Tag Archives: sioux city iowa

Celebrating Independence Day in Siouxland, Sioux City

24 Jul

During the July 4 holiday I attended a parade in southern Siouxland and enjoyed festivities and band music there, although that group played music from a couple centuries ago. The evening of July 4 I attended a concert at a local college, Morningside College and listened to the U.S. Air force Heartland of America band perform. Patriotic songs, big band, swing and some pop numbers were all performed with aplomb. This group could swing and belt out some tunes.

It was a fun evening and many local residents took advantage of a pleasant evening without searing heat to come out and hear the band play.

Attendees of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band keep the late afternoon sun off with a “patriotic” umbrellas at a 4th of July celebration concert at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A large crowd enjoys the sounds of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band as it plays a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The men and women who serve in the various armed services perform a variety of services. Some of those are just connecting directly with the public and the Heartland of America Band, based at Offutt Air Base in Omaha, NE does a great job. Following are some songs the group performed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Members of the audience stand for the National Anthem prior to the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band guitar player MSgt Jerry Birkenmeier watches SSgt Daniel Thrower as he solos in the spotlight during a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band brass members TSgt Carl Eitzen, SSgt Daniel Thrower and MSgt Ben Kadow play for a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A nice crowd turned out for the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fires works sound off over Morningside College at the conclusion of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band’s concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band play a finale of their concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. Members of the performing band include TSgt Becky Packard, Tsgt Carl Eitzen, SSgt Daniel Thrower, MSgt Alex Serwatoski, MSgt Ben Kadow, SSgt Ed Zarsky, A1C Sierra Bailey, TSgt Michael Schmaus, MSgt Jerry Birkernmeier and TSgt Marshall Gentry. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

TSgt Becky Packard and A1C Sierra Bailey share a show tune during the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band members SSgt Ed Zaryky, YSgt Carl Eitzen, SSgt Daniel Thrower, MSgt Ben Kadow and TSgt Michael Schmaus during the concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An attendee applauds at the end of a song as the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band performs a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

Creating images in Siouxland, Sioux City

16 Jul

The other day it was a not, muggy, miserable type of midwestern summer day in July that is probably best spent indoors if possible. But this was a continuation of a few days of hot, muggy and miserable days in Iowa and I needed to get outside and breathe some fresh air even if it was a bit unbearable. I visited Bacon Creek Park and walked its three mile loop. Thankfully there was a breeze and most of the loop passes through a forested area.

Because I chose mid-day to take my walk, not a bright idea on a hot, muggy and miserable kind of midwestern summer day, the light was vary garish. And so I started looking for scenes that would best use this type of light. I tell students you can photograph any time and anywhere. It’s just a matter of being observant. That doesn’t mean mid-day photos are more successful than a nice sunset or evening shot during the golden hour, but the possibilities are still there. And if you’re taking a walk on such a day, it pretty much reflects the experience, maybe.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Summer brings Fresh Produce, Sioux City

4 Jun

Last year I was negligent in getting to any of the Farmers Market days in Sioux City. Various projects and it seems other needed agendas kept me away. This past week I visited the market. While technically still in the spring season, the offerings will begin to grow as summer gets even closer and vendors from throughout the Siouxland region bring their items to the market, here and other area towns. And delectable treats and organic food awaits for people to enjoy the fruits of others labor.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring in Siouxland brings new Arrivals, Bacon Creek Park

10 May

With the arrival of spring and the Siouxland landscape now becoming green and lush after this past winter’s brown tones, there are also other new arrivals. During a recent walk out at Bacon Creek Park I came across a number goose families lounging on the shore with their young brood of goslings. As I approached this gathering which was spread along the walking path, it struck me as reminiscent of a French painting by Georges-Pierre Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, only instead of people, geese.

As I slowly approached the grouping of geese slowly began to disperse, all being a little wary of the approaching person. Not wanting to disturb them more than I needed, I walked even slower, but one gallant young goose hissed very loudly and slowly began circling me as I tried to get around him and his family, not wanting to startle the little goslings, which I succeeded in not upsetting.

But it was a touching scene, more like a social event for these families of geese and nice encounter, without any biting on their part, as spring continues to unfold.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Spring’s Rebirth in Siouxland, Bacon Creek

6 May

It was a cold and blustery day, that even saw a few flakes of snow falling. It’s almost May and Mother Nature keeps tossing small reminders of winter at the Siouxland area. While out for a walk at Bacon Creek in Sioux City it was nice to see vibrant greens contrasting with the dark bark of trees, signaling the rebirth of spring and a new season. Some “valleys” in Bacon Creek Park look like rivers of green. Spring is here, although Mother Nature seems to be warming to the idea of that slowly.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A walking path snakes through Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, April 28, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Vibrant green of new growth looks like a river of green in Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, April 28, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland Snowfall, Stone State Park

19 Mar

I went for a hike recently in Siouxland’s Stone State Park in Sioux City. There was fresh snow from a recent and hopefully last snow storm of the season. Although there are times when a blizzard hits the area in April. I walked down a roadway leading to a couple trails and a small pond. No person had yet walked the roadway, and only one person had been on the trail that I could see. The only other sign of life were deer tracks, and some bunny tracks. It was quiet. It was fresh and it was just very nice. And maybe I thought that since, again, I am hoping it’s the last snow shower. As I get older, I enjoy the type or precipitation that I don’t have to shovel.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Starting the New Year off on the right foot in Siouxland, Stone State Park

5 Jan

The Friends of Stone State Park co-hosted a 1st Day Hike Jan. 1 with the local park ranger Kevin Pape who explained that this event was not only happening state-wide, but nationally as well as parks across the country were trying to entire people outside and introducing them to their local state park in their particular area. It was an easy hike that approximately 30-35 people took advantage of with the temperature hovering around single digits to the teens.

Area residents pose for a photograph before setting off on a 1st Day Hike at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A concerted effort by parks nationwide to get people out into nature in their area and introduce them to local parks and what is available. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Area residents pose for a photograph before setting off on a 1st Day Hike at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A concerted effort by parks nationwide to get people out into nature in their area and introduce them to local parks and what is available. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Keepsakes for area residents who came out out for a 1st Day Hike at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A concerted effort by parks nationwide to get people out into nature in their area and introduce them to local parks and what is available. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Keepsakes for area residents who came out out for a 1st Day Hike at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. A concerted effort by parks nationwide to get people out into nature in their area and introduce them to local parks and what is available. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Dressed appropriately and moving, the temperature was not much of a concern. Park Ranger Pape also talked about the history of Stone State Park as we traversed a small section of it. Originally land owned by a Daniel Talbot, an early settler of the Sioux City area. Talbot purchased a lot of land but during the late 1890’s with bank failings, eventually lost the land to Thomas Stone, a local banker that personally guaranteed a loan to Talbot and later foreclosed on the land as Talbot was not able to pay. Ranger Pape explains that Stone’s children later donated the land Stone obtained to the City of Sioux City which then created a park area. Later on the city ceded the park to the State of Iowa and Stone State Park was created.

Some of the stone structures in areas of the park were formerly built by the city to house a local zoo. While trying to find more cursory information about the Civilian Conservation Corp that purportedly did work in Stone State Park in the 30’s I could only find reference to other state parks through the state’s Dept. of Natural Resources website.

Besides the historical footnote mentioned above, Stone State Park currently offers a lot of opportunity to get away from urban living even though it is situated on the outskirts of Sioux City. City sounds drift away, except for occasional traffic driving through.

Having hiked through several parts of the park over the years, it is a place to forget about current events and enjoy the moment and whatever nature provides that day. On a good day with good weather, one can see a variety of birds, deer and other creatures. Once while out with some Loess Hills Audubon people doing a December bird count I even saw a coyote on a hillside early that morning.

It’s good to unplug and tune into nature, maybe next year there will be enough people for two sets of hikes on a first day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

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