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

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Caden celebrates his 5th birthday at Ijams

A child's birthday party at Ijams is a wild affair. There can be butterflies or turtles or snakes or hawks. You never know.

Recently, Caden celebrated his fifth birthday with a Reptile & Amphibian themed party at the nature center which included a dip-net activity at the Plaza Pond.

"Caden absolutely LOVED having his party at Ijams!" E-mailed his mother Kylea. She sent along some photos to share.

To schedule a child's birthday party at Ijams call Kara Remington at 577-4717, ext. 115.

- Story by Stephen Lyn Bales, photos by Caden's mom Kylea.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ijams Quarry Lake canoeists find a hummer of a nest

Ijams Quarry Lake

There's really nothing like an early morning canoe float on Ijams Quarry Lake before the heat of summer settles into the valley.

This morning we spent about two placid hours, carefree and tranquil. 

Our group searched the water and shorelines for natural minutiae, trifling details that hold the world together, managing to locate two prizes: empty nests: one a hard to find ruby-throated hummingbird tiny condo—the size of a golf ball—made of spun-spidersilk and lichen. (Peg Beute and the day campers actually found it last week, so I knew where to look.)

For a close up very of the nest go to: nest.

A peaceful time was had by all.

The next guided canoe trip is Friday evening, August 3.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Lisa and Lynne point to hummingbird nest

Ruby-throated hummingbird nest

Eastern phoebe nest
We also saw a couple of black vultures

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chinese exchange students visit Ijams for an afternoon

Chinese exchange students with Ijams educator Sabrina DeVault

Yesterday, Ijams was visited by a group of foreign exchange students from Chéngdé, a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, People's Republic of China, situated northeast of Beijing.

The group of high school aged students were given a tour of the Visitor Center, a guided walk on the River Trail and a visit by the captive red-tailed hawk.

Their two-week stay in East Tennessee is hosted by Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church.

- Text and photo by Stephen Lyn Bales

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ijams hosts KTOS Hummingbird Festival: July 29

Hummingbird Fest

They are small, active and everyone's favorite bird to watch in late July.

Join members of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society (KTOS: a local club that H.P. Ijams help establish in 1924) at the nature center for the second annual Hummingbird Festival, Sunday, July 29: 1 to 5 p.m.

There will be a hummingbird banding demonstration by licensed bander Mark Armstrong, talks by hummingbird experts Bob and Martha Sargent about the tiny birds' life history, and Chris Mahoney about favored backyard plants that hummers love.

Free admission to the vendor fair (arts, crafts, food, plants) and bargain barn (new or gently used bird and nature related items); $5 admission to the banding demonstration and indoor talks.

Children under six free. All proceeds go to KTOS and the Ijams education department.

Sargent Book

Sponsored by KTOS, Wild Birds Unlimited and Ijams Nature Center. 

To register call 577-4717, ext. 119.

- Stephen Lyn Bales, senior naturalist


Thursday, July 5, 2012

What does a chocolate spider taste like?

Birthday boy Gabe recently had an Insect and Spider themed birthday party at Ijams.

The educational program offered visits by a tarantula, black widow spider and a heaping handful of beetles, plus a sweep-net outing in the meadow just off the Universal Trail.

Afterwords, the party quests were treated to a spider birthday cake, complete with spiderling cupcakes, made by Gabe's grandmother Janelle.

Happy Birthday Gabe, welcome to the world of nine-year-olds.

For information about a birthday party at Ijams, call Kara: 577-4717, ext.115.

- Text and photos by Stephen Lyn Bales

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Ijams Where the Wild Things Are (Grades K-2) Summer Day Camp wrapped up last week with a Wild Rumpus through the plaza and meadow, ending at Jo's Grove, the nature playscape for kids. 

Led by educators Sabrina DeVault and Jen Knight, it was wild. It was raucous. It was as colorful as the Mardi Gras. 

- Our rumpus was a tribute to Maurice Sendak, writer and illustrator of children's books, who passed away last month.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ijams is the place to find insects and programs about them

July is here and the winged insects are all around the park.

Joshua Schutte has been coming to Ijams and taking photos every season since 2008. Here's a few he took on a recent visit. Hope you enjoy them.

Thanks, Joshua

And don't forget these programs:

Friday, July 13, 8 pm
Join us for a chance to catch bugs and show off their charms with some of Ijams own bug-enthusiasts! We'll be going out into the park to buggy stations to catch some critters and to bring 'em back alive to the visitor center for our Bug Beauty and Less-than-Beauty Contests. Bring a plastic container with a lid for each bug you want to put on display. No glass containers please. This program is $5 for members and $8 for non-members. Please call 577-4717, ext. 110 to register. Leaders: Peg Beute and Kara Remington

Saturday, July 21, 3 pm
FAMILY PROGRAM: Raising Butterflies with Lois
Join local butterfly expert Lois English for a program and demonstration on how to raise butterflies like swallowtails to release into your yard. Highly educational. $5 for members, $8 for non-members. To register, call 577-47617, ext. 110.