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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ijams rocked and rolled in February for homeschoolers

February was geology month at the nature center for the Ed-Ventures@Ijams home-schooled students. 

Ijams rocked! And even rolled a bit.  

We held three sessions, learning the difference between rocks and minerals, the three basic kinds of rocks and the lay of the land in the Tennessee Valley indoors, then took a long outdoor adventure hike with the students and their parents/homeroom teachers. Ijams is a wonderful place to study geology because we have such dramatic topography. We looked for evidence of the three rock formations that serve as the nature center's bedrock: shale, sandstone and limestone—sedimentary rocks all.

Dictionary: "Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of that material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water."

Ijams has been connecting children with nature since the 1920s. Old school? Yep. And we are proud of it! 

Supplied photos by teacher/moms Hope Turner and Linda Knott.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day from the folks at Ijams

Naturally from the Heart at Ijams.

Last Saturday we celebrated the holiday early. And our new naturalist/educator Christie Collins helped spread the love. She held a Valentine card making workshop using materials from Mother Nature. 

Everyone took a short hike to collect special natural items before creating handmade, one-of-a-kind greeting cards. It was open to all ages and all supplies were be provided.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ijams bluebird box workshop creates new homes for birds

We are rapidly approaching the end of February and soon thereafter the arrival of verdant spring.

Male eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) will be claiming their territories and chortling to attract female partners. If their songs are enticing, their territories bountiful and their plumage pleasing, the hopeful males will succeed. They like to nest in open areas, large yards, fields and meadows where they hawk for insects, their principal food source.

Thanks to all who came to our Bluebird Box Workshop last Saturday and built a nest box of their very own. In all, 17 pairs of eastern bluebirds will find a cheery new knotty-pine home to raise a family or two this year.

Ijams has been getting people in touch with nature since the 1920s.

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Frogs, tadpoles, newts. The TN Naturalists @ Ijams found plenty

The ponds were full in early May. They overflowed with life. And our 2016 class of the TN Naturalist @ Ijams learned and searched for amphibians—frogs, toads, salamanders and newts—and they were not hard to find.

2016 was the fourth year that Ijams has been 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 classes and volunteer requirements are met, the students become certified Tennessee Naturalists. 

We are currently enrolling the TN Naturalists @ Ijams class for 2017. It's open to any adult over the age of 18. For information call, Lauren at (865) 577-4717, ext. 135.

Our first 2016 meeting was in March, click: Introduction.

All photos by Rex McDaniel