Tag Archives: seasons

Cruising the Countryside in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

18 Jul

A country road and knee high corn near Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes a drive in the country can be a simple retreat from an otherwise hectic pace of the day to day. Some people might think a drive in the country is cruising on an interstate and occasionally looking over to see the “countryside”. Personally, living in a predominantly agricultural area and having grown up on a farm, I like driving those back roads and seeing what’s there. Summer time on the farm meant baling hay at some point. And when driving about I can smell the hay field before I see it, something I can’t share on a page but which brings back childhood memories of stacking bales, lunch in the field, sunshine, hot days and learning about hard work. So drives become a bit of a trip down memory lane as well as curiosity to see what is around the next bend.

A hay field drying in the sun near Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Also stopping anywhere along my slow cruise and sitting quiet, I can hear nature entertain those who take the time and spend a moment to listen and appreciate what lies in view because tomorrow will be a different day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer scenics of a sparrow sitting a wire fence in Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Long Day in Siouxland, Stone State Park, Sioux City

24 Jun

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens leads a solstice hike on the longest day of the year in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The longest day of the year recently passed here in Siouxland as it did in other places too. A group of friends and like-minded individuals assembled at a local state park, Stone State Park, to celebrate solstice and get in a hike with plenty of light still available to find one’s way through the forested area. At least with this hike one didn’t have to worry about slipping on ice or stepping off the trail in the darkness.

The Northwest Iowa Group, Sierra Club rented two campsites for people to camp out overnight and enjoy nature. However, nature wasn’t having any of it as it has been raining a few days and folk showed up to walk and enjoy a meal cooked outdoors, but no one was staying the night. So it was a hike they made to just enjoy nature and revisit some areas a few had previously hiked on their own.

Solstice hikers stop to check out certain foliage along a trail in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens leads a solstice hike in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This group of avid explorers remarked about certain plants they found along the way, noting that young deer eat plants that older deer do not, as well as tiny moths glowing white (they are white) in the early evening light within the forest and standing out against a carpet of green.

Stone State park intern Emily shows a solstice hiker a confirmation of a moth species they found in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With all the recent rain beginning in early spring Stone State Park was carpeted in green as far as the eye could see during a solstice hike in in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens said it’s because of these core people that have an interest in their local parks that stopping by and spending some time with them, even taking them on a short hike is always delightful and a way to celebrate the longest day of the year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Stone State Park manager Brianna Martens, left, talks with Bill Zales during a solstice hike in Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, June 21, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Walk in a Downtown near Siouxland, Council Bluffs

5 May

A spring day in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Walking around a community in and near Siouxland is one of the best ways I know to see more of it. One can travel a lot of miles in a car, but walking makes one see what is before each step. Little things that in the scheme of life are not important, yet add something special about that community.

A free mini library sits in a resident’s yard for passer-by in Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brick paved patch winds into and around a park in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Brick patterned walks leads one into a park where in warmer season a fountain gushes and provide benches in the shade for those hot summer days.

A fountain sits ready to display it water spouts on a nice spring day in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sculpture piece in a park in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it being spring after a particularly long and cold winter, spring brings a freshness to a place one may have visited numerous times before but still feels vibrant on a pleasant day with warmer temps.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A spring day in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

25 Apr

Enjoying a nice day out pedaling down from the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even though officially spring has already “sprung” in Siouxland and elsewhere, some days just don’t feel like it. But people are beginning to venture out and explore after what seemed to be a long, cold winter in the area. A recent outing with my Photo Safari Lifelong Learning class to Yankton, SD was pleasant. It was warm. Although the morning started off pretty chilly. The nice weather has been intermittent with the rainy still cold weather. And it makes it so much nicer in getting out and begin exploring again what surprises one can find in Siouxland.

members of the spring Photo Safari class from Lifelong Learning at Western Iowa Tech find vantage points for photographs on the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sign tells the history of the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And a little sunshine would be nice to admire and photograph under once again. Giving some contours to landscapes and buildings and other objects of interest. But until then one must make do with what one finds and juxtapose them to create something dynamic or at least interesting.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shapes and angles at the Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark, and another highway bridge into Nebraska in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding History While Wandering in Siouxland, Rural South Dakota

21 Apr

Older tomb stones in an unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while driving around Siouxland I will stumble upon something I haven’t seen before and I always find that exciting. Although it doesn’t mean it’s something not known to others. I recently came upon an older, possibly pioneer cemetery in rural South Dakota. The older tombstones gave that impression, yet there were newer stones there as well so it’s still hallowed ground that continues in use.

A fence line bordering an unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Older grave markers in an unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I couldn’t find a name along the fence line for the cemetery and was then not able to do any research online as to its origins and who exactly may have settled in the area originally farming what was probably then part of the Dakota Territories. Given its location on a secondary road the settlers and this cemetery sat far from civilization. In a way it still does. But the plot of land is tended and that shows respect for those who have passed from this earth by those whose time has not come to follow. I can only suppose that it is descendants who continue to use this cemetery and care for those relatives who have left this earth, holding on to a dream of a new and better life.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 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©)

 

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©)

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