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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day from the folks at Ijams


Naturally from the Heart at Ijams.

Last Saturday we celebrated the holiday early. And our new naturalist/educator Christie Collins helped spread the love. She held a Valentine card making workshop using materials from Mother Nature. 

Everyone took a short hike to collect special natural items before creating handmade, one-of-a-kind greeting cards. It was open to all ages and all supplies were be provided.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Ijams bluebird box workshop creates new homes for birds



We are rapidly approaching the end of February and soon thereafter the arrival of verdant spring.

Male eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) will be claiming their territories and chortling to attract female partners. If their songs are enticing, their territories bountiful and their plumage pleasing, the hopeful males will succeed. They like to nest in open areas, large yards, fields and meadows where they hawk for insects, their principal food source.

Thanks to all who came to our Bluebird Box Workshop last Saturday and built a nest box of their very own. In all, 17 pairs of eastern bluebirds will find a cheery new knotty-pine home to raise a family or two this year.

Ijams has been getting people in touch with nature since the 1920s.

- Stephen Lyn Bales







Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Frogs, tadpoles, newts. The TN Naturalists @ Ijams found plenty




The ponds were full in early May. They overflowed with life. And our 2016 class of the TN Naturalist @ Ijams learned and searched for amphibians—frogs, toads, salamanders and newts—and they were not hard to find.

2016 was the fourth year that Ijams has been involved in this state-wide program. In addition to the 40 hours of classes, students must put in 40 hours of volunteer work at Ijams or elsewhere. After all the classes and volunteer requirements are met, the students become certified Tennessee Naturalists. 

We are currently enrolling the TN Naturalists @ Ijams class for 2017. It's open to any adult over the age of 18. For information call, Lauren at (865) 577-4717, ext. 135.

Our first 2016 meeting was in March, click: Introduction.

All photos by Rex McDaniel 






Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reptiles? The TN Naturalists @ Ijams class found 'em



The 2016 class of the TN Naturalist @ Ijams met last May for their fourth in a series of 13 classes.

They learned about local Reptiles. Ijams own Dr. Louise Conrad hosted the class outing and several turtles and one lone water snake were found


2016 was the fourth year that Ijams has been involved in this state-wide program. In addition to the 40 hours of classes, students must put in 40 hours of volunteer work at Ijams or elsewhere. After all the classes and volunteer requirements are met, the students become certified Tennessee Naturalists. 

We are currently enrolling the TN Naturalists @ Ijams class for 2017. It's open to any adult over the age of 18. For information call, Lauren at (865) 577-4717, ext. 135.

Our first meeting in March, click: Introduction.

All photos by Rex McDaniel 






What about me? I maintain a constant body temperature. No reptile can do that!
 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cabin fever? It's a good day for a visit.



It's a raw day: cold rain, sleet, a bit of snow. Nature has turned her chilly shoulder to us not revealing her rather cloak-and-dagger intent.

But you got cabin fever and what else are you going to do? Stop by for a visit. Charlie and I are both here and there's a hermit thrushWhitman's bird with the "song of the bleeding throat"—foraging on the ground by the staff entrance. So what more encouragement do you need?

And we will be showing an animal or two inside.

- Stephen Lyn

Friday, January 27, 2017

Whooooo-dat? Ijams is home to owls and owl-ologists alike

StayPuff provided the owl pellets!


Thank you to all who came to our Owl-ology 101 class at Ijams last Sunday. We learned all about the five owl species that call East Tennessee home plus one that occasionally comes in winter, enjoyed some owl-licious snacks made by staff and guests and dissected owl pellets provided by StayPuff our adopted barred owl. And yes, some mouse skulls were found!

Barred owls are the most common species found at Ijams, generally in the wetland down slope from the Visitor Center. Their preferred habitat is woods near water. 

Young naturalists have been coming here to learn about the natural world since the 1920s. 









Sunday, January 22, 2017

Local Girl Scouts earn drawing badges at Ijams



A group of local young Girl Scouts finished the requirements for their Drawing badge at Ijams yesterday. We didn't let the rain interfere with our activities.

Ijams has been hosting local Girl Scouts for over 90 years, since the days of H.P. and Alice Ijams and their daughters: Elizabeth, Jo, Mary and Martha. All four were Girl Scouts.










Monday, January 9, 2017

TN Naturalists @ Ijams April class covered Tennessee trees


American beech (Fagus grandifolia)


It's time for some housekeeping. We need to catch up on some of the fun things we did in 2016, but didn't have time to report. You know—busy, busy, busy. Nature has its pulses and winter is a time to rest and reflect.
 
The 2016 class of the TN Naturalist @ Ijams met in April for their third in a series of 13 classes.

With the trees leafing out, and the lush green canopy returning to the nature center it was a good time to discuss Tennessee trees including the ever present American beech seen above.


We walked the Ijams Arboretum Trail in search of the 30-plus species found along the way. 

This was the fourth year that Ijams has been involved in this state-wide program. In addition to the 40 hours of classes, students must put in 40 hours of volunteer work at Ijams or elsewhere. After all the classes and volunteer requirements are met, the students become certified Tennessee Naturalists. 

Our first meeting in March, click: Introduction.

All photos by Rex McDaniel



The pawpaws were blooming