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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nature Day Camp Week 3 kids go intergalactic

Planet Earth was much too hot for the Nature Day Camp week three kids, so they left it to go Intergalactic.

It was five days of space related games and adventures. We also learned that the moon isn't made of green cheese but rather, cream-filled Oreos. So who knew? And the starry constellations? Marshmallows held together with toothpicks. But of course!

The week ended with Jedi Knight Boot Camp. The Force be with you.

- Stephen Lyn Bales. Additional photos by Sammi Stoklosa.  

The phases of the moon taught with Oreos.
The New Moon has no creamy filling. Well, now we know. 
Eating the Dark Side of the Moon.
(Don't tell Pink Floyd.)

Rare photo of Mars and the Sun taken inside the Visitor Center. 
Star kids
Right: The constellation Leo as interrupted with marshmallows and toothpicks.
Taurus rising, Pisces on the descent (Astronomer talk)
Virgo nearing zenith and the three star of Orion's Belt on camper's face

So who knew Saturn moved so fast
And guess who showed up?

Stormtroopers take over Ijams Board Meeting

Jedi Knights to the rescue

(Right) Princess Leia Augusta of Alderaan leads the young Jedis

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Missy Kane's '2015 Get on Local Trails' group visits Ijams

Missy Kane (Far right) with her hiking group at Ijams this morning
Ijams thanks Covenant Health fitness expert Missy Kane for bringing her 2015 Get on Local Trails hiking group to the nature center this morning for a guided nature walk.

We explored the natural history of the original Ijams' Homesite, plus the River Trail and Toll Creek. 

2015 Get on Local Trails is sponsored by Legacy Parks, Parkwest Medical Center and Thompson Survival Center.

Thank you also to April Tomlin Senior Services Manager with the Office of the County Mayor and to our friends at the Knoxville News-Sentinel and photographer Paul Efird.

For more information about the hiking program call (865) 541-4500.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Photo by News Sentinel: Paul Efird
Photo by News Sentinel: Paul Efird
Photo by News Sentinel: Paul Efird

Photo by News Sentinel: Paul Efird
Photo by News Sentinel: Paul Efird

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ijams Osprey Brunch featured good food and active birds

The second annual Ijams Osprey Brunch was held a week ago and the osprey did not disappoint. There were a lot of activity at the nest and around the area. 

The brunch is timed for late in the nesting when the nestlings are almost grown but yet to fledge. This year's clutch of three are almost as big as their parents. 

Historically, this fish-eating bird of prey only had a limited presence in the Tennessee Valley and the widespread usage of DDT curtailed even that. Today, with the banning of the pesticide in 1973, the species is making a robust comeback and expansion of their range. In modern times, osprey have only been in East Tennessee since the early 1980s. Now there are multiple nests up and down the chain of TVA lakes.  

Thanks to Kodie for the brunch and Jim McCormick for the osprey photos!

- Stephen Lyn Bales. 

Click the below links for a look back at other 
Birding & Brunch outings

Saturday, June 20, 2015

It's Saturday at Ijams! And a great day to visit

Cuteness times four!

It's Saturday at Ijams—the best day— and the hot weather of the past two weeks has taken the day off. There's a slight chance of a small passing shower but otherwise, it's a comfortable day to be here, either for a walk with your kids (Even if they are only along for the ride) or a free animal presentation on the plaza.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Dr. Louise brings out our new baby opossum to meet the public

Friday, June 19, 2015

TN Naturalists @ Ijams meet for mammal talk

The 2015 class of the TN Naturalist @ Ijams met last Saturday for their sixth in a series of 12 classes. This time it was a brief look at mammals.

Ijams senior naturalist Peg Beute and our own veterinarian Dr. Louise Conrad taught the workshop held half indoors and half out on the trails in search of mammals or their tracks.

This is the third year that Ijams is involved in this state-wide program. In addition to the 12 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. 

- Stephen Lyn Bales 

Click below links for a look back at the first five classes

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nature Day Camp Week 2: Finding the Super Hero within

Our Super Hero Nature Day Camp featured a week of specialized training so the campers could find the super hero skills they had within.

Each of the young campers had their own inner talents, we helped them find them. 

The camp was for kindergarten-aged and first graders. 

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Squeezing through tight fits. Easy!

Karate chopping! Got it!
Minimization? Watch out Antman!
Hula Hooping. Better than Wonder Woman!
Faster than the speed of light. No problem

Leaping tall buildings. Yep!

Invisibility! Oh yeah!
Wrestling giant insects. OK!
Mental telepathy. She's in your head!! 

And there were Super Villains!
Battling Super Villains with wet sponges on a hot day!

They're going down!

Bombs away!

And the villains are vanquished!
Martial arts training!

Meet our super heroes!