Tag Archives: sioux falls south dakota

Spring run off in Siouxland, SIoux Falls Park, Sioux Falls, SD

12 Mar

A train crosses the tracks above the Big Sioux River at Sioux Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As the warmer weather descends on Siouxland and other parts north, water run off from snow melt will fill all the rivers and streams again and begin flowing south.

Last year the Siouxland region was flooded with rain in late winter hitting still frozen ground and then the snow run off and yet more rain during the spring, summer and fall. Leaving many farmers unable to plant, or planted, harvest their crops. A recent visit to the Sioux Falls Park shows the water is running pretty quick again, and the snow melt has yet to begin.

U.S. Vice President MIKE PENCE (R) center, joins Iowa Gov. KIM REYNOLDS, left, and Iowa U.S. Sen. JONI ERNST, bottom left, to talk with media about recent flooding in southwestern Iowa Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flood debris is seen washed up along a roadway Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flooded fields and roadways can be seen Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flooded fields and roadways is seen Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s still impressive though to see the water running down the rapids at the park. And it was warm enough without a stiff breeze or wind gusts that it was quite pleasant walking about the park. But time will tell if the water display will be more or less as April and May approaches with warmer temperatures. But for now it is nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Big Sioux River cascades down the falls at Sioux Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting the Great Plains Zoo in Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

23 Feb

A Siamang gibbon reacts while visitors look on at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Looking forward to visiting area zoos near the Siouxland area again this coming year as the warmer weather permits the animals to be outside, probably making a better experience for both them and visitors. While not a large zoo, this one in Sioux Falls, SD has a variety of animals on display, both exotic and domestic and is a nice way to spend a morning or afternoon.

An entrance to one section of the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

The zoo is set up to allow visitors to pace themselves as they wander cemented trails from exhibit to exhibit. Although sometimes I find it an interesting juxtaposition of seeing some exotic animals with very identifiable deciduous plants that would not be found in the various species original habitat. But the shade provided by the trees is a welcome relief some days and colorful in the fall.

And just a more pleasant experience for the visitor as one learns about the animals residing there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A water fountain near the entrance with playful monkeys at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

Making Friends at the Zoo in SIouxland, Great Plains Zoo Sioux Falls, SD

5 Dec

A couple of Zodiak bears stand at the entrance of their den at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have mentioned previously how fascinating I find it to watch the animals at zoos. Their interactions with one another and visitors enrich the experience for the visitor. One hopes it does that as well for the animal. We creatures of all stripes are curious beings, although we all have days when we like to keep folk at arms length.

Big horn horn sheep find different niches to use as a resting spot on their rock pile at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A big horn sheep lays quietly during a warm fall day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes they can be coaxed out of their shyness with a bit reward, like food nuggets. Who doesn’t like an afternoon snack and a head scratch.

A visitor makes a goat’s day by feeding it a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A goat accepts a head scratch from a visitor at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And hopefully it leaves them and ourselves asking for a little more attention and time, plus snacks. Snacks are always good and there is no foul in asking for more.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A goat calls to a visitor that just fed it a snack, making asking for more, at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Animal Watching in Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

5 Nov

A ring-tailed lemur eats a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As sad as I feel about seeing animals in caged environments where zoo animals live out their lives, I am also fascinated in watching them and their behavior. Just like any creature, four-legged or two-legged we all have certain characteristics.

A ring-tailed lemur eats a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A ring-tailed lemur stares out at a visitor while eating a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And if one isn’t in a hurry when visiting a zoo like the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD, the animals give minor performances as one might like to imagine they do in the wild, albeit for some of this creatures their lives here are safer and out of danger.

A couple of Zodiak bears stand at the entrance of their den at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A snow leopard naps and ignores visitors at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

I see these animals sleeping, pacing or eating, which is something we all do. And look out from their enclosures to see who is looking back. I wonder if they wonder what life must be like on the other side of that fence. But for some this home is probably all they know.

A snow leopard looks out visitors at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

 

Snow monkeys snack in the morning at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As people we adapt to our circumstances and surroundings, making the best of what we have or attempt to have in the daily lives we pursue. Maybe we ourselves should take a little more time to watch, listen and look.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A king vulture at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A King vulture resettles itself on a branch at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A King vulture checks out visitors at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland Weather Good and Bad, Falls Park, Sioux Fall, SD

22 Sep

Some visitors get a closer look at the fast moving Big Sioux River at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I previously visited Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD, in the northern reaches of Siouxland. But I haven’t been to the park since a Photo Safari class I taught visited over a year or so ago. With this year’s frozen spring and then rain fall and heavy rains over the summer and even into the fall, the Big Sioux River which runs through the park has been working overtime filling its banks to the brim as has the James River and the Missouri River. And it seems there is no end in sight.

Visitors take a break and watch the rushing water of the Big Sioux River at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Big Sioux River runs fast over the rocks isolating some of the outcroppings at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The week day I visited there were lots of folk walking about also checking out the water levels and the “roar” of the water through the park. It’s an amazing sight but also dangerous. People can get up close and personal with the water and a slip on some of the outcroppings could prove disastrous if one is not careful. A few incidents have happened over the years where people fall in and sadly lose their lives. But seeing nature in a raw state that close is hard to pass up.

With increased water action because of the year’s rainfall locally and upstream of the Big Sioux River, a visitor from Connecticut takes photos at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Big Sioux River runs fast over the rocks at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And with more rains expected then probably snow fall over the winter, it doesn’t seem there will be any disappointment from park fans in the foreseeable future.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A visitor records the turbulent Big Sioux River flowing at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Big Sioux River runs fast over the rocks at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring History in Siouxland, Old Courthouse Museum, Sioux Falls

20 Nov

The Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Old Courthouse Museum with clock tower in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is an old saying that one never truly knows where he/she is going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Or something to that effect. Which is why for me when traveling about Siouxland and areas nearby I enjoy finding museums and other places that contain nuggets of history about the region. One such place is the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls. It contains a surprisingly large number of exhibits and gives a bit of history as its function as a former courthouse.

Historical displays are set up throughout the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Historical displays are set up throughout the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A movie projector from the early days is set up on display in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Current displays contain information about the first World War that recently was celebrated in France, commemorating the 100th year of Armistice Day when a peace treaty was signed, and people had hoped it was the war to end all wars. But that didn’t exactly go as planned. Human nature being a funny sort of barometer in gauging how people will behave.

A current display shows the bunker set ups used during WWI in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The museum though is a fine example of architecture and gives a visitor a nice sense of its place in the history of the territory doing the westward expansion of the country and before the Dakota Territory became two separate states. I enjoy spending the time to learn a bit more about the region and its place in history and look forward to finding other gems to explore down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Informational displays help a visitor understand the function of the building in its former life as an acting courthouse at the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Historical displays are found throughout the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A buffalo is ensconced near a scenic painting near the entrance of the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Now an open space, this was a former courtroom seen in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mural on a wall leading to a former balcony seating area for a court room in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lions and Tigers and Bears near Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

18 Oct

A Kodiak bear sits in repose at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A black bear relaxes in the afternoon sunlight on a coolish day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This fall I made a trip to Sioux Falls, SD, just outside of what some might consider Siouxland, and again visited the Great Plains Zoo there. It was a cool day, temps somewhere in the 50’s and overcast for the most part. On a visit to the zoo a year ago it was much warmer in the fall and the animals for the most part then stayed indoors. But on this particular day they were out and about, enjoying the sunshine and their confinements as much as they can.

A red fox curls up in the sunshine on a cool day for a nap, ignoring visitors watching at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brown bear seems very aware of his surroundings and what’s near at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The zoo is educational and is very good at describing its residents and particulars about their individual lives. It also has an area devoted to educational pursuits.

Stuffed animals reside in the Delbridge Museum of Animal History at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Near the tiger enclosure there was Chinese calligraphy on the walls of a building which blended in nicely with the shadows created by nearby trees. Adding a quiet kind of ambience to that corner of the zoo. It was a peaceful day and even the animals seemed to sense that. Watching and marking time. Tomorrow is yet another day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Asian characters on an exhibit seem to blend into the shadows as shadows themselves at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Amur tiger paces in his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A red wolf looks out at visitors looking into his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mountain goat enjoys his perch atop Redrock Mountain at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rare breed goat watches passers-by from a perch at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young boy smiles as a rare breed goat eats some treats he left for them at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young Snow monkey is not having any of it from an older sibling at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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