December 2017

Drum roll....your generosity on #GivingTuesday raised $5,250 garnering the match for the winter campaign provided by The Barbara J. Mapp Foundation. From the staff, board, and volunteers of Owl's Hill...Thank you!

Around this time of year, many of you may see what looks like little yellow cherry tomatoes hanging low to the ground.  This is the fruit of what is commonly referred to as horse nettle or Solanum carolinense.  Horse nettle is not a true nettle.  In fact, it is in the same genus as the tomato, potato, and eggplant.  We would not, however, recommend eating any parts of this plant.  As a member of the nightshade family, all parts of this plant are toxic, though less so than what the images of "deadly nightshade" bring to the imaginative mind.  Native to the Southeast, horse nettle's bright white or slightly lavender petals and prominent bright yellow anthers make for a showy summer/fall flower.  Horse nettle is a friend to our pollinators and many of our animal friends will eat the fruit.  Though some consider it a noxious weed, this is but one of the many wildflowers that we protect here at Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary.

Want to learn more?


Two different options for your end of year giving plans:
  • Gifts of appreciated securities can be more tax efficient than giving cash. 
  • IRA account holders age 70.5 and older can donate up to $100,000 of their required minimum distributions directly to Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary and avoid having this amount treated as taxable income.

Call Susan or Mary Catherine at 615-370-4672 for more information.
Knee-High Naturalists: Turtle Trekking -
Paren ts & Kid s Ages 3-5
Tuesday, December 5 & Wednesday, December 6
10:00am - 11:30am
Cost:  $10 one adult + one child/ $7 each add'l person

Children will discover different kinds of turtles that live in Tennessee. Meet our resident turtles that call Owl's Hill home and make a special turtle craft.

Winter Wild Edibles -
Adults Only
Saturday, December 9, 2018
10:00am - 3:00pm
$50 / person

Polly Rooker, Pandy English and Windy Hunter are 3 experienced foragers of woods, fields and streams.  Everything from breads, preserves, teas, tonics, poultices, dyes, greens, roots, dried 
fruits, nuts and natural medicinals will be 
shared. Participants will learn the skills of wild foraging as well as how to prepare the harvest.  Safe identification will also be stressed.  

This event will take place rain or shine.  Participants must dress appropriately.  This includes boots, pants, gloves, rain gear and insect repellents.  Snacks and water will be made available but bring a sack lunch.  There will not be enough time to leave the site for lunch. 

Free Hike Day - All Ages
Saturday, December 9, 2018
10:00am - 1:00pm
Cost:  FREE

Come out to Owl's Hill for a free hike! Join one of our staff members or volunteers on a guided hike through Owl's Hill. This is a great opportunity for families, individuals, and small groups to come enjoy the trails of Owl's Hill and get some exercise. The hike will be approximately two to three miles with some moderate hill climbs included. Hikes will start at 10:00am .

Christmas Bird Count - Adults & Teens
Saturday, December 16, 2018
7:00am - 1:00pm
Cost:  FREE
Limit 15 people

It's time for our annual Christmas bird count, and we need your help. On Saturday, December 16 we will be enjoying the great outdoors as we hike around Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary counting our local bird population. All the data we collect will be sent to national databases to help track migration, diversity and other wildlife population concerns. It's a great way to be involved in nature research.

No experience is necessary; trained specialists will lead each group. The program is appropriate for adults and teens. Wear hiking shoes. Please refrain from wearing white clothing. 

Owl Prowl - Ages 9 and up
Thursday, December 21, 2018
6:00pm - 8:30pm
$20 / person
Limit 20 participants. Pre-registration required.

Join Julie Eperjesi and Jean Buchanan for our annual Owl Prowl winter solstice night hike. Bring a picnic dinner and dine in the Russell Gathering Pavilion then adjourn to the woods for a lesson in naked eye astronomy and calling in wild owls. Will they answer? No flashlights please! Must be nine years old to attend. 

Marshmallow Hikes -
All Ages
December 26, 27 & 28
10:00am - 2:00pm
Cost: $8 / hiker (Early Bird Discount)
$10 / hiker day of/walkup

Are you looking for something to do with the family during the holidays or an excuse to get out of the house by yourself? How does a nice afternoon hike in the winter woods followed by hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows sound? Come by Owl's Hill for our annual Marshmallow and Hot Chocolate Hikes.  

Painting for the Fun of It!
Fri days January 12 - February 16, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm
$325 / person

Sign up for a Six-Week Series called "Painting For The Fun Of It!" with acclaimed artist and art teacher, Rachael McCampbell. During this winter series, Rachael will teach color-mixing, composition, painting techniques and more in both acrylic and oil paints. Beginners are welcome! Remember, art classes make great gifts!  Register quickly as class size is limited and this popular series will sell out quickly.

Beginning Basket Weaving- Adults Only
Saturday, January 13, 2018
9:00am - 1:00pm
$45 / person (includes weaving supplies)

Join us as we engage in the traditional craft of basket weaving with expert weaver Janet Lanier. We will be weaving a "Catch All" basket.  This class is great for beginners.