Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ijam's Nature Center Holiday Party

Today was the annual Holiday Party at Ijams Nature Center. This little gem of a nature park is located on Island Home, in south Knoxville.
We've gone with friends for at least the last five years. My younger son and I always make a boxwood wreath to hang outside for the birds. There are snacks and crafts for kids - candles, pine cone bird feeders, and the like.
First established in 1910 by Harry and Alice Ijams as a nature center and wildlife sanctuary, the park has expanded to include 160 acres of walking trails. It's free to the public and open year-round.
The hike we took wound its way down to the lake.
Even during the cold gray of winter, you are surrounded by beauty.
We found these amazing frost flowers, which the naturalist said were also called ice ribbons. These delicate ice formations occur when freezing temperatures split plant stems and water is extruded into curling shapes. Although well above freezing when we found them, they resisted melting and shone in the sunlight.


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