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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ijams Mindfulness Walk walks through field of dreams

Thank you to all who attended our Sunrise & Sunflowers meandering and mute mindfulness walk early one July morning.

We slowly serpentined in and around and through the sunflower and corn fields silently at Forks of the River WMA near the nature center, contemplating the moment—no talking, no cell phones, no hassle, no Facebook—each stroller lost in their own thoughts in the early morning sun.

We were living in the moment.


Based on the Japanese stress reducing, blood pressure lowering therapy called shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing," mindfulness walks are short, slow, leisurely visits in nature that produce positive health benefits. NPR recently did a story about forest bathing, although since we were strolling through planted fields we should call it Sōgen-yoku, or meadow bathing.

With the stress of the modern world, mindfulness—being lost in the moment of the real world, not embedded in the electronic 24-hour news world—has become all the rage lately but we have been doing mindfulness walks for the past three years at the nature center.

Our next one will be Saturday morning, August 25 along Ten Mile Creek Greenway starting at Walker Springs Park. Wear old shoes because we may/will wade through calf deep water. To sign up, click: mindfulness.

And until then, go outside and sit under a tree quietly with absolutely NO electronics for one hour.

Mindfulness is all the rage across the country but we have been doing Mindfulness Walks at Ijams for three years.
Photo of our mellow strollers after we got back together as a group.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Campers visit old Sad Vlad and learn about trees

This past week, the summer Adventure Camp kids got to visit Ijams' senior resident shut-in, old Sad Vlad, the vegetarian vampire who lives in the Homesite basement. 

Time for breakfast. Is it dark yet?
Vlad is harmless to humans, he only drinks the blood of trees, a.k.a. sap, and the blood of fruit, a.k.a. juice. At night Vlad turns into a vampire fruit bat. This makes Vlad a frugivore not a carnivore.

Sad Vlad showed the young campers his leaf collection and gave them a copy of his nightly menu that has his favorite sipping trees: sugar maple, sweet gum, sassafras, tuliptree, wild cherry and red maple to name a few entrées. Or as he says, "Vlad eat ontrees.")

Ijams summer Adventure Camp specializes in outdoor adventure and imaginative learning; well, and it's fun too. (And, yes, Vlad knows Count von Count from Sesame Street.) 

Who will the kids meet this next week?

- Supplied photos by Christie Collins and Jack Gress.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sunrise Stretches and Smoothies welcomes in the weekend

What a great way to start the weekend! 

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Sunrise Stretches and Smoothies hosted by Smoothie Queen Christie.

If you missed it today, we'll have additional dates coming soon. And heck. You know the sun rises every morning.