Tag Archives: weather

A Walk Around Little Sioux Park, Correctionville

15 Jun

A look across the Little Sioux River at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when driving about Siouxland I don’t always stop to visit places I thought I should. Then one day, I do. Nothing spectacular, or special on such a dreary day, but a chance to visit a place I have passed by a few times. If not now, when? This day was that day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A cut path along a meadow area at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A song sparrow clings to a dried grass stem as a strong gust of winde blows it about at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Red Wing black bird nestles itself in a bush against strong wind gusts at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Art is in the Eye of the Beholder in Siouxland, Making Decision on Representation, Little Sioux Park, Correctionville

16 May

A slow shutter speed exposure of water running in the Little Sioux City River at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Deciding how best sometimes to represent a scene found in Siouxland, or anywhere is dependent upon the person. And sometimes the representation doesn’t quite fulfill the artist’s or photographer’s intent.

Photographing moving water with a slow shutter speed, during daylight without a neutral density filter doesn’t quite capture the scene as well as very early morning or early evening when using a slow shutter speed would be more beneficial. But it doesn’t hurt to try, and practicing seeing and the skills and mechanics one has at hand is always a good thing I believe. Practice makes one better at achieving results and seeing in the first place. Of course, being prepared is helpful. But I don’t pack the suitcase when I go out photographing and walking. A couple lenses and a camera body and I utilize what I have at hand. Grateful when something works out, aw shucks when it doesn’t.

Of course, there is always tomorrow and another walk. I might not encounter the same scene with the same elements and lighting, but that’s the beauty of taking walks and exploring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A correct exposure of water flowing in the Little Sioux River at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Refuge in Siouxland, Little Sioux Park, Correctionville

12 May

A Trumpeter swan checking out visitors at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a number of wildlife refuge areas to be found in and around the Siouxland area. Visiting Little Sioux Park recently I thought it lucky to see some Trumpeter swans at the small lake there. Stealthily trying to get out of my vehicle to photograph these creatures I realized it was odd, they weren’t flying away, but rather coming toward me.

A Trumperer swan swims to shore to greet a visitor at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Two Trumperer swans come to shore to greet a visitor at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It seems the swans at the park all have a damaged wing, and so live there. Enjoying a quiet area, free of predators, except maybe humans, and greeting park visitors maybe in the hopes of gaining a treat.

The swans ambled slowly but without hesitation up the fence line to greet the new comer and check them out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Trumpeter swan “grins” at a visitor at Little Sioux Park near Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Imagining History in Siouxland, Inkpaduta Canoe Trail, Correctionville

26 Apr
A sign informs a visitor about the Inkpaduta canoe trail near Copeland Park in Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I come across a piece of history in Siouxland I was not familiar with previously, I sometimes try to imagine what life may have been like in that time period, at least what the landscape might have appeared to those first settlers, and of course, to those already living in the region.

A sign informs a visitor about the Inkpaduta canoe trail near Copeland Park in Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Little Sioux City River is the Inkpaduta canoe trail near Copeland Park Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This particular day was not an ideal day to photograph in black and white. Overcast, darkish and a brown landscape does not make for exciting and provoking imagery. But given the history of the Little Sioux River and what an earlier exploring photographer might have seen and recorded make me think photographing in black and white appropriate.

Also this reference at Copeland Park in Correctionville to Inkpaduta does not include the sadder saga that occurred in Okoboji of where settlers were massacred by this chief and his braves which happened in retaliation to his own brother being killed by a white settler for the reason of not helping a starving group of Native Americans who had long resided in the area “now claimed” as his land.

The Little Sioux City River is the Inkpaduta canoe trail near Copeland Park Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Little Sioux City River is the Inkpaduta canoe trail along with a forested area near Copeland Park Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So I try to imagine the area as seen by those first inhabitants, long before farming reshaped the landscape or any kind of building touched the landscape. Photographing in black and white might be an homage to an earlier exploring photographer but probably did not do justice to the scenes depicted. I personally like a bit more contrast and saturated blacks. However I don’t spend a lot of time in post processing and do not use plug in accessories that might create a stronger B&W image.

It was just nice to find another slice of history I had not previously encountered and enjoy that day the relative quiet that was almost certain prevalent in the day when there was no traffic noise from a nearby roadway. Just the sound of leaves underfoot and the running of the water in the riverbed. Maybe as Simon and Garfunkel believed in their tune, “The Sounds of Silence”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A forested area along the Inkpaduta canoe trail at Copeland Park Correctionville, Iowa Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The DeMille Moment in Siouxland, Sioux City

25 Mar
A squirrel pauses for his “Mr. DaMille, I’m ready for my closeup”moment as he snacks in a backyard Sunday, December 26, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when out and about visiting places in Siouxland I neglect some other backyard visitors who stop by to say hello and enjoy some snacks at the same time. The furry little creatures occasionally stop to tell me something but mostly ignore me as long as they find treats in the usual places.

A squirrel pauses and looks over another visitor in the backyard in the backyard of a residence in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I can’t say we are on a first name basis, but the little critters scamper about and seem to delight in playing tag with one another and making a ruckus after a morning snack. And as spring approaches and the weather doesn’t have a chill in the air, I am certain I will find them about more often, basking in the sunshine and like all of us, glad winter is passing, at least for a few months.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A squirrel eats a snack at a feeder in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Warm Day in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

19 Mar
Two Canada geese seem to be complaining to a photographer while they enjoy their day at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter in Siouxland as elsewhere has been unusual to say the least this year. Temperatures on a roller coaster ride, cold, very cold and then warm. The warm days were pleasant though, and most folk took advantage and got out to enjoy them. The waterfowl at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve also seemed to enjoy a bit of sunshine and warmth as they enjoyed walked about a frozen Mud Lake.

A bicyclist rides by as geese walk on an ice covered lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Two women point at some geese on Mud Lake at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Two Canada geese enjoy a warmer day at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Living in the Midwest has its challenges during the winter months. But except for the extreme cold on some days, there was little snow shoveling this year which made many people happy, except for those that remove snow during the winter to add their bottom line. It’s March and warmer days are ahead. Maybe even a little rain to make up for practically no snowfall in this area. And it might be nice to once again photograph critters out at the preserve walking about some green space and getting much needed exercise and a chance to welcome a change of seasons.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Two men walk their dogs during a warm day at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A joint bone of some animal that did not survive the winter, weather prey or succumbing to an injury seen at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Canada geese waddle about a dozen Mud Lake on a warm day at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Two Canada geese take to the sky blue yonder above the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, February 20, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Watching Eagles Soar, Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

15 Mar
A bald eagle looks down from its perch near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s been an exciting winter this year in Siouxland to have been able to to see so many bald eagles and enjoy watching them cavort in and around the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD and elsewhere.

A bald eagle launches itself off a branch as it takes to the sky near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle launches itself off a branch to check for fish near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The birds or raptors are so fierce seeing them up close with a telephoto lens. And bird migration for the coming warmer months has begun as well with various species making their annual return trip for spending the spring, summer and early part of the fall months before making the trek again.

But it will be nice to see some green re-emerge and add some color to the landscape. And enjoying warmer weather, although winter has been overly warm itself, just not on a daily basis.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

People gather to watch bald eagles near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle sits on an ice outcropping looking for a meal near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle holds onto a fish it took out of the river near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Soaring in Siouxland on a Blustery Day, Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

19 Feb
A bald eagle rides an air current near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I never realized living in Siouxland that there are so many areas where it’s possible to view bald eagles depending on the time of year. It is so fascinating watching them fish and soar and just hang out with their brethren as we mere human mortals watch them. While working for so many years in the area it never occurred to me to go check them out or find the places one could watch them. Duh. Other priorities and tasks awaited free time then.

An adult bald eagle sits in a tree over a parking lot near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have photographed these creatures a few time in different places and probably have taken too too many photographs. Not all of which are stellar, or even close to other photographers’ images. But it’s a nice challenge and an enjoyable experience to see them up close and personal in a way, especially near Gavins Point Dam where the trees the birds roost in at times are almost if not quite eye level to places a person can stand, watch and photograph.

A bald eagle cry out from a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Another bald eagle comes in for a landing to a tree near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

From a nearby vantage point a person can watch bald eagles interact in a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it’s a nice excuse to get out of the house, breathe some fresh air and watch some magnificent creatures in real life rather than on a nature show on the television, or online as well these days. Sometimes it’s those quick and fleeting moments that can bring joy, as these creatures don’t generally stay in one spot for long.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A bald eagle makes a landing on a blustery day in a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle completes a landing on a blustery day in a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle balances on a branch as it is buffeted by a gust of wind on a tree’s branch overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle heads back to a place it can enjoy its catch of fish from the Missouri River near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Changing Sights Around Siouxland, Omaha, NE

20 Jan
An older office building framed with fall colors in a downtown Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When visiting various communities in and around Siouxland it’s not often that I find changes occurring in smaller communities. Sometimes, but most often they happen in the larger metro areas.

Omaha, NE is still a growing metro area in the Midwest and new construction there as well as adaptation of older buildings into lofts and other, more current kinds of usages is ongoing.

New construction work in a downtown Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A blend of old and new in a downtown area of Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is a blending of older and newer types of architectural structures seen in Omaha. Older buildings become dwarfed by newer buildings. No judgement, but it’s not surprising how “tastes” change over the years, decades, etc. And in some cases the cost to replicate or build some structures that were done one to two centuries ago would most likely be prohibitive.

And yet progress continues, as life, changes come, and sometimes go. Moving forward and hopefully not backward.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A plaza surrounded by apartments and food eateries in a downtown area of Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A look at a downtown area in Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Rainy Day in Siouxland and Revisiting Pioneer Courage Park, Omaha, NE

12 Jan
Detail image of one of the statues in the Pioneer Courage Park in downtown Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when I am out and about and carrying a camera I will revisit a place I have previously photographed. Sometimes I can find images that are better, most times I look for images that are different. The Pioneer Courage Park is part of the “campus” of the First National Bank of Omaha. On a overcast day it takes on a different look different from the previous visit. Finding the raindrops on the faces of the statues gave them a different feel and made me think that possibly on their journey west those days it might have rained may have been a blessing depending on the territory the group was passing through. The Mormon Trail passed through some high desert country and rain storms may have been scarce certain times of the year.

And it’s a challenge to revisit someplace and look for a different image. Of course time of day, weather, time of year, all that plays into how a place might look and feel. And then one’s imagination takes over.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Detail image of one of the statues in the Pioneer Courage Park in downtown Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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