through a part of rural Woodbury County, Iowa Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An area in rural Woodbury County, Iowa near an Inkpaduta plaque marking a place where he and his tribe camped prior to heading north to the Iowa Lakes they later killed white settlers, seen Saturday, August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

Zen and Photography in Siouxland, Hillview Park

23 Jul

Sometimes when I am out driving around Siouxland I have no set destination but am just looking. Looking at vistas or clouds if they happen to be in the sky that particular day. Clouds and light, and how the two interact. My mind kind of goes onto autopilot and I chase the light and the clouds and try as best as I can to combine the two. Some days are better than others, but each day is another day enjoying what is there to see.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Clouds appear to be rising up in the sky in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Plants near the edge of a small manmade lake at Hillview Park in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Photographing scenes in Siouxland, Hillview Park in Hinton

15 Jul

I always find it interesting when visiting places in Siouxland or elsewhere how people interpret those visits. Especially doing so through photographs the viewer can take away a myriad of perceptions. And it all depends on what the photographer has in mind. Does he or she what people to see something in particular or take away a certain viewpoint of what they themselves encountered? One can only speculate. But a line from a Christmas movie kind of sums it up when the character said “Seeing is believing,” not believing is seeing.” And so too a photographer’s interpretation of what is seen.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A difference in exposure changes a scene in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A difference in exposure changes a scene in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Honoring the Birth of a Nation in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

3 Jul

A lot of my driving around the backroads of Siouxland is done in anticipation that I will find something surprising and not previously seen by me. Although many of the places I visit I am certain are frequented by those living nearby.

I came across a small, well kept cemetery recently that I don’t recall visiting in the past. In the country it was quiet. Not even passing traffic disturbed the quiet. Seeing one grave in particular it made me think of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday that America celebrates, as do all countries when it comes to their birth and becoming the nation they are today.

A remembrance of a person who served his country in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fourth of July celebrations for most communities involve parades, backyard cookouts and fireworks. Two out of the three are noisy but fun and delightful. Children these days live for parades and the free candy generally tossed their way by those on participating floats.

So it was this quiet and solitude, a salute to a person who served their country that resonated. No distractions, no noise, just a thoughtful embrace of those who came before.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

A dove finds a quiet spot to rest in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Tuesday June 26, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Savoring Light in Siouxland, Rural Woodbury County

28 Dec

The late fall and winter seasons are times I really enjoy savoring light in Siouxland in the early morning and evening. With the change from daylight savings to standard time, the mornings are not so early and the evenings come earlier. So I can savor and still get some rest. The quality of this light is just really nice. On a recent drive out into rural Woodbury County the sun was beginning to set and the light was sweeping across the landscape. I thought it was just gorgeous. Another evening out the sunset glowed behind a hill as it set. I enjoy its beauty, though fleeting and the effect it has on the objects or landscape it surrounds and the peace that comes to me in watching it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A glow from the setting sun filters across rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

An afternoon sunlight glow filters across a farmland as the sun sets in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

The sun glows over a hilltop in the countryside near Bronson, Iowa Thursday Nov. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Fading Twilight in Siouxland, Rural

3 Feb

When it is fairly nice weather out and roads are passable in Siouxland, I like to drive around. This time it was in rural Woodbury County. With winter comes earlier evenings and nice twilight. Again sometimes one is in the right place with something of interest to photograph when the sun goes below the horizon. At other times, you just have to make do. And I feel lucky when the “lighting gods” smile on me and give me an image that makes me smile.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A winter's evening in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A winter’s evening in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A winter's evening in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A winter’s evening in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland Fall Scenes, Rural Woodbury County

17 Oct

So some Fall rains have begun. This part of the Midwest is so dry. Under five inches of rain for the last two to three months. And with leaves changing colors, once the rain starts, the leaves generally come down pretty quick. So I went out over the weekend for a short bit to photograph some more Fall colors or to find what was there. And Mother Nature generally does not disappoint.

I used my cheap Holga lens to shoot some images and which produces some affects I really like. And then just the look of the area and color. It was a nice day to be out. More images

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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