Tag Archives: woodbury county iowa

Enjoying Nature in Siouxland, Table Marsh Wildlife area

5 Jan

A beaver hut is seen in theTable Marsh Wildlife Area in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I enjoy spending time outdoors in nature in Siouxland, preferably in more agreeable weather that is not too hot nor too cold. Maybe I’m just picky. But the quiet, sometimes solitude and the chance to breathe fresher air can be restorative.

A wetland area, Table Marsh Wildlife is located in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

a lone bird soars over the Table Marsh Wildlife located in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a number of areas around the Woodbury County and other places near where I live. I don’t always think about visiting them on specific days, or for that matter, most times at all. Sometimes when I see a sign on my way to someplace I am reminded I need to stop in there and check it out or revisit it. So my trips are not timed to capture a specific migrating bird or other creatures, but more out of curiosity of what is there, what does it look like and what might I find here and now in the present.

A sketchy dirt road leads to the wetland area, Table Marsh Wildlife, located in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

an old bridge makes passage over part of the Table Marsh Wildlife is located in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wetland area, Table Marsh Wildlife is located in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But at that moment in time, everything stops for me, I don’t hear the sound of traffic, the chatter of other folk or anything that one might find intrusive in such an area other than birds calling or the blowing wind rustling tall grass. It’s just a moment in time to savor for what it is, before the next moment moves one forward to another place.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A couple of geese fly over the Table Marsh Wildlife located in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding bits of History in Siouxland, Smithland

28 Dec

Blossoming trees at the Fowler Preserve near Smithland in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always like stumbling upon a bit of history when driving about Siouxland. That happened to me a couple of years ago when visiting the Fowler Preserve in Woodbury County near Smithland. Trees and other fauna was just beginning to bloom. There are a couple of trails there that take one to the top of a hill where you can get a view of the surrounding area and to rest a bit as you make your way of the hillside.

Benches are sprinkled throughout the Fowler Preserve near Smithland in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Besides some normal accoutrements in parks like open space and picnic tables, I came across a large rock with a plaque. It made note of the fact that for 20 years, from 1856 to 1876, a stage coach trail passed through the area from Smithland to Sioux City. That century’s mass transportation which allowed small groups of people to get from one point to another on the western frontier without having to purchase their own horse, or wagon, or whatever might be available, until the railroads allowed even larger groups of people to move about. I was struck with awe the idea of standing someplace that 2 centuries earlier I could have spied the coach and its passengers making their way to a new place, seeing history unfold as people moved West, not knowing what to expect but hoping for a different, if not better life.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A view of a picnic area at the Fowler Preserve near Smithland in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A stagecoach trail passed through the Fowler Preserve from the mid 1850’s to late the 1870’s near Smithland in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

(Click image for larger view.)

Exploring the backroads of Siouxland, Rural Woodbury County

27 Feb

An empty barn along a gravel road in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

As I wait for better weather and better roads, another ice and snow storm is predicted for Siouxland, I’m anxious to go exploring the seemingly endless backroads that are available. These gravel and dirt roads are best navigated in dry weather. Looking forward to seeing what new places I can find and share and seeking new windows to look through and discover.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

A patchwork quilt barn in rural Woodbury County, Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting the Siouxland Countryside in Winter, Woodbury County

15 Feb

While out driving around in Siouxland between snow falls, I came across what I thought appropriately might be considered country art with a little help from nature and neglect from man. It is said that art is in the eye of the beholder, and seeing these round hay bales in a snow covered field gave me pause.

Round hay bales add a decorative touch to a snowy field in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Their horizontal lines intersecting with the vertical lines of the corn stalk remnants left over from fall harvest.

And then seeing an abandoned farmhouse sitting in a field. Its desolation in such a dreary setting reminding of how many of the pioneers who moved to this Siouxland region in the middle and later 1850’s must have felt like as they each began a new chapter in their life. Looking for a new start, a better life, yet enduring hardships that we today may not understand. People tend to be a sociable lot, and winter during those days may have been a long two or three months to endure. Just as sometimes today the overcast grey days makes one wish for spring and summer and to see life begin anew, again.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An abandoned house in a snowy landscape adds a bleak feel of winter in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Getting around in Siouxland’s countryside, Woodbury County

11 Feb

It’s not only people living in small and large towns that need access to life during the winter month’s in Siouxland. Primarily a rural state with a few large communities, people living in the country need to get to work and shop for groceries and generally get out themselves during the winter months.

A look at winter on a country road in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While taking a drive recently I saw the county tax dollars at work. Rural areas don’t generally employ snow plows to clear the backroads and make it possible for residents to move about. Road maintenance in the country is a little different, and I don’t know if I would have tried this after a recent heavy snowfall. But growing up in the country, one can appreciate these individuals who help keep traffic flowing in the less populated areas and make life just a little easier.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A country road winter snowplow, a grader, in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Looking for Landscapes in Siouxland and Finding Details, Woodbury County

25 Feb

There are days I take drives in Siouxland looking for “wonderful” landscapes to photograph and just coming up empty. Sometimes I believe I don’t see anything that inspires me or I just like being out because it’s a nice day and I have no set agenda of what it is I am actually looking for. On some of those days I take a moment and decide that maybe I don’t need to photograph a grandiose scene but possibly something more detail oriented. One can look at a scene and see a lot. But there are times it takes a discerning eye to distill a scene down to something in particular. Maybe not just a grove of trees or flowers or even one barn. Maybe just trying to see through the looking glass for something altogether different. Or not.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Doorway in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday Oct. 18, 2016.       (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Doorway in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Tuesday Oct. 18, 2016. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Cloudy Vision in Siouxland, Woodbury County

11 Feb

The next few days the temperatures are climbing into the 40’s, even hitting 50 one day which is not usual for February in Siouxland. I welcome the warmer temps. I again begin to peek into areas I have traveled previously and those I have yet to discover. Looking over some images I had made but not posted reminded me that some days I have a cloudy vision of the area in which I live. The changing temperature between lows and highs or vice versa creates wonderful sky displays and to me makes a wonderful day out.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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