Monday, January 24, 2011

Wilderness Wildlife Week 2011, Recap #1

This week Kingdom Arrows is going to be recapping our time at Wilderness Wildlife Week (WWW) in Pigeon Forge, TN.  Some of the reason I want to do this is to get the word out about this absolutely FREE, wonderful week.  I feel like it is teacher's in-service for me and my kids feel like it is one long, awesome field trip.  It is always the second week of January.

First, I want to tell you about the hotel, River Bend Inn.  For our family of 6, we paid $25 a night, with an indoor pool and breakfast.  It was in the parking lot of the Pigeon Forge Convention Center, where WWW was, which was great since there was still plenty of snow when we got there. 

Since this is MY post, and the guest posters will be writing the rest of this week, I wanted to list the classes I took (for FREE), so you can see the variety. 
  • O! Possum! Live animal show
  • Wild Wonders: Knoxville Zoo and Bird Show
  • Owl Prowl, one mile hike after dark for 2 hours listening and looking for owls
  • Bird Songs of the Smokys, class specifically about bird identifying
  • Do it Yourself, Building a Backyard Habitat
  • Coloring/ Drawing a Nature scene
  • Learn to play the Washboard, Spoons and Fiddle Sticks
  • Slow Jam with Sweetpea, my mountain dulcimer
  • Interactive play teaching hiking and backpacking tips
As you can tell, I went to many classes that my littles went to, and if on my own, I would have chosen a little differently. 

My favorite "class" was the one mile Owl Prowl.  We left at 6pm, and went up behind Gatlinburg into the Park.  It was led my our new friend Stever Garr from Birds-I-View.  There was still about 5 inches of snow on the ground and the moon was full.  It was so bright the trees left shadows on the diamond sparkling snow.  Steve took us out and we stood still for about an hour in the 20 degree temperature looking for and listening for owls.  He would make the sound of the three owl that habitat around there- the Great Horned, Barred and Screech Owl.  We never heard an owl, but I saw a Barred that flew over head, just after we stopped walking and Steve started calling him. 

I learned that the expression chilled to the bone really exists.  It took me until 3am to get all the way warm!  Kae-Kae and Joy- Bug went with me and had such a good time that they went the next night and took Dad.  It was only 34 degrees that night and felt like a heat wave!

Since Dan is not going to be a guest poster this week, I wanted to share with you this painting he did in his class this week using some of the tips he learned from the drawing class he took at WWW.  Here is his most recent painting (thanks Mom and Dad for the class)!



  1. Our family has such a good time sharing WWW with you last year. I am so glad that you were able to go again. It really is a wonderful, FREE resource for the area and those willing to travel. I will be looking forward to the other posts on this subject!

  2. Thank you for the info. I will have to talk to M about next year. It sounds wonderful, and you can't beat that hotel deal!
    Dan's painting is fabulous!


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