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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Froggy-ology 101 @ Ijams found plenty of fun treats

Ijams' Froggy-ology 101 class last Sunday was great fun, part wet, part dry, like any good amphibian workshop should be.

It was a cool day so the frogs were not calling. But we found frog eggs, tadpoles and more newts than you could shake a dip net at. And one of the sharp-eyed young frog-ologist found a single American toad, away from the water, doing what toads do in March, just trundling along.

Plus we had a lot of frog-themed snacks!

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Frog eggs

American toad

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

TN Naturalist @ Ijams class of 2016 met for first time

The 2016 class of the TN Naturalist @ Ijams met last Saturday for their first of a series of classes. 

This year there are 22 people taking the course which wraps up in November and covers a wide range of topics: trees, wildflowers, birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, geology, fungi and even one late night class in September called the "Nocturnal Naturalist."  

This is the fourth year that Ijams is 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 requirements are met, the students will become certified Tennessee Naturalists. 

Senior naturalist Peg Beute conducted the first class and afterwards the group went into the woods to look for early signs of spring. 

Welcome class of 2016!

- Photos by Jill Sublett

We heart nature.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ijams Quack-ology 101 looked at area ducks, even the hapless

Describing the toughness of mergansers, the instructor does his best Jon Gruden.

At our Quack-ology 101 class held recently, we looked at the many species of duck and other duck-like waterfowl that spend their winters in our area.

Like the other "ology 101" classes, we also had themed snacks and other playful activities. For Quack-ology it was a rubber duck race down Toll Creek with each species and gender being represented by a single yellow rubber duck that turned out to be hapless swimmers. 

The top four finishers, for those that even bothered to finish, were 1) Pied-billed grebe, 2) Mallard, 3) Green-winged teal, 4) Ruddy duck. All of them female. 

The next -ology class is Froggy-ology 101, Sunday, March 20, at 2 p.m. To register call 577-4717, ext. 110. Fee: Ijams members $5 and non-members $8.

And thank you Laura for helping as our duck clerk. 

- Stephen Lyn Bales 

A man looking for his ducks
Waiting for da ducks
A man who has found a few of the clueless quackers
And the winner

Thursday, March 3, 2016

First Weed Wrangle planned for this Saturday

Alien bush honeysuckle leafs out early depriving other native plants and wildflowers of sunlight.

This so no X-File. There are highly invasive alien plants quietly taking over Knoxville.

What can we do about it? We don't need Scully or Mulder for this one, although it would be nice to see them. Maybe they could come to Peg's breakfast.

Yesterday, Ijams grounds manager Ben Nanny was on WBIR's Live@5@4 to talk about the first annual Weed Wrangle Knoxville. Here is the info:

Saturday, March 5, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Weed Wrangle at Ijams

Join Ijams for the first ever Weed Wrangle Knoxville event. Volunteers will gather at the nature center and at least three other locations across Knoxville to remove invasive plants like privet, bush honeysuckle, kudzu and English ivy. To volunteer email Lauren Bird at lbird@ijams.org.

Click here to see Ben on Live@5@4.