Tag Archives: seasons

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©)

 

Mother Nature in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

5 Apr

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mother Nature recently seems intent on reminding people in Siouxland that maybe winter isn’t yet over, but that spring is very close. A couple weeks ago the ground was still frozen with snow, and then the temperature warmed up enough that the snow began melting but also started raining. The combination of the rain and melting plus the frozen ground didn’t give the wet precipitation any place to go, but where it really wasn’t wanted.

Trees are reflected in flooded fields along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Reflections of trees sitting in flooded fields along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fields in many places were flooded and still water is found in some of them although it has receded. It’s interesting that Mother Nature can create what might seem like beautiful images but reap such a terrible price. Many roadways that were inundated still need to be checked out and in some cases rebuilt. Interstate highways passing through Siouxland are still closed in places and only recently opened in others. Farmers are paying a heavy price and some may not be able to plant a crop this year because of the heavy flooding that occurred.

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It seemed that only the passing water fowl moving through the area as they fly north ending another winter season enjoyed the bountiful water landing spots and didn’t have to perch on frozen waterways on the way to their summer home. Time will tell how the flooding has affected the area which now seems like a distant memory.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Geese float in a flooded field along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Low flying geese look for a place to stop as they fly over flooded fields along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Time Changes Scenes in Siouxland, Le Mars Bike Trail

22 Mar

I always tell students of my Lifelong Learning photography classes that revisiting places can often yield different photos depending on the season, time of year and time of day. The recent weather Siouxland has experienced brings that idea into better focus as until a week ago, temperatures were still below freezing and then most recently the area received rain, plenty of it for this time of year, in addition to warmer temps that created snow melt and eventually flooding.

Fall colors on the bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

flooding along Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Baseball’s summer days are waning along the bike trail in Le Mars, IA Monday Aug. 7, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Little League Baseball Complex in West Floyd Park has flooded after a recent rain and melting snow caused the nearby river to overflow its banks seen from nearby Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one doesn’t expect such a drastic change in scenery. But it can happen and then those photos previously taken create a record of what was, and possibly may never be again. The sad thing is that depending on how quickly water recedes from a flooded area determines if trees growing there can survive or will need to be taken down changing the look of an area.

There are a few bridges that cross a stream for the Le Mrs, Iowa, bike trail, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A foot bridge over the Floyd River in West Floyd Park has flood water hitting it after a recent rain and before all the snow has melted seen from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The bike trail I have frequented along with many others  is barely scene along the West Floyd Park next the the Little League Baseball Park. Most of the trail along here is now paved making it better than gravel paths being washed away. But still, they will need to be checked out for any erosion damage.

A bike trail is seen above flood waters in West Floyd Park as the Floyd River came out of its banks with recent rainfall and melting snow combining to inundate the area seen from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Floyd River that runs along the park was almost touching a highway overpass. A much different look than I have previously viewed.

THe Floyd River near Wesst Floyd Park is out of its banks and flowing just under the Hwy 3 bridge seen heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Le Mrs, Iowa, bike trail winds its way through wooded areas following a stream and passing under motor ways and train tracks, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mother Nature graces us humans with quite an array and display in various forms. Thunderstorms and tornadoes are frightening yet fascinating at the same time. The same is true of water. A little can be bucolic, while a lot disastrous. And one generally only gains a perspective after months have passed, sometimes years from when an event occurred and the future becomes the present.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Floyd River, left, floods after a recent rain and melting snow combined to create too much water before the ground has thawed flooding everything around it and see from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blue sky and robust clouds on the walking/bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Le Mars, Iowa, bike trail meanders along a stream as it runs along the outskirts of the community, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Changing Seasons in Siouxland Become Wet and Dangerous

16 Mar

A blue sky is deceitful as nearby crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Only days ago in Siouxland the weather still felt like winter, with below freezing temperatures and wind making it even colder. Add to that more snow on top of snow already here and winter was not going quietly into that good night before spring arrives.

Over the last couple of days rain, and more rain, on top of snow and frozen ground gave way to warmer weather temperatures, melting snow and flooding. Some or parts of some communities had to be evacuated because of flood waters. I made a short trip north to the community of Le Mars and had to detour east before heading north to bypass flooded roadways. Returning south, half of a heavily traveled route was shut down because of flood water.

Flood waters cover the northbound lane of along Hwy 75 between Merrell and Le Mars, Iowa as the southbound lane is reflected in the side mirror, Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flood waters completely cover this part of the northbound lane of along Hwy 75 between Merrell and Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Normally in the image above a median ditch and then the northbound lane is visible as is a field on the other side of the roadway. When I got to the small community of Hinton I did stop to check out some work being done on a county road. Crews were clearing debris and pumping water over the roadway to help keep it from running down that same road and flooding part of the community.

Crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Warmer temps in the 40’s and 50’s is predicted for next week which will be a nice change. As is sunny skies so maybe some of the excess water will evaporate and the ground will begin warming so more rain will soak into it rather than run over it. It seems as though it’s been an unusual winter with colder than normal temps lasting longer. So I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that spring will begin with a different expectation than in past years. And those affected by the flood waters will be glad to get life back to something more closely resembling normal, although there is still work for them ahead.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A man brings in his drone as crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wistful Christmas Memories in Siouxland, Durham Museum, Omaha

6 Mar

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

Although spring will officially start soon here in Siouxland, winter still has its grip on the region with air temperatures hovering just above zero and for a few days below zero without any windchill. Which makes me a little wistful for the Christmas holiday season because it was relatively “warm”, all things considered at the moment. It’s hard when cabin fever sets in and one wants to get out and photograph, but that darn cold air somewhat takes the fun out of it.

When visiting the Durham Museum this past December there was a magnificent Christmas tree on display. And looking at a photograph doesn’t quite give it justice, unless of course there are people seen in the photo.

Perspective sometimes gives one pause, like seeing a giant Christmas Tree at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I enjoy the re-enacted scenes in bronze that grace various areas around the what was the grand hall or waiting room at the former Union Station in Omaha, NE. And enjoy it even more when serendipity allows one to capture life imitating art imitating life. Sometimes it’s just good to be lucky.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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

Enjoying Winter Activities in Siouxland, Bacon Creek Park

24 Feb

People kill a little time looking at their phone while ice fishing at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As winters in the Siouxland area seem to embrace extremes, warmer temps, then freezing below zero temps, I admire those who like to embrace winter activities and get out to enjoy them. Ice fishing is one such activity. As a youngster I ran out onto a small stream bed covered in ice and made the mistake of finding an area where it wasn’t frozen solid. I write about that now as it was because of an older brother who fished me out and helped get me home to warm up and become wiser. I don’t venture out onto ice at all anymore, even when the temps are dipping below zero.

People ice fish at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But some people love the sport of fishing and try their hand every year to catch whatever nibbles at their bait through the ice. It’s a nice way to enjoy the outdoors. And it also makes me think of the movie that included Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, “Grumpy Old Men”, something I can enjoy in the comfort of my home, drinking another cup of coffee and thinking, that’s really swell.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A man begins preparations to ice fish at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Fall leaves frozen in the lake at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Winter in Siouxland, Sioux City

20 Feb

Recent winter weather in Siouxland has again been very cold and then gave way to snow. But at least the temperature warmed up a bit and rather than hover in the single digits or below zero, the temperature hit the 20’s. And some creatures were taking part. Young animals experiencing their first winter seem to enjoy many aspects which includes falling snow and seeing who else is around.

Enjoying some freshly falling snow a young cat watches in a backyard as other critters stir during a fresh winter’s snow in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

And with a few inches of snow, many sane creatures were huddled in their warm confines except for curious felines and a few avian friends who were looking for a meal and watching for uninvited guests at the bird feeder. This particular kitten seems to marvel at the other creatures also inhabiting his backyard, although I doubt that some would become fast friends.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A cardinal sits on a fence eyeing a bird feeder during a fresh winter’s snow in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga ©)

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