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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

TN Naturalists@Ijams get a little buggy



The TN Naturalists@Ijams class of 2017 held five hours of outdoor workshops in late August. The first focused on invertebrates, primarily arthropods: insects, spiders and their ilk. 

The class managed to catch examples from all eight of the common insect orders, plus ones from the biological classes of Arachnids (spiders and harvestmen), Diplopoda (millipedes), Chilopoda (centipedes) and land-based Crustacean, i.e. Isopods or roly-polies.

Ijams gives adults permission to be 10-year-olds playing in the creek again. Ijams naturalists Christie and Stephen Lyn hosted the workshops.

TN Naturalists@Ijams is a series of 12 classes taught from March to November. Next up for the group will be fungi in September.

For information about the class of 2018 call Lauren, 577-4717, ext. 135.

- All photos by class member and commercial photographer Kristy Keel-Blackmon





















Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ijams Wonder of Hummingbird Festival was a humdinger



Imagine getting to hold a hummingbird in your hand and letting it fly away. Some people—and it is usually the youngest one standing near the banding table—actually got to do that here at the nature center.

The Ijams Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival was held last week. The perfect weather conditions helped the attendance but the draw is always the chance to see ruby-throated hummingbirds banded and released.

Mark Armstrong is a Master Bird Bander and licensed to catch and attach the tiny numbered leg bands to the hummers. They are then promptly released to continue their migration to Central America. 

This is the 7th year of the festival originally created by Billie Cantwell. At the time she was the President of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithology Society (KTOS). The local chapter was formed by H.P. Ijams in January 1924 and he served as its first president. For years the club met here at the Ijams family home. 

Additionally, the festival features speakers on a range of nature topics, kids activities and venders selling plants, crafts and food.

Ijams: Connecting people to nature since 1923.

- Photos by Ijams volunteer Kristy Keel-Blackmon 






Mark Armstrong and his banding partner/wife Jane Kading 



Patty Ford with hummingbird, Tremont's Tiffany Beachy watches


The Zoo Knoxville's Steve McGaffin hands a hummingbird to be released to a young girl


Ijams vet Dr. Louise Conrad spoke about Birding Basics 


Ijams Ashlind Bray shows one of our adopted snakes


Chris Mahoney spoke about hummingbird-loving plants


Ijams naturalist Christie Collins spoke about monarch butterfly loving plants






  

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ijams Homeschool Academy begins new year in the creek



Ijams Homeschool Academy kicked off its 2017-18 school year last Friday. 

In all it is eight classes, each on a natural science topic including ornithology (birds), herpitology (amphibians and reptiles), entomology  (insects and other invertebrates), dendrenology (trees), mammalogy (mammals) and in the case of our first class, aquatic life.

The junior naturalists are divided into three age groups. Ashlind hosts the 5-year-olds and younger, Christie hosts the 9-year-olds and older and Stephen Lyn hosts what he calls the "middles"—the 6, 7 and 8-year-olds.

The older kids got to wade Toll Creek searching for crawdads, fish and aquatic insects. Exploring the depths of a stream can be a little scary but it is also empowering to conquer your fears.

Ijams had been connecting children to nature since the summer of 1923.

Next month, we will search for insects.













Sunday, August 20, 2017

TN Naturalists@Ijams wade Toll Creek looking for aquatic life


The TN Naturalists@Ijams class of 2017 held five hours of outdoor workshops yesterday. The first focused on invertebrates, primarily arthropods: insects, spiders and their ilk. 

After a break for lunch, we turned to aquatic life. First dip-netting at a pond on the original Ijams Homesite then wading a length of Toll Creek looking for, well, anything alive.

Some of the interesting finds of the day were a leech, crane fly larvae, caddisfly larva, soldier fly larva, dragonfly larvae, crawdads, newt nymphs, tadpoles and everyone's favorite damselfly--the ebony jewelwing. The most common fish on Toll Creek seemed to be blacknose dace.

Ijams gives adults permission to be 10-year-olds playing in the creek again. Ijams naturalists Christie and Stephen Lyn hosted the workshops.

TN Naturalists@Ijams is a series of 12 classes taught from March to November. Next up for the group will be fungi in September.

Registration for the class of 2018 will begin soon.



Blacknose dace


Ebony jewelwing damselfly