Tag Archives: south dakota

Celebrating an Anniversary in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

4 Sep

Chlldren learn about tin smithing as Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

Recently the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in Siouxland celebrated its 22nd anniversary of its inception and growth its achieved as a local state park. It hosted activities and tours through its many buildings that reflect area history of early pioneer days and one family’s legacy which became the park.

A threshing bee demonstration as Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

Visitors check out various activities like threshing as Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

Various displays show early 20th century know-how as Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

The park is just a nice place to go for a walk either a short one through the historical homestead or a longer one that runs in part along the Missouri River and through a cottonwood forest. The park has made itself a much beloved community member with continuous activities for families and children and hosting events throughout the year. And in three years time the celebration might be a blow out event at 25 years old and still going strong.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Scouts try their hand at baking items inside of cast iron pots as Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

A homestead cabin at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve which celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

Making memories as Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

Visitors head out on a hay rack ride as Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

Seeing details in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

17 Aug

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve celebrates its 22nd year as an official state park, beginning its operation in 1997 and located in North Sioux City, South Dakota Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

Visiting a number of places in Siouxland, then revisiting them, I am always amused to “see” something I overlooked previously on a visit. Whether that’s good or bad, and depending on what I was concentrating on something else at the time, I always rationalize that it gives me something to look forward too on a return visit. And most times it’s the small details that I overlook. The big picture is just that.  All engrossing because it’s focuses one’s attention in a big way. But the details fill in the gaps, and perhaps lend another thought to history or part of the story. Or just more questions about a period of time one can read about, but again, it’s mostly just the big picture that is painted by the words, no time or space to delve into some of the details.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A View from the Top in Siouxland, Mulberry Bend Overlook

20 Jun

A view of the Missouri River separating Nebraska (this side) and South Dakota and the Newcastle (NE) and Vermillion (SD) Missouri River Bridge at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019. (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

I came across a roadway leaving Vermillion, SD that crosses into Nebraska in Siouxland recently that I wasn’t familiar with but was pleasantly surprised. The bridge crossing brings one to the Mulberry Bend Overlook that sits on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River and looks out over the river and back into South Dakota. It was easy to spend an hour looking over the landscape and hiking a couple of accessible trails that were short but nice.

Information tablets and a rest area at the top of Mulberry Bend Overlook above the Missiouri River near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

A family makes it way along a trail above the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

It’s these kinds of excursions that I enjoy coming across when out and about in the area. Something unexpected, although not for locals probably. It will be a great site to revisit during different times of the year as well as the scenery will change with seasons.

A trail leads down below the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019, and a different view of the Newcastle (NE) and Vermillion (SD) Missouri River Bridge. (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

A bench and an information tablet in a rest area off of a trail below the Mulberry Bend Overlook overlooking the Missouri River near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

The bridge was only recently constructed within the last decade or so but makes it so much nicer to travel back and forth between the two states without driving miles away to cross over the Missiouri in Yankton, SD. But some history lessons are also included for those so inclined.

The Newcastle (NE) and Vermillion (SD) Missouri River Bridge at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

An information tablet along with others gives background information about the area at a rest point at Mulberry Bend Overlook above the Missiouri River near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

The views and really pleasant and spending time just looking and enjoying and hearing nature without a lot of other “white noise”, at least there were only a few other individuals there when I visited the site.

Possibly another little adventure to add to one of my Photo Safari classes I teach at a local community college, thinking those who attend that particular class will enjoy the views as much as I.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A view from a trail above the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

A look at the Missouri River from a trail below the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Newcastle, NE Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

Finding Red in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

15 Feb

While looking through some files for a friend I came across an image I made during an outing for my Photo Safari class that I teach at a local community college. As a class we make trips to various places and photograph. The very last class everyone brings their favorite 25 images and we compare notes and talk about what everyone has done.

The image I came across is of a red flower. Not a grand image, but it was what I found that day. I reflected on the fact that it’s not a rose and so not appropriate for a Valentine’s Day remark, but it is blooming, still, among green grass and that made me think of spring.

I know it’s coming. It will be here soon. And this winter has not been bad. But I for one will be happy when spring arrives.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Blooming flowers at the University of South Dakota, in Vermillion, South Dakota, May 2, 2015. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blooming flowers at the University of South Dakota, in Vermillion, South Dakota, May 2, 2015. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some Days are just black and white days in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

9 Feb

Winter is a season that has its cloudy grey days as well as the sunshine days. In the winter the clouds usually help keep the temps a little higher than a clear blue sky day or evening sky. Shooting during overcast days during the winter season with brown tones and grey tones is not always that appealing, and so that might be a time to shoot in B&W. The Fuji cameras I am currently using allow the option. Previously when shooting Canon I could shoot in a monochrome setting or convert my images once in Photoshop. But Fuji, ever the purveyor of film emulsions and now simulations, allows one to shoot in B&W, make some adjustments and use a “red” filter, “green” filter or a “yellow” filter. Having cut my teeth on B&W and experimented with the 25 red and 15 yellow filters, I was game. There are times even in other seasons when B&W can be appropriate.

A visit to the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in Siouxland in January was an overcast day, with a fairly decent temperature for walking about and seeing what was there. And it never hurts to either try something different, or experiment a little if its been a while. It’s just nice to be outside and enjoying nature.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Scenes, Rural South Dakota

20 Dec

Some days it is just good to get out the house here in Siouxland and I find no better way to spend it than shooting photos. I did a little drive into South Dakota and took some “back roads” driving by fields and under used barns, some by many years it appears, only to end up in Vermillion, South Dakota, again for lunch. Even though the scenery was inspiring, the weather was not, but as I tell students taking my photo sessions, you make the best of the situation and photograph what’s there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s greener pastures, organically speaking, Eden Valley Apple Orchard

10 Oct

This past weekend I drove north in Siouxland into South Dakota just across the border from Iowa. This part of South Dakota is still considered part of of Siouxland. A friend had told me about an organic apple farm, the Eden Valley Apple Orchard and Farm.

It was nestled back into the countryside among rolling cornfields yet to be harvested. The orchard/farm offers 18 different varietals of apples. Most good for just eating or baking, and some just for baking. Red delicious, Honeygold, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Wolf River, Sweet Sixteen, Haralreds, Haralsons, Connel reds, Northwest Greenings, Cortlands and Firesides to name a few. You could take those already picked, or walk the acreage and pick your own. I believe they said the apple orchard covered 28 acres. A nice autumn day, apples to eat on the way back, not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Solitude, finding a quiet spot, Sacred Heart Monastery

13 Aug

As of late life has gotten busier and the fall election campaigns in Iowa are in full swing, bombarding voters with this person and that person, someone who will fix the bad stuff for us. When really, it seems the next person doesn’t get more done than the last person, because our political system seems a wasteland awash in acrimony and boys and girls who represent the worst of what America has to offer.

So sometimes one needs to find a little solitude and someplace to just get away for a bit, an hour, maybe two, to just contemplate quiet. I found such a spot last spring when I travelled to Yankton, South Dakota. I hadn’t really walked around that small city before and during my walk found a little gem, the Sacred Heart Monastery, which is a Benedictine facility. According to its history page, “In 1874, five sisters from Maria Rickenbach came to Maryville, Missouri. Out of this mission grew the beginning of Sacred Heart Monastery in 1880. Bishop Martin Marty OSB, the Vicar Apostolic of Dakota Territory, soon visited the young community and asked the sisters to assist him in ministering to the Native American people at Fort Yates on the Standing Rock Reservation in present-day North and South Dakota. Because of the distance from Missouri   to Fort Yates, the sisters moved the motherhouse to Zell, South Dakota, and in 1889 relocated to the bluffs of the Missouri River in Yankton where we purchased an empty school building adjacent to Bishop Marty’s residence.”

It sits next to Mount Marty College, a Catholic liberal arts school. It sits on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River and I wandered out behind the monastery and into a park-like area and cemetery. I then encountered one of the nuns “talking” with past friends, as we all do, while walking through the monastery’s cemetery. For all the bustle around the order, the school and a hospital are nearby as is a main thorough fare, it is quiet. You could hear a turkey calling for its mates down below. The Missouri River continuing its trek much like it probably did when Lewis and Clark passed through on their mission.

The nun and I talked a bit, and she gave me a little background. It left me wondering a bit why these women would want to spend time in a sometimes hot, and definitely wintry cold place sitting atop a bluff, but the solitude and calm permeated throughout, giving one a short respite to the outside world.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux CIty, Iowa

Siouxland PRCA rodeo, Cherokee

4 Jun

The Cherokee, Iowa, Chamber recently hosted a PRCA rodeo over the weekend with livestock supplied by the Barnes Rodeo Stock Company located in Peterson, Iowa. A parade preceding the event Saturday, June 2, 2012, through the downtown area of Cherokee was a fun event with a variety of floats, animals, (horses of course) and people getting everyone in the mood for the rodeo that followed. A jail break event even occurred during the parade put on by the Western Iowa Border Agents re-enactors. And of course, the rodeo that followed thrilled the spectators but left some of the contestants more bruised and broke than happy and paid. More photos here.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux City, Iowa

Being Lost in Siouxland

20 May

To area residents, Siouxland represents a pretty specific area, or at least an area they have grown up in or learned about when relocating here. There are different ideas about Siouxland. Its geographic confines, mostly denoting Northwest Iowa, Northeast Nebraska and Southeastern South Dakota. Its defined by rivers, farmland, small communities and big heart. People lead simple lives, but during tough times they pull together and help one another. Neighbors, friends, strangers even, making sure that someone in distress isn’t by himself. Otherwise, Siouxlanders go about their lives and live them. Participating in a variety of activities and jobs supporting local sports teams and organizations. Some those activities and people will be found here in coming months. Sharing their lives and thoughts as time moves forward, occasionally looking backward to reminisce. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux City, Iowa

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