- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Stephen Lyn Bales, editor

Autumn at Ijams

Autumn at Ijams
Visitor Center in the fall. Photo by S.L.B.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Peg is serving breakfast tomorrow at Ijams

If you are heading to Ijams on Saturday morning for a program, hike or simple walkabout, bring your appetite. Each week, Peg’s Kitchen features Ijams’ favorite smilin' cooker Peg Beute. The menu varies each month, but is always delicious so come hungry! The fee for breakfast is $7 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under). For $10, you can get all you can eat! 

Time: 9:30 to 11 a.m. No pre-registration is required.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

21st Annual Ijams Seed Swap held last Saturday

Ijams gardener Peg Beute (left) served as the Seed Swap host

February. And it's been cold. It’s been dreary. But, we all know, spring is on the way and the groundhog agreed yesterday. 

Traditionally, this is the time of the year to look forward to better weather and start planning your garden. Whether it’s a backyard plot or a container on your downtown balcony, just what are you going to plant this year?

There was a time when you didn’t buy seeds, you traded for them.

Ijams held its first Seed Swap in 1995. This past Saturday marked our 21st anniversary. Ijams members, friends and visitors came together and brought their favorite seeds, cuttings or bulbs to share with others. Plus there was a lot of gardening talk and hints of spring fever.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Junior Girl Scouts @ Ijams complete Animal Habitat workshop

Recently, the Junior Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians completed an Animal Habitat Badge workshop at Ijams. 

Senior naturalist Peg Beute served as the host on a guided trail hike and for the nest building activity inside.  

Suffice it to say, nests are not east to build. So, how do birds do it using only their feet and bills? 

For a list of upcoming Girl Scout events click: GS Events

Two of the finished nests

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ijams' Big Kid Coloring Club: a low stress way to feel creative

Sarah Brobst invites you to join our Big Kid Coloring Club

“In a 2012 survey sponsored by Adobe,” writes Jordan Gaines Lewis neuroscience Ph.D. student,  “Only one in four respondents reported feeling that they were ‘living up to their creative potential,’ while 52 percent of Americans surveyed described themselves as creative—more than any other nationality.

For most of us, our days are much too busy to feel creative in the evening. That’s where Ijams’ Big Kids Coloring Club can help. Adult coloring—an avocation that's sweeping the nation—is a way to relax, de-stress and gently flex your creative muscle. No big deal, you're just coloring. Whether you use crayons, colored pencils or markers, it's your choice. You can even get reckless and use all three.   

Lewis adds, “Our prefrontal cortex is responsible for coordinating thousands of decisions each day, from which socks we should wear to life-altering relationship and career choices. As an unconscious response to this so-called daily ‘decision fatigue,’ making a series of small, inconsequential decisions (teal or mahogany for this squiggly line?) may give us a refreshing sense of self-control after a long day of big, important ones.”

Ijams’ Big Kid Coloring Club has met three times, once a month. It’s a great way to unwind with other like-minded people. 

Ijams' own Sarah Brobst is the hostess. The next colorful club meeting will be Tuesday evening, February 9.

Watch our Facebook page for more details.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Art. The lesson of the day for Junior Girl Scouts @ Ijams

Educator Sammi Stoklosa discusses different painting movements

Last month, Ijams held a Drawing & Painting workshop for local Junior Girl Scouts. AmeriCorps educator and artist, Sammi Stoklosa served as the host.

Ijams will be hosting one workshop a month. For a listing of all local workshops go to: Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

- Stephen Lyn Bales. Additional photos by Sammi Stoklosa.

 Here's a look at the action...

Friday, January 8, 2016

December Owl-ology 101 class was a hootie hoot

Photo by Jason Dykes

Our second Owl-ology 101 class of the season was held just before the holiday break. It was a quick look at the owl species that can be found in East Tennessee, plus a little information about their life history. 

Local wildlife rehabilitator Lynne McCoy joined us again with owl pellets to dissect, some had wonderfully intact skulls, in addition to the numerous small tibias, fibulas, femurs and vertebrae that rodentia tend to have. She also brought the star-of-the-show Sugar, the rescued albino barred owl that is now under her care. 

The whimsical owl-themed munchies were prepared by our own naturalist/educator Sammi Stoklosa. (Who knew she could make an owl out of crudités.)

Photo by Rex McDaniel
The class proved to be so popular—56 people attended—that we scheduled a third for this Sunday, January 10. But now that one is completely booked, so we scheduled one more for Sunday, February 7 at 2 p.m. It will be the last Owl-ology 101 of the seasonFee: Ijams' members $5, non-members $8. To register call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110. 

In the future look for Woody-ology 101, Hawk-ology 101 and Frog-ology 101.

And don't forget Ijams' Quack-ology 101, our informative and fun look at local duck species scheduled for Sunday, January 31. (I'll bet we serve cheese and quackers.) Register for it at the same number as above.

- Stephen Lyn Bales. Photos by Rex McDaniel, Jason Dykes and moi. 

Here is a look at the fun we had:

Photo by Rex McDaniel

Photo by Rex McDaniel
Photo by Rex McDaniel
Photo by Rex McDaniel
Photo by Rex McDaniel
Photo by Rex McDaniel

Photo by Rex McDaniel
Photo by Rex McDaniel
Photo by Rex McDaniel
Food too pretty to eat, but darn, we ate it anyway. Thanks, Sammi!

And finally, outside for a walk in the woods. Photo by Rex McDaniel

Saturday, January 2, 2016

It's time to let go of that beloved Christmas tree...at Ijams

Breaking up is hard to do!

Yet, sooner or later, you have to part with that festive Christmas tree. It's been the centerpiece of your home all throughout the holidays. Your family has cherished it but you know that beloved member of the family will soon be a fire hazard.

What to do?

Bring it to Ijams (parking lot across from the Quarry Lake) to be recycled into nature. Your tree will thank you and you can always visit.

Here's a WBIR report. Click: Live@5@4

Monday, December 28, 2015

Junior Girl Scouts @ Ijams hold Household Elf Workshop

Recently, Ijams held a Household Elf Badge workshop for local Junior Girl Scouts. Senior naturalist, Peg Beute served as the host.

Requirements for earning the Household Elf Badge: Step 1: Save Energy. Step 2: Save Water. Step 3: Use Natural Products. Step 4: Reuse or Recycle. Step 5: Clear the Air. In other words, Living Clean & Green.

Ijams will be hosting one workshop a month. For a listing of all local workshops go to: Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Monday, December 21, 2015

Ijams announces the holiday Visitor Center hours

Don't be sad! It will turn your nose red. 
The grounds and all the trails at Ijams will be  
open every day—dawn to dusk—this holiday season.

However, the Visitor Center will be closed part of the time.
Here are the holiday hours.

December 21 & 22: 9 AM until 5 PM

December 23 - 25: Closed

December 26 - 30: 9 AM until 5 PM

December 31 & January 1: Closed

January 2 & 3: 9 AM until 5 PM

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Nocturnal hikers prepare a "Night Tree" for woodlandians

Do you love the outdoors at night? What is awake when we go to bed? Ijams recently had a night hike to find out. 

It all started inside with the story, Night Tree. After that the guests prepared delicious treats for our woodland friends, the group then found the perfect “night tree” to hang the munchables for the animals to find.

All in great fun. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

TN Naturalists @ Ijams class completes 2015 season

Peg, Jen and Dr. Louise with TN Naturalists at last meeting

The TN Naturalists @ Ijams class of 2015 wrapped up the birding portion of the curriculum and celebrated the year-end session with a potluck lunch. 

Class meets an eastern screech-owl.
Photos by Amy Arwood.
The TN Naturalist Program @ Ijams is a total of 40 hours of naturalist classes covering a wide range of topics plus 40 hours of volunteer work. All classes are taught by Ijams' staffers: Peg, Jen, Dr. Louise and Stephen Lyn. 

Congratulations to Mac, Joe, Debi, Lucy, Rich, Chris, Donna, Leslie, John, Amy, Terri and Lori for completing all requirements and graduating.

The TN Naturalists @ Ijams classes run March through November. We are already taking registration for 2016. For information call Peg at (865) 577-4717, ext. 114. (She needs your name, phone number and email address.)

And for a look back at some of this year's sessions, click the following links: