Tag Archives: scenics

In Remembrance in Siouxland, West Lake Okoboji

14 Nov

I find that history appears in all sorts of ways when I travel about Siouxland. I may not always grasp what it is behind the meaning, but sometimes one doesn’t really need to. Driving a number of backroads one will always find memorials to people who most probably died in a traffic accident along that stretch of highway. Off to the side of the road, in a ditch, or up a hillside is a small cross. It is a sad reminder of an event, but also dangerous in a way in that it could very well distract other drivers looking at it. And generally, there is no place to pull over to really look and spend some time.

I came across another memorial recently at West Lake Okobji in the community of Wahpeton.

A bench in honor of Beverly Zahrt Jeppeson gives visitors a view of West Lake Okoboji from Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This person may not have died under as tragic a circumstance as a road side remembrance. I don’t really know. But I found that the remembrance itself was carefully thought out and sharing something of this person who probably enjoyed this spot an entire lifetime.

A bench in honor of Beverly Zahrt Jeppeson gives visitors a view of West Lake Okoboji from Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A simple bench with a rather spectacular view probably encapsulates this woman’s lifetime and her love of the outdoors. It reminds of a scene in a movie called Notting Hill with the actors Julia Roberts and  Hugh Grant. A rather unlikely love story with a scene of a park bench honoring the love of two people in a lovely spot hoping that other passersby might find the same peace and contentment as those whose memory is honored.

So I took advantage of the day, spent some time enjoying the view, listening to nature and watching time pass and contemplating if my life is as content as the woman honored with this memorial. It was a nice way to spend a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A view of West Lake Okoboji from Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A boater makes his out into West Lake Okoboji seen from a bench in honor of Beverly Zahrt Jeppeson that gives visitors a view of what she must have witnessed over the years in Wahpeton, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Fall Light in Siouxland, Plymouth and Woodbury Counties

10 Nov

I never tire of driving in the rural regions of Siouxland. Looking at the “vistas” of rural America, scenic agricultural depictions that is part of how this country was founded with the westward movement of people two centuries ago.

The light play in the fall makes driving in a “desolate” area all the more enjoyable.

A barn sits in a field in rural Plymouth County, Iowa Monday Oct. 23, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Most of the time these vistas include fields of corn, lots of corn, barns and winding roads that locals still drive to get to their destinations.

Some trees have already shed their fall color as others slowly turn along a county road in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, part of the Sioux City Diocese, Sunday Oct.15, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Trees along a fence row begin to change color as fall slowly appears in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, part of the Sioux City Diocese, Sunday Oct.15, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I find a sense of peace driving these roadways, away from the noise of larger cities, the use of computers and a chance to just see nature and albeit man’s interpretation of nature as more acreage in rural Iowa is converted into tillable land. But still, it’s good sometimes to take a pause and just enjoy what is there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Days are numbered in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

4 Nov

I know the days are numbered for “nice” weather in Siouxland. I recently heard different local tv weather prognosticators talking about wintry weather mixes appearing soon. Too soon for my taste. It’s just barely fall and Thanksgiving hasn’t arrived yet. So I relish these remaining days, blustery though they might be to just enjoy some nice fall light as I watch it paint the countryside in direct yet a softer glow. And with a colder than normal winter forecast I’ll miss those warm, even hot summer days.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer scenic in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, Wednesday, August 19, 2015.

A summer day scenic in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, Wednesday, August 19, 2015.

Taking a Drive in Siouxland, Cherokee County

11 Oct

Whenever I can I just like driving around the Siouxland area exploring and crisscrossing places I have previously been. And on those days following a storm I find it all the more fascinating as the light play can sometimes become incredible to see and photograph.

A summer scenic in rural Cherokee County, Iowa, Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©

I like strong light filtering through clouds or lighting objects with a darker, stormy sky behind them. It has intensity and creates a bit of drama.

A summer scenic in rural Cherokee County, Iowa, Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©

 

A stormy day scenic in rural Cherokee County, Iowa, Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©

And as I tell people that attend my photo classes through a Lifelong Learning program at the local community college, what’s a better way to spend a day than taking photographs.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Scenics, Siouxland

1 Jan

Sometimes it takes a while to get personal projects accomplished, or better stated, begun. I recently added a number of scenics I have photographed over the years to my personal website so people can view them, and if so inspired, even buy one. A few people I know always ask if they are available. And while I can not expect to retire, it’s always satisfying to know that some people enjoy these images and enjoy them enough they would like to hang them on their walls.

Hoping all will have a grand New Year filled with more wonder and enjoyment. I plan to visit more of Siouxland and to discover places I have not been too, and probably revisit places I have been too.

As I tell students in my photography classes, what a great way to spend a day, out making images.

Happy New Year

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Cruising around in Siouxland, Rural O’Brien County

11 Oct

Again, as I tell students in my photography classes that I find nothing better than cruising about northwest Iowa or Siouxland looking for images. Add in a nice day and what could be better? Maybe a good cup of coffee and something sweet to eat while riding about, but to me that would be a toss up.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland easing into Fall, Sioux City

10 Sep

I visited a local state park the other day in Sioux City looking for a location for a portrait shoot. On the way there I passed a field with a couple of horses grazing and noticed the light and the horses and pulled over. It struck me that the light is slowly changing, gone the intense brightness of summer and easing into that hazy fall, soft kind of light. I personally like the fall season and hope to get out more and explore Siouxland looking for the familiar and yet undiscovered venues to photograph.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Horses graze in a field near Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday Sept. 8, 2016.       (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Horses graze in a field near Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday Sept. 8, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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