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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pre-Thanksgiving crafters get creative with gourds

Just in time for the holiday season, local artisan Jackie Harbin hosted a workshop at Ijams on the art of transforming a gourd into a decorative and useful household item for the Thanksgiving table. Filled with biscuits, rolls or any other holiday treat, they make perfect centerpieces. Jackie's workshop was just one of the Creative Series of classes taught at Ijams. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff of Ijams

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Visitor Center (and gift shop) will be closed today but reopen Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so stop by and say "Hello." And remember, at Ijams Fridays are never black.

The grounds and all the trails are open every day, 365 days a year! We are a great place to come and walk off your big meal of thanks. 

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ijams Hiking Club explores new Wood property

Members of the Ijams Hiking Club explored one of the new trails being built on the Wood Property. The new parcel will become part of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness South Loop. It is currently under the watchful eye of the Legacy Parks Foundation (LPF) and although it's not yet open to the public, we were given permission to go for a test drive (well, actually a test walk).

Here's a description from the LPF website: The Wood Property is a new "acquisition of 100 acres, generously donated by the Wood family to Legacy Parks, will provide a key connection from the Urban Wilderness South Loop Trail System to nearby neighborhoods and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. The plans for the property call for a variety of trails and features including a one-mile introductory mountain bike trail for riders of all ages, a skills/play area, three-and-a-half miles of mixed-use trails with two overlooks and three creek-crossing structures."

The Ijams Hiking Club meets once a month to explore one of the Urban Wilderness Trails.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Ijams volunteer Eric Johnson led the way
And away went.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

News Sentinel features Ijams Waggin' Walk story

Ijams Waggin' Walk
Saturday, November 21, 9 a.m.

(All Ages: Both human and dog) Grab your favorite four-legged friend and join Ijams’ own veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad, as she walks her own canine companions. She’ll review good doggy etiquette at the park and help owners understand the special safety concerns for dogs in nature. The fee for this program is $5 for non-members and FREE for members. Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

Louise's last walk was featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel. Here's a link: Along the Waggin' Trail

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ijams welcomed Scout Packs 630, 110 for guided hike

Last Sunday afternoon Ijams hosted Boy Scout Packs 630 (Cedar Bluff) and 110 (Sevierville) on a nature hike. The scouts were working on the requirements for the Bear CORE Adventure: "Fur, Feathers and Ferns." For this adventure, the scouts learn about wildlife and plants in their area, composting and endangered species. For more details click: ScouterMom.

Ijams volunteer Mac Post led the two groups to the Garden Demonstration Site, up and over Tower Trail and then along the River Trail back to the Visitor Center to complete the worksheet.

Ijams has been hosting such scouting activities—both girl and boy scouts—for over 90 years.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Scouts work their way down the new Ben Nanny Stone Staircase of Awesomeness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ijams Creature Features featured in online article

Ijams educator Sammi Stoklosa with eastern screech-owl

 Stop by the Visitor Center any weekend for a free animal presentation: Saturdays at 10 a.m., 2 and 3 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 2 p.m. 

Ijams Creature Features have become very popular. Sometimes it's a red-tailed hawk or vulture, sometimes a snake or turtle and sometimes it's an adorable opossum, you never know, it may even been a tarantula.  All have interesting stories. 

UT reporter Shelby Kast with
Pantherophis alleghaniensis
Last Sunday, reporter Shelby Kast with the Tennessee Journalist—the official news website of the University of Tennessee's School of Journalism and Electronic Mediastopped by to investigate. She got to meet an albino black rat snake. Here is her report: TN Journalist.

- Stephen Lyn Bales 

Ijams veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad, with our resident turkey vulture

Saturday, November 7, 2015

TN Naturalists @ Ijams become rockhounds for a day

TN Naturalist class visit the Keyhole at Ross Marble Quarry on the east side of Ijams.

The TN Naturalists @ Ijams class of 2015 got down to the bedrock of the Ridge and Valley, our geologic province.

After covering the different geologic provinces of the state—from the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the Mississippi River alluvial valley in the west—and the basics of our own geologic province indoors, the class ventured outdoors. We walked from the west end of Ijams to the east, covering four different rock formations along the way (all sedimentary, all Ordovican in origin). The four formations of exposed bedrock at Ijams are Ottosee (shale), Chapman Ridge (sandstone), Holston (crystalline limestone) and Lenior (silty limestone). 

The last class of 2015 is in two weeks: Saturday, November 21. We'll cover the second half of the birding curriculum. And then have lunch. 

The TN Naturalist Program @ Ijams is 40 hours of naturalist classes covering a wide range of topics plus 40 hours of volunteer work.  

The classes begin in March and wrap up in November. We are already taking registration for 2016. To register call Peg at (865) 577-4717, ext. 114. (She needs your name, phone number and email address.)

- Stephen Lyn Bales.

Chunk of shale, part of the Ottosee Formation
Chapman Ridge formation originally deposited roughly 450 million years ago.

Cave on boardwalk illustrates karst topography of caves and sinkholes

The geologic fold and faulting occurred roughly 250 million years ago

Chunk of crystalline limestone, part of the Holston Formation

Silty, crumbly limestone from the Lenior Formation
She took a selfie! Our youngest TN Naturalist student ever:
the go-anywhere, do-anything Joe Fairchild poses with teacher. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ijams acquires new, but injured, barred owl

Beautiful eyes! But actually the new educational owl only has partial vision in its left one. 
Dr. Louise Conrad

The Ijams education department recently took in a non-rehabilitatable barred owl.

A short time ago, the young male was brought to UT Veterinary Teaching Hospital with injuries to both eyes. They were able to save the actual eyes but the poor bird is blind in one and only has partial vision in the other.

Luckily, Ijams had an empty enclosure and our part time veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad worked out his transfer to our care. Without that, it might have been euthanized. 

In time, he'll make an excellent education animal, doing programs for hundreds of people and students. 

Dr. Louise is in charge of the health and well being of all the animals we routinely use in our programs.

To donate money for the care of the young barred owl or any of our animals call Jennifer: (865) 577-4717. 

- Stephen Lyn Bales