Tag Archives: woodbury county iowa

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

Little Sioux Cemetery in Siouxland, Smithland

26 Aug

Of the various places I visit when out driving around in Siouxland, are cemeteries. I like to pay my respects to those who have gone before me, as well as see how old some of the grave markers are within the cemetery. Some small communities in the Siouxland area, like Smithland, as well as the larger ones, have former residents who died in the middle and late 1800’s. Pretty amazing that a century or so have passed since these people possibly walked the ground I am trudging over during my visit.

This particular cemetery had a marble mausoleum that was built in the late 1800’s by a local doctor. Marble by today’s standards is not cheap. But I can not imagine the cost of this purchase then. So I would guess the doctor had a thriving business through which he could afford the memorial site for his family. Many of these small cemeteries are located on the outskirts of their communities, overlooking the area from a hilltop giving an eternal view that the current residents probably had witnessed themselves. Time passes, but some things never change.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Getting Caught up in Siouxand, Rural Iowa

13 Jun

I did a fair diving around during the spring season here in Iowa. It was unusually wet and rather cool. Much more to my liking than the last three-four days with heat indexes over the century mark. Nice blue sky, but dreadfully hot to be out in the sun, and sweltering in the car. A couple storms are supposed to pass this way the next day or so and I am hoping for rain, cooler temps, but no severe weather. And then after the rain and cooler temps, maybe I can find some more clouds like I did this spring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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