Tag Archives: vermillion south dakota

Another Day in Siouxland a Different Scene Unfolds, Mulberry Bend Overlook

10 Oct

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is always a good argument for revisiting places one has previously visited and photographed, even in Siouxland. Time, day, time of year, it all changes what was previously witnessed and recorded. And for lucky photographers scenes are mostly not redundant making it more enticing to stop in and take a second, third or fourth look. I previously came across Mulberry Bend Overlook on a warm, humid and sunny day.

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I never tire of traveling about and seeing places, sharing them with friends on photo outings. One always hopes for optimal days, that is sunshine and blue sky, to photograph in, but weather and other unplanned exceptions can cause one to reevaluate how one sees and learns to adapt to situations that are not always ideal. Simple challenges are good for a photographer in broadening one’s perceptions and images captured. It also makes a hot cup of coffee taste even better on a damp, chilly day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rainy day at the Mulberry Bend Overlook near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Food, Music and Hot Cars in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

24 Sep

Muscle and vintage cars fill the downtown area during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While out looking for another event one weekend I stumbled upon a community’s celebration of food, music and muscle or classic cars, something which has been going on for years but I had no clue.

Vermillion’s Rib, Rod and Rock and Roll Fest started off a little soggy but didn’t dampen people’s enthusiasm to enjoy themselves as they strolled the downtown area looking at classic cars and eating. The latter always a favorite past time of mine.

One car owner makes a second attempt after a rain shower to keep her vehicle looking spotless during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One car owner makes a second attempt after a rain shower to keep her vehicle looking spotless during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There was a rib cooking contest and for a fee people could help judge the various cook’s results and come away with a full tummy. Unfortunately since I had been out looking for an event I came to find out had been cancelled because of rain, I missed that part of the festival. But I feasted on the smell of what must have been a sumptuous chance to give input on smoked ribs.

Tables were at the ready for hungry folk checking out the food vendors and bbq rib making contestants during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Attendees of the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People ate, walked about looking over the cars and listening to music then ate some more and repeated steps 2 and 3. And everyone got into the mood, even a cute little guy that put up with his mistress and seemed to take the day in stride.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

One cutie took in passers-by during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One attendee of the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival makes his point about the event in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Storm clouds still hovered nearby during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting Spirit Mound in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

18 Sep

Spirit Mound is seen in the background behind some sunflowers at the Spirit Mound Historic Prairie near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spirit Mound Historic Prairie is one of the place and stops taken by Lewis and Clark’s Expedition researching the Louisiana Purchase for then President Thomas Jefferson. For Native Americans at the time it represented a place of foreboding, as a website states: “Long before white men came to what is now South Dakota, the little hill known by the Sioux as Paha Wakan was held in awe by tribes for miles around. The Omaha, the Sioux, and the Otoes believe that the mound was occupied by spirits that killed any human who came near.”

The trail head at Spirit Mound near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A trail marker pinpoints a spot visited by the Lewis and Clark Expedition as it explored the “New West” for then President Thomas Jefferson seen at Spirit Mound near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The day I visited there were going to people out on the trail helping visitors to learn a little more about the Mound and other aspects of the area. But a morning rain”washed away” the volunteers as the event was postponed to the following day. But I don’t always let a little water dampen my enthusiasm or gear. And I missed the rain, and the informational pieces as I didn’t attend the following day, but enjoyed the short walk and look at Spirit Mound again as I had visited previously.

Rain puddles fill a walking trail at Spirit Mound near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Rain drops cling to a sign at Spirit Mound near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But there are now informational plagues erected along the trail to give a visitor some background and information one would have to research later, which still wouldn’t be a bad idea to understand more about Lewis and Clark’s expedition and the Native Americans who lived in the area centuries before. History can be fascinating and sometimes it seems surreal to walk in an area visited a century or two or more by explorers and others who lived in an entirely different world.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An informational plague talks about the history of Spirit Mound near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Storm clouds appear on the horizon nearSpirit Mound near Vermillion, SD Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Color in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

13 Jun

Sometimes I feel a little stymied while out looking for images in Siouxland. I don’t always go looking with something definitive in mind, but as I walk about I come across subjects that sometimes  strike me (not physically) visually and later a clearer objective comes to mind. Walking about Vermillion, SD earlier this summer it was an overcast day. Color just seemed to come more alive. The color scheme of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, is red. And many items around the campus reflect that. And there are hard to miss.

A red bench after the school’s colors invites passers-by to lounge on campus at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Later I took a walk along the Vermillion River below the campus area that begins at a park and a paved trail lets one meander with the river course. Spring was still unfolding and snatches of color attended the observant visitor and made a more delightful walk.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Soft light and soft petals enhance a walking path in a park along the Vermillion River in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature and Man in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

11 Jun

As I get about I am continually fascinated with man’s attempt to include nature into his world, even though we as a race have spent a great deal of time excluding it as well. And I find that all the more prevalent when looking at landscaping around public institutions. I am glad colleges and universities include nature in their design of space, I just find the juxtaposition always interesting. And it adds more texture and light and shade possibilities for me when photographing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Depending on an angle of view it’s either nature or man at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Pieces of nature “decorates” the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shade and framing at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing the Light in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

3 Jun

Sometimes while driving around Siouxland I don’t especially feel inspired when I am looking for images. And hope that I get lucky and find something that attracts my eye and piques my interest. Some days are better than others, but mostly it’s just learning to see. And not just see what’s there, but kind of seeing beyond what’s there, right in front of you and figuring out how to translate that moment or slice of time and light and shadow to create an image that holds one’s attention.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Playing with light, patterns and lines in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Playing with light in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Playing with light and shadow in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Playing with light, shadow and lines in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing in inches or feet in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

30 Aug

Visually I can be a pretty darn opinionated individual, especially with myself. I see something and like it and then start photographing. When I worked for newspapers it became instinctual because moments changes scenes. What you saw 30 seconds or a minute or two ago is no longer there. I am trying to break that habit.

I no longer shoot for a newspaper on a daily basis. And the majority of my photographic interests are now more landscape, rural and urban, oriented. When I am concentrating on people I do just shoot and shoot when I see something. But with landscapes, I am trying to slow myself down and look and then photograph.

The campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, in Vermillion, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I saw the image of the tower at the far end of the campus at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion on a recent visit I liked the trees and the spatiality. I liked the framing with the trees and the shadows in the foreground and the barely visible white tower peeking in the background. I shot a few frames. Then a walked maybe 10 steps and I realized maybe I  shot too soon.

The campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, in Vermillion, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I liked this framing better, the use of more shadow in the foreground forcing the eye up to the bright gleaming towers, now that one can see more than one. To me it seems a stronger photograph. I have gotten better at turning 360 though when I am out walking. See a scene behind me as well as the one I walking toward. Sometimes it is easy to miss an opportunity depending on how shadows fall and what is around you.

But I still struggle with placing my subjects, whatever they may be, within my frame. I like the various placement treatment I might give a building or person or whatever. They may all be a nice image, but that is part of the process of seeing and then defining what you see and distilling it down to what you what your viewer to see.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Trying new Visual Undertakings in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

28 Apr

One trip I took in early April to Vermillion, SD found me walking around the campus of the University of South Dakota on a grey, cool day. There really wasn’t much in the way of color appearing and lights and shadows were really nonexistent. Because I didn’t like what I saw in color I decided to photograph in B&W. The writing on a sundial was easier to read in B&W and I thought I would see if I could create a little story about a garden area on the campus by continuing to shoot in B&W. There is a little garden called Shakespeare Garden and dedicated I believe to the bard. A snippet I found online says the gardens contains flowers, shrubs and herbs mentioned in Shakespeare’s works.

Shooting in B&W helps me isolate items in a couple of the photos but overall are not stellar images. But without trying, and maybe failing, one never knows if an attempt succeeds or not. But for the gloomy kind of spring day it was, I had a nice cup of coffee and snack in a student center later that hit the spot. Sometimes trips are hard to capture via image through the camera, but can leave an indelible impression or image in one’s mind.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying Spring Colors in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

15 Apr

I as many am waiting for the flowers to bloom and the grass to turn greener in Siouxland. On a recent trip to hear a speaker at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, it was a grey and overcast day. The ground still looking like winter, just without the snow. So I was happy to see a little “artificial” color introduced to the campus by students I am guessing. Their brand new bikes ready for adventures minus the snow and slush to drive through. The bubble gum colors made me smile. And the school’s one color is red, which all the bike stands and other items like benches are painted on campus.

And I only wondered how the individuals were dressed that were riding these bikes. Hopefully not in chic black.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Learning Tolerance in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

9 Apr

This past week I visited the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. I wanted to hear a child Holocaust survivor speaking there about her experience in a centration camp and get an impression of what life must have been like in the 1930’s and ’40’s for Jews. It was overwhelming. Inge Auerbacher survived the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia where she and her immediate family were sent. Other members of her family, like her grandparents were not so lucky, or other people the family met at the camp. It’s hard to understand the meanness in people’s hearts that force other people into terrible situations or cause them to suffer. And recent world events bring those horrors into focus in current history.

Auerbacher was involved in a short film of her return to where she lived as a young child from birth to maybe 6 years old before being forced into hiding and then to a concentration camp. This piece is only an introduction to the 25 minute one she showed the university students and others who attended. As she stated, she is 82 this year, and soon those affected by the Nazis who killed them and did such harm will soon be dead, and that immediate telling of history will be lost.

The sad thing is the hate that supports such behavior appears to still be alive and well and will probably continue to exist in the current history and foreseeable history until somehow it and the souls who insist on being haters are both eradicated from the world.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

%d bloggers like this: