Tag Archives: yankton south dakota

One More Look of Siouxland’s Winter Visitors (well first of the year winter), Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

8 Apr
A bald eagle perches in a tree above the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This year, so far, I have seen a number of bald eagles in various locales within the Siouxland region. The majority of those sightings took place at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD along the Missouri River bordering the state of Nebraska.

Watching this creatures soar and dive and then perch aloft in tree tops is indescribably thrilling. They are are magnificent. Using a telephoto lens allows one a closer look. And after shooting way too many photos, one is able to retain a few keepers. I have seen other eagle photos posted that are much more dynamic than mine, but I keep trying. Time, place and luck, one can only wish and hope.

A bald eagle flies over the Missouri River looking for a meal below near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle scoops up a fish from the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even the best “athlete” has challenging days. A number of eagles caught fish from the Missouri River then subsequently lost their grip, which seems hard to imagine seeing their talons up close through a lens when they perch in the tree tops. But fish, even dead ones, are slippery, and then sometimes you have that interloper who expects you to share.

And back again into the drink for another chance for a meal and maybe the thrill of a catch.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A juvenile bald eagle challenges an adult male to its catch in mid-air over the Missouri Rive near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle clutches a fish it caught from the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Try try again and a bald eagle clutches another fish it caught from the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes plans don’t go as expected as a bald eagle drops a fish it caught back into the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Photographers and birders watch bald eagles perch in trees and fly about the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (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©)

Soaring in Siouxland, Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

16 Jan
People watch from a parking lot as an adult bald eagle soars about at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature always amazes in good ways and sometimes bad and a recent outing in Siouxland brought the unexpected fun of watching bald eagles fly and fish at the spillway of Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD. This is a stopping off point for a variety of migratory fowl with open water most times in nearby lake areas at the Lewis and Clark Recreation area and at the dam’s spillway which regulates water flowing downstream of the Missouri River.

An adult bald eagle soars over the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An adult and juvenile bald eagle locked in a stare down at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A photographer tries his luck photographing both adult and juvenile bald eagles soaring about at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s truly amazing watching the bald eagles fly about and then dive, somewhat, into the flowing water of the river to catch fish. Sometimes it was like watching “touch and go” maneuvers that military aircraft sometimes perform during training. And as it was still during a holiday week a number of spectators came out to watch these majestic creatures perch in trees or look for food.

An adult bald eagle soars over the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An adult bald eagle clings onto something it pulled from the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle grabs something in the Missouri River while in flight over the spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was also challenging from a photographer’s standpoint in trying to follow the action which sometimes pivoted on a dime acquire focus as these creatures made their way over and near the water. Although I might be somewhat disappointed with the results of my photographic experience, I was not disappointed in the opportunity to watch these birds perform their aerial acrobatics, successes and near misses all being equal.

I could think of worse ways to spend part of a day, not withstanding with a day temperature of 45 degrees in late December.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Two juvenile bald eagles manoeuvre while in flight at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle readies to grab something in the Missouri River while in flight over the spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An adult bald eagle soars over the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A number of adult and juvenile bald eagles perch on a tree at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing the New in Siouxland, Murals in Yankton, SD

26 Jan

A new mural in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I like revisiting places I have previously seen in Siouxland as well as checking out new places too. Sometimes one can be pleasantly surprised with new surroundings, like outdoor wall murals I came upon in Yankton, SD. The community adds small touches to help celebrate its community and the murals offer up a colorful display if nothing else. And it is so easy to not see them if one isn’t paying attention.

A new mural in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes the joy of not living somewhere is that these new, seemingly incremental changes are more apparent to a visitor. And I like photographing something different than before. Photographing them during midday may not create memorable images, but documenting the existence of something when I am visiting a place is all I can do.

A new mural in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The small community uses interesting signage to celebrate itself which lends a historical flare and uniqueness. Again, it could be something that has been there a while, and I never paid attention to it until the day I did. Being a photographer doesn’t always mean on is “observant”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Signage in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The pedestrian Meridian Bridge seen from downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Christmas time in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

23 Dec

People line the streets for the Lighted Parade in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

A man and a woman roasts marshmallows to make Smores in the downtown area before the start of the Lighted Parade and Christmas tree lighting in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I like spending time in small communities during holidays. For the most part, people are generally more friendly, and even more so during holidays. Yankton, SD like a lot of Siouxland communities has a Christmas celebration and a Lighted Parade when the town hosts night outs supported by local businesses and residents.

A helper passes out candy to children during the Lighted Parade in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Two young elves watch a float with Frosty the Snowman go by during the Lighted Parade in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Many communities have cut back on some expenses for these celebrations but Yankton seems to be growing its offerings to its residents and visitors. I have many times enjoyed the Meridian Bridge, now a pedestrian crossing over the Missouri River during other times of the year. It gives one nice views and a little exercise to boot. But on this night it was a place to add a little extra piece of the celebration.

Pathway lights change colors during the Christmas holiday at the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

People walk through a lit archway near the Meridian Bridge as they head for the Christmas tree lighting in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Carolers sing prior to the lighting of the Christmas tree near the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

People gathered at the foot of the bridge where Santa greeted and listened to children as a local choir sang carols while all waited for the finale of lighting the city’s Christmas tree and fireworks launched form the bridge. Afterwards people hustled back to where they could find a little warmth, some humming just sung carols and others happy with treats passed out along with hot chocolate and cider while waiting for the tree lighting. A little Christmas cheer as the day inches forward and people can again turn their attention to completing their gift shopping and getting ready for that night of St. Nick stopping by before attending church and spending a little time for the Reason for the Season.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fireworks light the sky after the lighting of the Christmas tree near the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Fireworks light the sky after the lighting of the Christmas tree near the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Fireworks light the sky after the lighting of the Christmas tree near the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, SD Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A Walking Piece of History in Siouxland, the Meridian Bridge, Yankton, SD

11 Dec

in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always find it nice when local communities help visitors learn a bit more history about itself and its residents. Various Siouxland communities do this and Yankton, SD recently installed signage at the Meridian Bridge, previously a double decker vehicle bridge, now a pedestrian walkway over the Missouri River.

A sculpted art piece at the foot of the pedestrian Meridian Bridge in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Meridian Bridge was formerly a double decker vehicle bridge but is now a pedestrian walkway over the Missouri River in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Of course not all “residents” appreciate the signage or the history, but just enjoy the structure itself.

Pidgeons take a short flight before returning to a resting spot on the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Pidgeons find a resting spot on the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A short walk from the downtown area of Yankton and some eateries, a nice walk is always pleasant and doesn’t hurt the appetite either.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A sign posting at the Meridan Bridge gives a visitor a little background about the area and the Missouri River seen in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sign posted at the Meridian Bridge gives a little background about an earlier politician seen in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Christmas Cheer in Siouxland Begins, Yankton, SD

3 Dec

Feeling the Yuletide spirit in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s well understood that the Christmas season has already started. Decorations are up and retailers are calling shoppers and customers to come take a look and possibly buy. That horse left the barn many decades ago. While I might have mixed feelings about hawking Christmas gifts so early I do enjoy seeing the decorations and other trappings of the season.

Christmas decorations popping up in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Christmas cheer in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s cheery and nice to let the mind wander to happier thoughts that maybe news of the day or other intruding subjects create a different atmosphere. I must confess, while driving about I have already been listening to Christmas music, mostly instrumental with a New Age flair and jazz renditions of the holiday classics. It’s light, carefree and makes me smile.

Window displays with Christmas tidings in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Soon Siouxland communities will be having their annual lighted parades and other celebrations marking the holiday and working to get their residents and guests alike into the “mood”, wishing all good cheer and a Merry Christmas.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Christmas wreath decorates the Meridian Bridge, now a walking bridge, in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Decking the Halls in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

13 Nov

Feeling the Yuletide spirit in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In Siouxland like many other places, communities and individuals begin showing their Christmas spirit early, and maybe earlier every year. While I lament the fact that Thanksgiving Day gets short shrift anymore, the intent of the Yuletide spirit and cheerfulness of the Christmas season for the most part is a good reason to celebrate that cheer all year long.

A Thanksgiving window hanging in downtown Onama seen during a Fall Photo Safari class taking photographs at night in Onawa, Iowa Saturday Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Christmas cheer in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During a recent visit to Yankton, SD, I came upon Christmas decorations, mostly in the downtown area, but also at the walking Meridian Bridge over the Missouri River. And seeing the decorations brought a smile to my face. Especially with all the hate that seems to fill the air these days during such a contentious political climate, and what seems to be never ending lies coming from “authority” figures which becomes apparent more each day who may never have spoken an honest word in their life.

A Christmas wreath decorates the Meridian Bridge, now a walking bridge, in Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Window displays with Christmas tidings in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So seeing the decorations and thinking of the holiday makes me cheerful, hopeful and optimistic that maybe life could be better next year. My cynical side has its doubts, but more now I’ll revel in the thought of true good will to others and not just “political speak” where the words are spoken but not with any affection.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Christmas decorations popping up in downtown Yankton, South Dakota Friday Nov. 8, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Light and Shadow in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

10 Jun

The Mead Cultural Education Center, a former mental institution for women, now houses the Dakota Territorial Museum under the auspices of the Yankton County Historical Society in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always enjoy a good light and shadow display no matter how fleeting or seemingly impossible it might appear to be. The interplay and ying and yang of the two opposites can create interesting images and on especially sunny days, the possibilities are endless.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Mead Cultural Education Center is undergoing a restoration before competing exhibits of the Dakota Territorial Museum and other historical artifacts under the auspices of the Yankton County Historical Society in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The exterior of the Mead Cultural Education Center is graced with many columns that adorned architecture of the period. It formerly was a mental institution for women and now houses area historical content and the Dakota Territorial Museum under the auspices of the Yankton County Historical Society in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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