Tag Archives: weather

Capturing Moments in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

11 Apr

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I recently drove around parts of Siouxland after a weather bomb had visited the area like so many places and flooded fields and communities. Driving along one stretch of road where the water reached up I noticed a driveway into a field, actually two fields, both filled with water. The images taken were literally one minute apart, but yet enough time for wind to effect a scene.

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes in photography it is only moments when the effective image can be taken before something occurs that changes the scene into another scene, different from before. Most times we may think the time of year or time of day will most definitely change what we saw before. But sometimes it’s just moments.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Mother Nature in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

5 Apr

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mother Nature recently seems intent on reminding people in Siouxland that maybe winter isn’t yet over, but that spring is very close. A couple weeks ago the ground was still frozen with snow, and then the temperature warmed up enough that the snow began melting but also started raining. The combination of the rain and melting plus the frozen ground didn’t give the wet precipitation any place to go, but where it really wasn’t wanted.

Trees are reflected in flooded fields along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Reflections of trees sitting in flooded fields along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fields in many places were flooded and still water is found in some of them although it has receded. It’s interesting that Mother Nature can create what might seem like beautiful images but reap such a terrible price. Many roadways that were inundated still need to be checked out and in some cases rebuilt. Interstate highways passing through Siouxland are still closed in places and only recently opened in others. Farmers are paying a heavy price and some may not be able to plant a crop this year because of the heavy flooding that occurred.

Fields are still flooded along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It seemed that only the passing water fowl moving through the area as they fly north ending another winter season enjoyed the bountiful water landing spots and didn’t have to perch on frozen waterways on the way to their summer home. Time will tell how the flooding has affected the area which now seems like a distant memory.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Geese float in a flooded field along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Low flying geese look for a place to stop as they fly over flooded fields along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Looking up in Siouxland Reaps Reward, Rural Iowa

30 Mar

A bald eagle glides past treetops along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always nice when I am out and about to sometimes find an unexpected photographic pleasure in Siouxland. As the weather warms and driving conditions become easier, at least no ice on the roadways, I am venturing out to see how things have changed with the current flooding and to photograph the area. On a recent and somewhat short drive north I saw a railroad crew working on a track line that was crossing the Little Sioux River from Iowa to South Dakota. And then I saw them.

Bald eagles sit in treetops along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

These days the photographic gear I carry is not what I used when working for newspapers, at least not telephoto gear, and one works with what one has on hand. I saw the two bald eagles sitting in a tree top. Guessing that they were eyeing the flooded river below and looking for a meal. What caught my attention was what looked like a flash of white. One of the heads. Some friends of mine from the local camera club are nature enthusiasts and spend time searching for these majestic birds and capture photographically some very compelling images. My background as a newspaper photographer is dealing with the moment that arises, and in seeing these two lovely creatures spent some time to get a few shots at quite a distance.

 

Geese are on the move in the background, right, as a bald eagle glides over the Little Sioux River running parallel to Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Both of the birds alighted at some point while I watched and photographed easily gliding over the river and through the tree line and then back again to the tree they were using at a stopping point. I know eagles populate the area and others have captured some very nice images. I settled for what I could get. Happy that I got a couple “action” photos while enjoying the grace of flight these two birds exhibited.

I know this outing these are fine photos for my blog, but nothing stellar to hang on a wall. But like most outings, it’s nice to return home with images that one enjoys making or able to create, but it’s more of a pleasure for the experience encountered while making the photos.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

a bald eagle comes in to perch in a treetop along Highway 12 north of Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wacky Weather in Siouxland as Winter Leaves and Spring Enters, Sioux City

26 Mar

The recent weather in Siouxland has been generally wacky. Winter held on for much longer than most folk would like and spring just hasn’t been pushing hard enough to bring people relief. But sometimes for images resulting from Mother Nature’s mood swings create some different results.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fog envelopes trees near Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Fog envelopes trees near Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, March 22, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Time Changes Scenes in Siouxland, Le Mars Bike Trail

22 Mar

I always tell students of my Lifelong Learning photography classes that revisiting places can often yield different photos depending on the season, time of year and time of day. The recent weather Siouxland has experienced brings that idea into better focus as until a week ago, temperatures were still below freezing and then most recently the area received rain, plenty of it for this time of year, in addition to warmer temps that created snow melt and eventually flooding.

Fall colors on the bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

flooding along Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Baseball’s summer days are waning along the bike trail in Le Mars, IA Monday Aug. 7, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Little League Baseball Complex in West Floyd Park has flooded after a recent rain and melting snow caused the nearby river to overflow its banks seen from nearby Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one doesn’t expect such a drastic change in scenery. But it can happen and then those photos previously taken create a record of what was, and possibly may never be again. The sad thing is that depending on how quickly water recedes from a flooded area determines if trees growing there can survive or will need to be taken down changing the look of an area.

There are a few bridges that cross a stream for the Le Mrs, Iowa, bike trail, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A foot bridge over the Floyd River in West Floyd Park has flood water hitting it after a recent rain and before all the snow has melted seen from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The bike trail I have frequented along with many others  is barely scene along the West Floyd Park next the the Little League Baseball Park. Most of the trail along here is now paved making it better than gravel paths being washed away. But still, they will need to be checked out for any erosion damage.

A bike trail is seen above flood waters in West Floyd Park as the Floyd River came out of its banks with recent rainfall and melting snow combining to inundate the area seen from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Floyd River that runs along the park was almost touching a highway overpass. A much different look than I have previously viewed.

THe Floyd River near Wesst Floyd Park is out of its banks and flowing just under the Hwy 3 bridge seen heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Le Mrs, Iowa, bike trail winds its way through wooded areas following a stream and passing under motor ways and train tracks, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mother Nature graces us humans with quite an array and display in various forms. Thunderstorms and tornadoes are frightening yet fascinating at the same time. The same is true of water. A little can be bucolic, while a lot disastrous. And one generally only gains a perspective after months have passed, sometimes years from when an event occurred and the future becomes the present.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Floyd River, left, floods after a recent rain and melting snow combined to create too much water before the ground has thawed flooding everything around it and see from Hwy 3 heading west out of Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blue sky and robust clouds on the walking/bike trail in Le Mars, Iowa Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Le Mars, Iowa, bike trail meanders along a stream as it runs along the outskirts of the community, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Changing Seasons in Siouxland Become Wet and Dangerous

16 Mar

A blue sky is deceitful as nearby crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Only days ago in Siouxland the weather still felt like winter, with below freezing temperatures and wind making it even colder. Add to that more snow on top of snow already here and winter was not going quietly into that good night before spring arrives.

Over the last couple of days rain, and more rain, on top of snow and frozen ground gave way to warmer weather temperatures, melting snow and flooding. Some or parts of some communities had to be evacuated because of flood waters. I made a short trip north to the community of Le Mars and had to detour east before heading north to bypass flooded roadways. Returning south, half of a heavily traveled route was shut down because of flood water.

Flood waters cover the northbound lane of along Hwy 75 between Merrell and Le Mars, Iowa as the southbound lane is reflected in the side mirror, Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flood waters completely cover this part of the northbound lane of along Hwy 75 between Merrell and Le Mars, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Normally in the image above a median ditch and then the northbound lane is visible as is a field on the other side of the roadway. When I got to the small community of Hinton I did stop to check out some work being done on a county road. Crews were clearing debris and pumping water over the roadway to help keep it from running down that same road and flooding part of the community.

Crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Warmer temps in the 40’s and 50’s is predicted for next week which will be a nice change. As is sunny skies so maybe some of the excess water will evaporate and the ground will begin warming so more rain will soak into it rather than run over it. It seems as though it’s been an unusual winter with colder than normal temps lasting longer. So I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that spring will begin with a different expectation than in past years. And those affected by the flood waters will be glad to get life back to something more closely resembling normal, although there is still work for them ahead.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A man brings in his drone as crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Crews work to remove debris and flood water by pumping it over County Rd. 60 outside of Hinton, Iowa Friday, March 15, 2019. The northbound lane of Hwy 75 between Hinton and Le Mars is closed due to flooding. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Making Choices for Placement when Photographing in Siouxland, Sioux City

16 Feb

One of the toughest things to decide sometimes when I am photographing in Siouxland and elsewhere is how I want to frame up a subject and where I want to place that subject within the frame. Placing a subject within the frame of a photograph can evoke different emotions or feelings about that photo, even if it’s a simple outdoors image. Does a viewer believe they are right there with the photographer viewing the subject, or at a distance, purveying a scene from afar.

Perspective has a lot to do with presenting viewers images and the subjects contained within. And what is it the photographer wants the viewer to see, or experience with the image, if anything.  It’s all very subjective. But the photographer needs to show a person seeing an image what it is he/she sees, because it is their vision or perspective or object they want to share. And photography is all about visuals and sharing them with others.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A foggy day near the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A foggy day near the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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