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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quarry has ample parking for Urban Wilderness hikers

A new trailhead kiosk for the South Loop on Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness has been constructed at Mead's Quarry. 

The 11.5-mile loop that connects Ijams with Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, William Hastie Natural Area and Marie Myers Park can be accessed at many points, but the Ijams' Quarry site is one of the most popular because it has ample parking. 

South Loop of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness network of trails.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Rain, rain, go away" chant Ijams' aquatic mammals

Beaver dam once located at Forks of the River WMA east of Ijams in early January.

The heavy rainfall the second half of January has washed away the beaver dams at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area and on Toll Creek the eastern most boundary of Ijams Nature Center.

It's too early to tell if the enterprising mammals will return and build again but it generally takes a lot to deter them.

Keep your fingers crossed. 

- Text and photo by Stephen Lyn Bales.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ijams' educators speak at the House & Garden Show

Join us at the Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show at the Knoxville Convention Center:

Friday, February 15, 11 a.m. 
Urban Gardening: No Space too Small to Grow
Want to have a garden but have limited space? So, you don't have an acre for a garden, well, guess what? You don't need it. Join Ijams green thumb Peg Beute at the Home & Garden Show for this program filled with creative ideas for gardening with minimal space. How to take advantage of your porch, railing, condo space or apartment window and grow some herbs, veggies or flowering beauties year around! No registration necessary.

Saturday, February 16, 4 p.m.   
20 Common (But Interesting) Backyard Birds 
There may be many more birds in your backyard than you realize. Join Ijams naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales at the Home & Garden Show for a look at 20 common species, where to look them, how to ID them, attract them and provide for their basic needs. No registration necessary.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Shiitake Happens! Logs inoculated at Ijams this morning

Inoculation: to introduce microorganisms into surroundings suited to their growth, as a culture medium. In the case of shiitake mushrooms, it can be a log of your choosing.

Thanks for the grand turnout for our mushroom log inoculation workshop with Bob Hess from Everything Mushrooms! 

Participants in the Ijams workshop learned the fine art of mushroom inoculation and left with a log rife with possibilities. 

- Stephen Lyn Bales. Photos by Rita Cochran. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cold and snow doesn't deter Ijams crane watchers

Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of day—dare I say a very cold, cold day—deterred us from the completion of our appointed rounds.

Although several canceled because of the weather, a hardy group of well-bundled made the trip to Hiwassee to see the cranes. Oodles of sandhills were there but we sought the rare snow white whooping crane and after 30 or 40 minutes of teeth-chattering cold, we were rewarded with an excellent view of America's tallest and one of its most endangered birds.

Additionally, after a quick stop at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Overlook we got a wonderful view of a sub-adult bald eagle. 

What more could we have wanted? Except perhaps a pot-bellied stove.

Many thanks to those that ventured out on such a dreary day.

- Bird species seen on the cold outing: 1) Sandhill crane 2) Whooping crane 3) Mallard 4) Hooded Merganser 5) Great blue heron 6) Eastern bluebird 7) Song sparrow 8) Ring-billed gull 9) Double-creasted cormorant 10) Red-tailed hawk 11) Turkey vulture 12) Black vulture 13) American kestrel 14) Bald eagle

- Story by Stephen Lyn Bales. Photos by Victoria Deren and Laura Twilley.