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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ijams Family Nature Club meets for aquatics workshop



The 2016 Family Nature Club met last Sunday for their class and outdoor workshop on Aquatic Life. The seven families and  senior naturalist (the one with the gray beard) explored the Plaza Pond and Toll Creek looking for frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, newts, crawdads (are females called craw-moms?), fish, aquatic spiders, water striders and insect larva such as dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies, stoneflies, to name a few.

Hellgrammite
I offered a shiny new dime to anyone that found my favorite, the charismatic dobsonfly larva, commonly called a hellgrammite, but none were caught.

It was a very hot afternoon, and the best place to be was in knee-deep or for some of the junior naturalists, chest-deep cold creek water, where we found tray fulls of aquatic life. 

"Family Nature Club at Ijams has been a tremendous experience for all of us," writes Sue Goodall, the founding force behind the club.  "For any family that has ever questioned whether their kids might have what has been described as 'nature deficit disorder,' Ijams has the solution.  Substantial programming, full of information for all ages, taught by experts.  It's a perfect program."

Her son Judah adds, "Being in nature just makes learning more fun."

"Ijams Family Nature Club is an extension of our great times we have at Ijams," emails Sara McNally. "My children have been attending programs for years here as well as we occasionally get a chance to come to some of the mini nature programs. The family club though allows us all to be together learning and exploring. It also is scheduled family time, which is nice in this busy world we live in! So far it has been a fantastic experience and I look forward to the rest of the weeks to come!"

Family Nature Club consists of seven classes each covering a different nature topic plus a season ending canoe trip on the river. The classes are either Saturday or Sunday afternoons for parents or grandparents with their junior naturalist partners.  For information or to register for the 2017 edition, call Lauren at (865) 577-4717, ext. 135. 

And thanks to the junior naturalists (B.K.U.), the Best Kids in the Universe, for making the day so memorable. You know who you are.

For a look at our first meeting of the year, click: Birds. 

And our April meeting was also covered by the media, click: News-Sentinel

- Stephen Lyn Bales. Photos by Linda Knott and Sara McNally.


Kids being kids, exploring nature: newts, bugs and polliwogs





Damselfly and dragonfly nymphs











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