Tag Archives: sioux falls sd

Exploring the Outdoors near Siouxland, the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, SD

8 Nov

It was a pleasant surprise on a recent visit to Sioux falls, SD that I came across a park in the confines of this city titled “The Outdoor Campus”. The state parks department created a small nature center within the city for people to put aside the hustle and bustle and enjoy some solitude for a moment or so and get lost on this campus.

Trails lead visitors around the area of the Backyard of the State of South Dakota’s Game, Fish and Parks Dept. Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Children return from a hike on a trail in the Backyard of the State of South Dakota’s Game, Fish and Parks Dept. Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This campus also has what is referred to as “The Backyard” where people can walk trails and children can a explore a more nature friendly environment. The campus is located across the street from the Butterfly House and Aquarium and a park where it’s all nicely packaged into one area one could easily spend a major portion of the day enjoying nature. A that might not be a bad idea.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Exploring north of Siouxland at the Marine Cove, Sioux Falls, SD

31 Oct

On a trip outside of Siouxland proper I visited Sioux Falls, SD, roughly an hour north of Sioux City. I previously talked about visiting the Butterfly House there. Housed in the same building is also a small marine aquarium. it wasn’t very busy the day I visited and so it was fun to just hang out and look at the various aquatic life there and watch in awe at some of these small creatures.

A variety of marine life including soft corals, clownfish, anemones, seastars and sea urchins, jellyfish and sharks and stingrays can be seen in the Marine Cove of the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A variety of marine life including soft corals, clownfish, anemones, seastars and sea urchins, jellyfish and sharks and stingrays can be seen in the Marine Cove of the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was fun too to watch families with children as the kids could get a bit “interactive” with one of the exhibits.

Grandparents snap photos of their grandchildren while visiting the Marine Cove of the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It is nice not to have to travel too far outside of Siouxland to visit other attractions and enjoy the amenities that larger communities offer within a relatively easy drive.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Butterflies in Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

15 Oct

I visited Sioux Falls, SD recently, a northern neighbor to Siouxland and quite the bustling metropolis. Always looking for something new to visit I found out about a butterfly house and aquarium marine cove hidden in a park. The Butterfly House and Aquarium was a bit of a delight. There are roughly 800 butterflies from Central and South America, Asia, Australia and Africa that fly freely about in the butterfly house which makes it an interesting walk about in the small enclosure.

A mom and her daughter check out a butterfly that landed on her are in the Butterfly House of the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Roughly 800 butterflies from Central and South America, Asia, Australia and Africa fly freely within the Butterfly House of the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The particular I went was not extremely warm so I personally didn’t find the temperature inside with the butterflies to be overly stifling due to high humidity which I assume these particular species of butterfly enjoy.

A small waterfall adds to the ambience in the Butterfly House at the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Roughly 800 butterflies from Central and South America, Asia, Australia and Africa fly freely within the Butterfly House of the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was fun to watch people’s reactions as the butterflies landed on one or swooped nearby chasing one another. One also had to be mindful of some small “button” quail a docent had told me also live there and brought in to deal with an ant problem.

The Butterfly House also has a few “button” quail, an Asian variety, a docent called them to help with an ant problem at the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s fun to study nature up close that you know won’t readily hurt you and to watch these graceful creatures fly about their habitat.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Motion in Siouxland and sometimes it works, Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD

5 Oct

Having a background in news photography I always try to be prepared for the unexpected. During a normal day’s routine one might cover a school student and do a feature photo, or go to a traffic accident and even sometimes a house fire. When I lived in California I covered wildfires there as well as photographing in South Central L.A. during the Rodney King after verdict rioting that took place when four white police officers were acquitted.

Residents hose down their home in the South Central area of Los Angeles, California during fires and looting incidents after the Rodney King verdict, April 30, 1992. (Jerry L Mennenga ©)

A woman loots items from a Von’s Grocery Store in the South Central area of Los Angeles, California after the Rodney King verdict, April 30, 1992. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Los Angeles fire fighter hoses down a burning building in the South Central area of Los Angeles, California after the Rodney King verdict, April 30, 1992, caused by riots and looting. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In doing that kind of photography one reacts and anticipates. These days I am content shooting small community events like fairs or small town museums to share with people. And, I am not always prepared to capture nature.

On a visit to Sioux Falls, SD, I stopped by Falls Park. It is just a nice place to visit. Bring a picnic and a camera. Families, friends and a general assortment of folk come to hang out and enjoy the ambiance. And the Big Sioux River runs through the park and there are some falls there.

Families and friends hang out at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I travel I always carry a camera and maybe a couple of lenses. What I don’t always carry is a tripod and filters. Polarizer, sure, I use it on sunny days with clouds. But neutral density, no. I don’t think about it. And I don’t carry a tripod. My background in news is that you want to travel light and on the down low. So when the opportunity presents itself capture motion and utilize another skill set I always lament, I should have thought of that.

A photographer spends time waiting for that perfect photograph at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But this particular day I did have my polarizer filter and a 2-stop graduated neutral density filter. Although I didn’t have a tripod I attempted some water motion. Many a day shooting news at at 1/30th of a second or slower when it was necessary. So I am a little rusty. But sometimes you do what you can.

Rushing water headed to the falls at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Rushing water headed to the falls at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It is true that slowing the movement of the water is a nice effect. Maybe next time I will try it at the falls with people in the scene to add another element to the image. And try to be better prepared, although I still probably won’t have a tripod with me.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

%d bloggers like this: