Tag Archives: summer

Seeing Lands West Siouxland, Bushnell, NE

10 Jun

Earlier this spring I helped a friend move to western Nebraska far removed from Siouxland. She is excited to start a new chapter in her life and to return to a landscape more to her liking, as well as a dryer climate. While there I stopped into the small community of Bushnell, NE. Like some towns in Siouxland which sit at the western most border of Iowa, Bushnell sits at the western most border of Nebraska. The Wyoming border is only 8 miles away. Because of time constraints on my part, I wasn’t able to explore the region very much, but enjoyed it immensely for its change from what I see daily in Iowa. It reminds a lot of areas in west Texas when I lived there as well as New Mexico.

The community of Bushnell is a small place, like many in Siouxland. There are few residents and the town provides a place to reside which the locals enjoy. Far removed from larger communities, but near enough by car to larger places like Cheyenne or Scottsbluff to “get out of Dodge” for a day to shop or enjoy a change of pace.

The early morning light during my walk around was hard and directional. ‘Tis the season with summer here but like west Texas it illuminates the landscape and its occupants well. Like a lot of small Siouxland communities a few small businesses anchor the downtown area and a multitude of trains regularly pass by. It was a nice visit and maybe down the road I can explore more of the surrounding area without any time constraints.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s Summer Fairs, Woodbury County

24 Aug

Summer fairs continue with a celebration that is still somewhat grounded in honoring agriculture. Midways have been added with rides, talent show contests, but still the fairs are comprised in a large part by 4-H clubs exhibiting their animal and other projects. The Woodbury County Fair in Moville, Iowa, is no different and it gives young people a chance to show skills and learned activities other than sports in school.

But mostly it is a time to celebrate another year and look forward to the next.


Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Backroad Delights in Siouxland, Plymouth County

20 Aug

These days of what feels like dogged days of summer with high humidity and heat, I am not driving about as much as in spring when traversing the backroads in northwest Iowa in Siouxland when it’s much more pleasant. Windows rolled down, a light wind and looking for interesting sites. And sometimes when you find a place, it strikes you as unique in that time and moment but then you think about the best way to visually record the scene and to share with others. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder its said, and sometimes what is seen and what is recorded can vary. Because when viewing a scene all the senses are working. Sight, smell, touch and hearing. The scent of spring flowers, birds chirping, a light breeze and a beautiful scene. But when sharing, one can only provide the scene and hope the other aspects might somehow present themselves to the viewer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City

Siouxland Celebrates History, Hospers

15 Aug

A number of communities celebrated their 125th or quasiquicentennial this summer in Siouxland, and Hospers, Iowa was one of them. A number of small communities are still in existence if not exactly thriving as they once did when more people lived in rural Iowa and rural America for that matter.

Pride is still evident in these small towns and its a joy to visit and see everyone enjoying themselves seeing friends and family again and remembering past times. And the parades are always great.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Summer’s Day in Siouxland, Le Mars

31 Jul

I was planning on getting to the Plymouth County Fair this past week but sometimes plans don’t always happen. The day I intended to go I had lunch with friends, then dealt with some errands that needed attention and by the time I was ready to head out, the day was already afternoon and I decided spending money just to get into the fair for maybe a couple of hours, wasn’t worth the venture, since I had to be up early the next morning for a photo shoot.

So instead I headed to the site of the fair, Le Mars, Iowa, and consoled myself for missing it by getting an ice cream cone from the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlour and then walking about town a bit, enjoying a beautiful summer’s day in Siouxland with blue sky, puffy white clouds, warmth, not much humidity and a tranquility that I remember from childhood. Other visits I would check out the alleys and see if there were new murals added, but this time I just walked. I went to visit the local museum, but it was closed for the week for the fair.

Sometimes plan go awry, and the results are not pleasant, but my plans for the fair ended up being better than a fair day and enjoying the moment.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating a Community’s 125 years, Charter Oak

13 Jul


Though somewhat predictable, it’s always fun to attend a community’s celebration commemorating its existence for 125 years. Charter Oak, Iowa celebrated its quasquicentennial, or 125 years of existence. Which is quite an astonishment for small towns that prospered more in earlier days than later. There is always a parade and then sometimes a carnival and lunch venues downtown. But mostly it’s a chance for people to get together and enjoy remembering the community’s past.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer Time in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

19 Jun

I hadn’t had the chance to get up to visit the Lakes area of Siouxland in recent weeks. Some work kept me busy, but I always like to get away and explore, even if it is somewhere I have been a few times. Away from home, the senses kick in and one gets a chance to just enjoy the moment. Unfortunately it was a warm moment for that day. The area has been suffering like much of the country with high temperatures. I got to Arnolds Park early in the morning and so was able to enjoy comfortable weather and a walk until it began heating up.

I tried a couple settings on my Fuji XT-1 that I had not used before. In addition to bringing along a plastic Holga lens that I used to use with a Canon camera. I used an adapter to fit it to the Fuji in addition to using the “plastic lens” or “toy camera” setting and the “minature” setting, which is like shooting with a 35mm tilt lens. I liked the results. Shooting with the Holga lens and adding the minature lens effect created images I was really pleased with and will probably use again. It’s nice when something unexpected works out when shooting pics. And gives one faith to experiment and see where it takes you.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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