Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mc Kennan Park: Part 1

The Four Pillars, photo taken in the Fall of 2002

Boasting 20 acres of tranquil beauty in the heart of Sioux Falls is Mc Kennan Park. Nestled in this lush park setting are horse shoe pits; picnic tables; tennis courts; flower gardens a wading pool and even an outdoor theater.
While running a ton of last minute errands on Tuesday in preparation for my trip Wednesday morning I drove past this fabulous park and decided the rest of my errands could wait. With so much hectic activity a peaceful walk in the park was just what I needed.
The outdoor theater  is home to many different types of performances during the summer months. Free stage productions, musical performances and even movies are shown at the theater. The theater sits on the southern end of the park among rolling green lawns with paths that wind through the shade of the beautiful trees.

Near the center of the park just beyond the wading pool the paths wind through artfully styled flower gardens. In addition to the many picnic tables that can be found throughout the park there are many places such as this where a person can sit in the shade of the trees and soak up the soothing aura of the park.
To the west of the main flower gardens sits this intimate sunken courtyard. Just beyond the small rock wall you see at the back of this photo sits a smaller courtyard with several benches surrounded by bright cheerful flowers. By mid July the center piece of this courtyard will be overflowing with brightly colored flowers.
This miniature bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty stands at the head of the steps overlooking the sunken courtyard. Another beautiful shot of this statue can be seen here.
To end this mini tour of Mc Kennan park we go back to the southwest corner of the park not far from the outdoor theater. Where this statue titled 'The Potato Man' can be seen. I call this a mini tour as there really is so much more to see. Throughout the park you will find plaques and statues all paying tribute to different historical people or groups. 'The Potato Man' stands vigil over engraved cobble stones honoring Sioux Falls early Irish immigrants. If you click on the photo below you will be able to view some of the inscriptions on the stones.

I hope you have enjoyed this mini tour as much as I enjoyed stopping to relax and take these photographs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sacred Buffalo

Located on the west side of our city is Sherman Park with it's five ancient Indian burial mounds. The history of this park is a very rich one dating back to the early years of Sioux Falls. Yet the history of the land the park sits on goes back much further with bones from the burial mounds dating back as far as 500 B.C.

At the entrance to this park sits this fantastic rock wall. The scene built into the wall shows an Indian on horseback with a spear in his hand chasing five buffalo.

I have seen many murals, some painted some constructed out of mosaic tiles but never before have I seen such a work of art as this. The vision, time and detail that went into creating this beautiful wall leaves me in awe.
close up of the Indian

close detail of one of the five buffalo
With so many big beautiful parks in our city I believe this small but beautiful and historically rich park is often overlooked.
Linking up with:

Unknown Mami

Enjoy visiting far off destinations? Hop over to Sundays in My City to enjoy many lovely cities.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Automania 2011

Every year Sioux Falls is home to one of the Midwest's largest auto shows. Classic cars, Imports, hot rods and muscle cars line historic down town for 10 to 20 blocks. In addition to the fantastic auto's there are live bands, food and memorabilia vendors and lots of people enjoying the fun evening. Here are just a few photos from this years Automania.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Caring For the Whole Person

Here in Sioux Falls we are very fortunate to have a number of really fine medical facilities. Among them is the Avera Cancer Institute where they 'believe that patients deserve comprehensive care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit'. I love the open airy design of their facility and how they have incorporated art into the design as well as into the healing process. In the lobby they have a digital art wall where they have themed digital art exhibits. The current exhibit is entitled "The Art of Healing" and you can either view the show in person at the Avera Cancer Institute's Prairie Center or on line.

I really love the prairie grass design on the windows of this building. Every time I drive past I just want to pull over and gaze at the beauty. Between the architecture and the landscaping the exterior view of this facility creates a calm atmosphere to walk or sit and reflect. I thankfully have had no dealings with the medical staff but have heard only praise for them in the community. I will be heading back to the center to photograph the landscaping so you can see how beautiful it is.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Abraham Lincoln

This post is especially for unknown Mami and Belly B, who both like the photos of the Abraham Lincoln statue in my Sunday In My City: Shopping post. I think it is really cool that the bench is actually part of the statue, or maybe it is the statue is part of the bench. Either way it is a terrific work of art.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday In My City: Shopping

Like in most cities our shopping centers draw a lot of traffic on the weekend. Deciding it was time to step outside my comfort zone and try to photograph something a bit different, my daughter and I headed to one of the smaller shopping centers. As soon as we got parked I was drawn to the multicolored umbrella's on Champs' patio. There were only a few patrons that braved the heat of the day to have their lunch on the patio.

 After snapping the first shot I decided I wanted to get some from a different angle and of course that meant crawling in the bushes. Needless to say my daughter was pleading with me to hurry up and get my shot and get out of the bushes because I looked like some sort of peeper. So I quickly took this last shot although I didn't get the focus the way I wanted it.
With those taken we headed to Scheel's. Alright I know I said that this time I was going to look for things outside my usual style but how could I resist Abraham Lincoln!
After snapping a few shots of Lincoln including this one
it was time to get back to looking for other things to photograph. Once inside Sheels' I was immediately drawn to these vivid colored umbrellas.
 Ok, so maybe that isn't far enough outside my norm even if it is an indoor shot. So I turned my camera to the interior displays and shoppers. 
After taking a few shots from below we hopped on the escalator and took a few from above.
Ooops, I know this wasn't suppose to be a nature shoot but hey they were just calling to me!
 Maybe this is better??? Although I really am not sure about any of these, as they are definitely not something I would usually think to photograph.
We were on our way out when a display caught my eye as perfect for my weekend reflection shot. 
If you like reflection shots it can be seen here.
Playing along with:

Unknown Mami

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ever Changing Skies

There is a saying in the Midwest that if you don't like the weather stick around it is sure to change in a few minutes. That is definitely the case here in Sioux Falls. The rapidly changing weather that passes through creates breathtaking photo opportunities for people like me that just have a thing for stormy sky photography. Just yesterday we had a storm pass through so quickly I almost wasn't able to get my camera and car keys fast enough.

When I left my house the roads were dry and the clouds ominous. By the time I had gone ten blocks the roads were soaked as if it had just stopped raining. Another ten or so blocks and I decided I better pull over and snap a few shots before the terrific cloud formation had sailed away on the wind.

The clouds were moving so fast I knew I had already missed the shot I was hoping for, but hopped back in the car and headed for the observation tower at Falls Park to see if just maybe I still had a chance at some awesome cloud formation shots.

Although it was only about a mile away, by the time I got to the tower the clouds had moved off to the north east of the falls so I wasn't able to get the exact shot I was hopping for. Even so I am very happy with the shots I did get.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Japanese Gardens

Another one of my favorite spots to spend a relaxing afternoon is the Japanese Gardens. This beautiful garden is situated on the banks of Covell Lake in central Sioux Falls.

 These last two shots were taken a during late fall a few years back.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pettigrew Museum & Home

This beautiful home was built in the late 1800's and was home to South Dakota's first Senator. Senator Pettigrew purchased the home in 1911 and added the Museum at the back of the home in 1925. The use of quartzite was very popular and can be seen in many of the homes and building built during the same time period. The exterior of the back portion is quite unique. I am not a rock person so am unsure if what almost looks like polished petrified wood is actual a cut and polished quartzite or if it is in fact polished petrified wood. These unusual oval and round sections are placed among the more typical jagged quartzite blocks. This is something I will be investigating this coming week. 

Here is a closer look at the back side of the building showing the section to which I am referring. It is in this unusual stone that I photographed the reflection of the Museum sign for the Weekend Reflections shot. This shot also shows a reflection of the trees.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tut Hill Gardens

Sioux Falls has many beautiful parks, and some of the flower gardens are a work of art in themselves. This Garden is at Tut Hill and is a favorite spot for weddings and portrait photo sessions by many of the local photographers.