Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Twas the night before Christmas

January 9th, 2014

As I said, Sarah would soooooooooooooo be able to write my Christmas post to “Twas the Night before Christmas“. Enjoy:

 

Twas the morning of Christmas, and left on her porch, a bag of potatoes from Donna next door!

The bears won’t be hungry this Christmas day; not that they’ll eat them again until May.

The day started rough with glasses amiss, pillows were tossed, the room searched forthwith!

Resigning their fate to the bedroom elves, spare glasses were acquired and some coffee was quelled.

The morning began a mile away in the dark and quiet of the museum’s early day.

Logbooks were stacked to be ordered and checked as the morning went on, there’s no going back to bed!

Treatments were finished, notes were read. “Don’t let the pigs find the pumpkins!” Jill’s note to Donald said.

In Explore the Wild, a present was left. “A gift from the wolves” the unwanted tag read. A gasket was shredded, the pumps’ plug was chewed off. “We’re saving you energy! A gift you didn’t think of!”

As the morning wound down, all the animals were checked. Nothing went horribly wrong this year, how ’bout that?

So thankful we are for this day of the year, when our boss comes in so we can stay here.

“Here” might be close or miles away, but it matters greatly to us to be home Christmas Day.

This year went well, and with a new one in sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Join the conversation:

  1. Hi there,
    My name is Tiffany Pham and I’m the community manager for Dropcam (www.dropcam.com). I wanted to reach out to you in hopes that you will participate in a fun blog challenge. Many of our customers have caught their pets doing some crazy things on their Dropcams, which gave us this idea. We’re asking great bloggers with pets to share some of their funniest quirks and best stories with us. Did your dog steal your food while you weren’t looking? Did your cat ever sing to you? Tell us about it!
    We’d love to get your participation and hear all about your pet if you’re interested in taking part! All you have to do is write a post on your blog about your fur baby and the funny, surprising or heartwarming thing they did. You can include pictures or videos if you would like to jazz it up and presto you’re done! We love sharing some of the great stories that we receive on our social media, so email me the link to your blog post once you’re finished so we can take a look at it and maybe we’ll share yours! We can’t wait to read all about your pet!
    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Tiffany

    Posted by Tiffany Pham
  2. This is awesome! Way to go Sarah!

    Posted by Shawntel

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Christmas 2013

December 25th, 2013

thanks for the sweet potatoes Donna

Twas the night before Christmas and left at my house, a bag of sweet potatoes for the Museum Bears.  (If I were Sarah, I am sure I could have come up with some great rhyme… in fact she probably could write my entire Christmas post to the Poem Twas the night before Christmas- check out her previous poems here and here).

The day started with me very very tired, and unable to find my glasses. I’ve got about 10-15 pillows on my bed and even removing all of them still no glasses. I gave up, found my spare glasses, made a cup of coffee, and made my way to the Museum around 5:15

Here’s the rundown for the day so far:

I move all the logbooks in one space and check out my “to do” lists, and in a room that has light not on a timer so I can see easier.

 

 

Katy has set up the supplies I need for treatments, and Jill has left a note for Donald (click on the note to enlarge it if you want to read it).

all the syringes and bowls and medicines lined up so I can work more efficiently. (Thanks Katy)

Jill’s note to Donald. The last part is my favorite as I have lived through this happening and it is not a pretty sight.

the muskrat had gathered all this food in the 5-10 minutes or so it took me to get my camera and come back

Yesterday, we solved the mystery as to why the waterfall at wolves was not running, so I was able to cross that off my list. (The wolves- I assume the male wolf – ate the electrical wires. That will have to be a separate post at a later date). Concerns about the muskrat were top priority so I donned my headlamp to go check him out. I couldn’t really see him, but did see that he had eaten overnight so I sigh of relief for now.

I fumble around- not getting into any sort of groove.  I put all the diets on the kitchen counter to help me make a plan of attack. My plan of attack is quite chaotic. I start something, realize I can’t see too well in the dark, re group, start something else…things go on like this for a while and before I know it I’ve been here 90 minutes.

Katy warned me that the ferrets would be difficult to keep in their exhibit and would rush the door upon closing. I felt confident in my plan however: I knocked on their door to wake them up (wanting them to use the litter pans before cleaning). Came back in five minutes with a CRATE and put all four inside:

Katy said to put them all in the yellow ring (below) upon leaving and that gives you enough time to close the door.  However, what really gives you enough time to close the door is spilling furotone (oil supplement) on each ferret so that everyone is licking everyone else and not even concerned about the door!

 

It’s light enough so I go make sure I can see the remaining animals. Franklin is busy eating his food and everyone else seems fine.

Franklin eating his lettuce

Donald and his granddaughter Caroline arrive a few minutes before 8AM. Caroline looks tired (I feel her pain), but Donald gets her to pose for the camera. I’ve never seen Donald not smile. It’s really amazing if you think about it. We review the plan for the Farmyard, get Caroline some gloves, and head outside.

Donald reading the note from Jill.

 

 

It takes a little effort to get our vehicles started, but we prevail. I was so hot working inside that I forgot it was just over 30 degrees outside and my drive is more than quite chilly.

I drive through the Farmyard to check on the critters, and then move on to the Explore the Wild Critters.

The alpacas seem fine on this chilly morning

male on the bottom and female towards the top of the den.

I take a bit of a skid through the icy patch at the MIST entrance in Catch the Wind. I hit wolves first. Both the wolves are waiting at the den area. No issues at all here. Everything is fine so move quickly to the bear exhibit.

Mimi, as expected, is sleeping in the house. I wake her, she huffs at me, I feel badly, she huffs at me again, I toss out food, she goes and eats. Gus is snoozing in the cave (sorry about the bad photo): he lifts his head and then puts it back down.

Gus in the den

Lemurs is the next stop. Absolutely no problems here- it’s actually a bit confusing. No one yelled at me, no one peed on me. I did not step in anything I didn’t want to. I did not dump my poop bucket. No lemur exited their stall. I think this is a first on Christmas to not have even one small problem occur. (Although as I type I realize I left the dustpan in the disinfectant can… I’ll have to remember to get that tonight.

The last stop is the bear cliff to check things out and give Yona her meds. I thought this would be a bit difficult, but Virginia has made her way down into the yard, so Yona just needs to stretch, stare at me for a minute or two, and then wander over to me at the fence.

I was even prepared: I had no yogurt cup but grabbed an extra bowl from lemurs to give Yona her meds in.

Yona was easy: “blueberry preserves” worked really well.

I head back to the Farmyard, deal with the raptors, and then head to the building. Dishes goes much better than last year (I just did not wear my glasses).

It’s possibly been one of the easiest Christmas’ I’ve worked – and I’ve worked every Christmas since 1993! I know the afternoon is still coming, but so far, so good. Merry Christmas everyone.

(Click here to read about some of my past Christmas’ at the Museum).

Join the conversation:

  1. Keeper Comment :

    ‘Twas the morning of Christmas, and left on her porch, a bag of potatoes from Donna next door!

    The bears won’t be hungry this Christmas day; not that they’ll eat them again until May.

    The day started rough with glasses amiss, pillows were tossed, the room searched forthwith!

    Resigning their fate to the bedroom elves, spare glasses were acquired and some coffee was quelled.

    The morning began a mile away in the dark and quiet of the museum’s early day.

    Logbooks were stacked to be ordered and checked as the morning went on, there’s no going back to bed!

    Treatments were finished, notes were read. “Don’t let the pigs find the pumpkins!” Jill’s note to Donald said.

    In Explore the Wild, a present was left. “A gift from the wolves” the unwanted tag read. A gasket was shredded, the pumps’ plug was chewed off. “We’re saving you energy! A gift you didn’t think of!”

    As the morning wound down, all the animals were checked. Nothing went horribly wrong this year, how ’bout that?

    So thankful we are for this day of the year, when our boss comes in so we can stay here.

    “Here” might be close or miles away, but it matters greatly to us to be home Christmas Day.

    This year went well, and with a new one in sight,
    “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg
  2. Sarah for the win!

    Posted by Ranger Ro

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Christmas is coming…

December 21st, 2013

… and you know what that means: I give everyone the day off. And again, you know what that means: I cannot sit at my desk with my feet up, I actually have to work! Read about my past six Christmas’ by clinking the links below. The last few years have gone rather smoothly so I believe I am due for a doozy this year.

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2007

I’ll post about Christmas 2013 in 3 days…

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Christmas 2012

December 25th, 2012

It’s noon and here’s my report so far.

What I learned on Christmas:   1) The Blue Jay does not like head lamps; 2) Lycus may wander, but he comes back; 3) Yona doesn’t like grapes; 4) when you have no donkey treats in the Farmyard and you need the donkey to take his meds, even if you try every single kind of dried fruit known to humankind, you still have to go back to the building to get donkey treats for this stubborn old ass.

Yay for Donald.

What I already knew, but was reminded of during the day: 1) Donald is awesome; 2) Mimi doesn’t like to be awoken while snoozing in the bear house 3) your glasses fog a lot while doing dishes; 4) when you have no donkey treats in the Farmyard and you need the donkey to take his meds, even if you try every single kind of dried fruit known to humankind, you still have to go back to the building to get donkey treats for this stubborn old ass.

The worst things to happen today: 1) I lost my keys around 6:30 AM ; 2) I let Lycus into the Keeper aisle and 3) I dropped the almost empty lemur food containers on the floor and spattered applesauce and muck everywhere.

So, the day goes like so:

I arrived later than desired; around 5:40 this morning (I was up at 3:38 AM and thought it was too early to go to work. I fell back asleep and my alarm woke me at 5:30. I live around the corner from the Museum so I was on grounds quickly). I check in with the Security Guard, give him his Christmas present (he tells me his kids are probably already up since it’s Christmas).  Stop in my office, where I found this nice note and cookies. (Thanks Kimberly).

It’s dark and some of the lights are on timers. Thank goodness there was a leak under the aviary yesterday and my head lamp is still sitting on my desk. This is the only somewhat positive thing I can think about my crawling under the muskrat and aviary exhibits drying up puddles, searching for the leak while trying not to get my hair stuck or crawl through smushed roaches as I am lying down scooting on my belly. I put the head lamp on and begin.

I move all four logbooks into the vet room and make my plan of attack. I get my treatments ready and read the notes that Sarah, Kimberly, and Katy left for me. Katy has my medicines all organized and labeled and ready to go so it’s pretty easy to start. I prepare the medicine for the ferrets and head on in to the dark Education animal holding room. No worries though, since I have my head lamp on. However, the Blue Jay apparently thinks this is the worst thing EVER, and SCREAMS. Loudly, constantly- it’s really impressive- he could hold his own with the red ruffed lemurs alarm calling. I cannot turn off the light so get the ferrets their medicine and leave the room. Things quiet at this point (thank goodness).

 

I decide not to try to find every animal immediately since it is just too dark. (I had issues last year finding everyone in the dark) so I head into the kitchen and set up all the indoor animals’ food:

 

Things are fine in Carolina Wildlife. Galileo opossum seems to be the only animal up and moving around. He’s finished all of his food from yesterday and greets me at his door when I open it up. Things move quickly in here. I head upstairs to give Shelly Turtle his meds. I stare at the elevator long and hard, deciding whether or not to risk getting in the elevator when no one is around in case I should get stuck. (Guess what I did?). Shelly swims under rocks trying to avoid my hand, but I win and his meds are on and I am heading back downstairs.

took 5 photos to get this non-dark, non-blurry photo to show you of Galileo

It’s light enough now so I can find every animal (only needed to search for two snakes that could not be seen through the window- any guesses which two?). I start cleaning the education animal room. I give the blue jay a peanut and make the mistake of trying to change his dirty newspaper with him in the cage. He, again, apparently doesn’t like this and takes off. He hops around the room and I let him into a playpen while I finish feeding, checking, and cleaning everyone. Jaybird forgives easily and he hops on my finger to head back to his home (peanut still in his mouth).

Donald arrives a bit before 8 AM so we gather our items for outside and begin. Chummix goat takes his meds really easily. Yay for Chummix. Both pigs took their meds easily, although I did got some poop on my hands while touching their snouts. Yuck.

Chummix was wonderful today- no yelling or head butting.

As I am sure you’ve already figured out, Lightning was a bit more particular about his meds. I couldn’t find any donkey treats (“cookies”) but found a huge container of a dozen or so dried fruits.  Lightning sniffed each item I tried and nothing. I’m sure Rocky and Patches were thrilled as each item the donkey sniffed and did not eat did not go back into the container but rather into a goat’s mouth.

So, back to the building to dig out a box of donkey treats from the freezer, and then back to the farmyard to give Lightning his meds- taken oh-so-easily between two donkey treats just as Sarah told me it would be.

After I set Donald up in the farmyard I moved on out to Explore the Wild. First stop, the bear cliff, where I find Virginia resting in her pile of hay.

Last week we tossed in a bunch of hay so Virginia could make a nest.

I find Yona at the other end of the cliff and get her meds to her as well. Fairly uneventful, so I am off again. I wake Mimi up in the bear house. She huffs at me. I was ready and apologetic, but she would not take my peace offering of an apple slice. Gus was snoozing in the cave and didn’t budge. Only Virginia decided to make her way down the cliff as I was scattering food.

The wolves seemed fine- both high on their cliff – so it was off to the lemurs.

All 6 lemurs were indoors and all seemed fine. Kimberly left me another note in the lemur house explaining the enrichment.  I decide to clean upstairs first, and feed the ring tailed lemurs. No real issues here, and no one has screamed at me. Historically, the red ruffed lemurs yell at me on Christmas and something gets knocked over somewhere, somehow, but not this year. I come downstairs and start to clean out the ring tailed lemur stall. I have no idea how it happened, but I turn around and step out and there is Lycus standing in the keeper aisle. I am not concerned, just confused. I go to try to shoe him back inside, but then Cassandra starts to head out the open door. Whoops. So I shift Cassandra and Satyrus over to the next stall. Lycus walks back on his own (really) and into the stall. Problem now is that Cassandra and Satyrus don’t want to leave stall 2. Oh well, so be it.

I move on to the red ruffed lemurs. I lock them out of 2 of their stalls. I clean and feed and hang the enrichment bags in there and then try to shift them over so I can clean the third stall without upsetting any lemur or losing any lemur. Only Jethys decides to move over though- that’s her with her head in the enrichment bag of Craisins.  (MOM- if you are reading this post you should know that the lemur enrichment bags are the Valentines Day goody-bags from our family vacations in San Diego from previous years).

So, I head into the last stall to clean. Iris and Cynthia are calmly hanging out overhead while I clean the floor and spread out the food. When I am all done I stand up and then Iris pees. Literally, right where I had just cleaned. It was like karma ghosts of Christmas’ past aligned so that finally I would have something go right at lemurs. Thanks Iris for not peeing on me!!!

Who needs toilet paper when you can reach with your tongue!

I finish up, head back to the Farmyard, check on Donald, and then back to the building where things continue to progress fairly easily.

It’s around noon. I am heading home and will be back at the end of the day to finish up. I hope everyone is having as lovely a Christmas morning as I have had. Until 2013…

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Keeper Comment :

    Hooray for Sherry and Donald!
    For future reference, there’s a big box of donkey cookies in the FY chest freezer. I’m REALLY happy that Chummix took his meds easily. Who would have though crushed graham crackers and strawberry Jello were appealing to goats?

    As for hidden snakes, I’m going with the Garter Snake and Yellow Rat.

    Thanks for the day off, it’s been great spending the day with my critters here at home.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg
  2. Thanks Sherry and Donald!

    I’m guessing you took the stairs. And yellow rat and greenish rat were the ones you couldn’t see.

    This post was quite funny! Jaybird and Lycus “knew” you’d need something to write about later.

    Posted by Kimberly
  3. loved reading about your day and gifting your co-workers the day off.

    the bag was very nostalgic and a reminder of some really good times in San Diego!
    xx oo

    Posted by mom
  4. This is always my favorite blog post and every year I look forward to your “adventures” thank you Sherry for another entertaining year. Kimberly said that after your Christmas Eve pump debacle you may not have much to write about but I’m glad you did. This was a great read on my day off. Donald you rock as always!

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  5. Director Comment :

    It was the yellow rat snake and the Water snake (water snake was buried under water under rocks- under everything!
    KATY KNEW the Blue Jay hated flashlights and SARAH KNEW there were donkey treats in the freezer in the Farmyard- both things that would have been good for me to know ahead of time.
    Glad the posts are entertaining!

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  6. My students visited the museum today. They are wondering why the lemurs were chewing on newspaper while they were outside. We noticed that you had newspaper in the indoor cage as well. By the way, they loved the red ruffed lemur -very entertaining spinning around the branch. It was almost as if he were trying to entertain us.

    Posted by Julie Andrews
  7. Director Comment :

    The newspaper was a form of enrichment. Some sheets were balled-up, some sheets were left flat, some sheets had fruit inside.
    Good question. Thanks for paying attention!

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

One Week until Christmas…

December 18th, 2012

…and you know what that means: I give everyone off and work. That means, a full day of who-knows-what-will-go-wrong-because-Sherry-doesn’t-know-what-she’s-doing.

Read about my past Christmas’ below, and I’ll post about 2012 next Tuesday.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2007

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Why I shouldn’t work alone

July 19th, 2012

It’s National Zoo Keeper Week so I gave the Keepers off for the afternoon yesterday. Okay, it’s not as bad as when I work alone on Christmas, but we all know what happens when I am here alone.Zoo keeper WEEK.Logo.Horz 2011

The Keepers started trickling out for the afternoon around noon. I think I was literally under the leaking fish stream when KatySarah, and Marilyn left. Then, the power went out while I was working on the computer. An explicative or two were said, (I think Kent said something as well that I cannot repeat) but then we stood up and went and turned the pumps back on. He and Kimberly were the last to leave me here all-by-my-lonesome-self.

It got dark and windy outside so I made my way toward lemurs around 2:30 to give them access to indoors, but the weather cleared. I stopped to pick up lunch at the Sprout Cafe, when I received a radio call that someone had dropped their glasses in the stream in Carolina Wildlife. I left and started to deal with that. Nets would not work, and you couldn’t even carry them through Carolina Wildlife without hitting someone there were so many people. Snake tongs were the answer, and an appreciative grandson went off to return the glasses to his grandmother. (Julie, another staff member, was fearful that her glasses would fall in during a rescue attempt).

In the middle of this, a woman stops me to ask why a barred owl is screeching at her. No, not ours, but one that comes to her porch. I look at several pictures of her home and people before she finally gets to the photo of the owl to show me. She was very disappointed when both Ranger Greg and I told her the bird was likely upset with her. It’s at this point that Greg radios me and says the female wolf has caught a woodchuck. I know this sounds gruesome, but I would have loved to have seen that! She’s caught squirrels, birds, fox and more, and I have never seen her in action. I start to head to the wolf yard hoping to get a glimpse, but…

…an Educator stops me a bit panicked that she cannot find Zoe. Luckily I knew that Zoe was on the Exam Room floor wandering, and all was well.

 I remembered my lunch was still sitting on the Mule (our service vehicle) around 3:50. Nothing better than a cold veggie dog and colder french fries. I scarfed down lunch and then checked on all the indoor animals to make sure everyone was okay and where they were supposed to be. I was amused to find the pine snake hanging out in the branches (it’s a running “joke” since pine snakes are not arboreal. All the keepers give Kent a hard time when he reminds us that the pine snakes don’t climb yet we find our pine snakes hanging out above ground).

 I went up to close the Farmyard and dropped the pigs’ Cosequin from the Mule in Loblolly Park. I eventually found all four pills, but it slowed me down a bit.

Anyway, the day finished up fine and I was done at 6 PM.

Happy National Zoo Keeper Week to our 8 wonderful Keepers and to all the other animal professionals out there that make sure animals are cared for so well.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Sherry,
    Not only do we appreciate you giving us the afternoon off, we look forward to reading about your experience the next day! It’s always very entertaining-
    Thank you!

    Posted by Kimberly
  2. I would like to amend, or at least qualify, my answer about why the barred owl was screeching at the woman in your post, and maybe make her feel better.
    At this time of year there are young barred owls in the area (it’s getting a little late in the season but there are still a few around), not still on the nest but free flying birds who still are begging for food from their parents.
    These young owls make a rather plaintive hissing sound, I suppose you could call it a screech. They make this call throughout the day. They often make this noise while they’re looking directly at you while you’re going about your business in your yard, on your porch or wherever.
    Maybe that’s what the woman in your post was hearing and seeing.
    I would like to see her photo of the owl, I think that I could tell if it was one of the youngsters or an adult.
    If you’re reading this, please email me the photo.

    Posted by Ranger Greg

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Muskrat video

January 6th, 2012

Here’s the video I said I would share  from Christmas of the muskrats eating. Enjoy.

YouTube Preview Image

 

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  1. Very cool

    Posted by Katy

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Christmas 2011

December 26th, 2011

A fairly uneventful Christmas 2011 is over. I am delayed in getting this post up as the Blog was apparently down.

The day went like so:

my extra notes from Marilyn

I arrived at 5:15 AM.  Saturday, I asked Marilyn to “set me up well” for the day, and she did just that, along with the added instruction list. I did not know that Ladybelle Ferret “liked” warm water in her carnivore care food so that was particularly helpful to know.


I checked on the indoor animals and started to get everything ready for the day. It was very difficult to find the greenish rat snake in the dark -  he just looks like a branch. I didn’t find him initially, but later, once it was light, it was quite easy to notice the snake. (In the dark the snake is just another branch).

greenish rat snake portraying a branch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started feeding and cleaning the Carolina Wildlife animals. Einstein’s and Galileo’s exhibit STINKS, and if they weren’t so cute while they were eating (the noises they make in particular) I quite possibly would have left. I believe I disturbed Henry’s rest, as he seemed quite agitated with me. The muskrats were easy. I actually sat in their exhibit and rearranged the sticks and spread out food all over the place. (I got some video of them eating that I’ll post a different day). 

Kit, or Kat, I cannot tell the muskrats apart.

 


 

 


 


 

I was so hot working in the building that I just had to go outside (which in turn was freezing). The heat is usually in “setback” on Christmas but our new system works great. I went outside around 6:15 with the security guard. Thank goodness Jay had his flashlight. I gave Lightning his medicine and then moved on to the lemurs to check on them. I set up the ring tailed lemurs with breakfast,  locked all the red ruffed lemurs in their holding stalls, and returned to the building around 6:50.

Our Security Guard Jay.


 

 



 

 


 

All of the lights were now kicking on inside so I checked on the animals I hadn’t seen yet (that’s when I got the above photo of the greenish rat snake). The little garter snake and exhibit box turtle were looking right at me:

 

 

 

box turtle

 

 

 

garter snake

 

 






 


Our faithful volunteers – Karyn and Donald – had graciously and thankfully offered to help. Karyn arrived around 7:00 and started to care for the Education Animals and Donald came in at 8:00 and moved to the Farmyard.

Donald and Karyn

 

After moving through items inside, we stopped in the Farmyard to check on Donald and take care of some things there. Miss Piggy decided to show me her disgusting nose. (Yes that is poop. This time of year, pumpkin-eating-time, pumpkins seem to taste good any way, and in any form,  you can get them).  Lightning decided not to be a complete jerk for hoof picking (as he was yesterday).

No Kisses for Miss Piggy

 

In Explore the Wild, we finished cleaning and feeding the lemurs, checked and fed the wolves, and the same for the bears. Yona was sleeping on the side of the cliff and wouldn’t come down. Surprisingly, Virginia did come down to eat with Gus and Mimi.

Yona and Virginia

Yona

 

 





We worked our way back to the building to finish up the morning, which ended around 11:45. I was back for an hour at the end of the day to check on and feed the animals with my assistant (she’s much older now, but I love that picture of her with long curly hair). Although tiring, it was an easy day with wonderful weather, no broken dishes, and good help. Karyn even brought me a present!

 

My new name tag.

Join the conversation:

  1. Great Job Sherry, Donald and Karen- thanks for allowing the rest of us a day off :)

    Posted by Kimberly
  2. Einstein and Galileo are opossums

    Posted by Sherry
  3. Great behind-the-scenes post, Sherry!

    Posted by Wendy

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPost: Christmas is coming

December 21st, 2011

It’s less than one week until I give all the keepers off and come in and take care of everything. Besides enjoying the time off, this gives the keepers multiple opportunities to critique my work. Hours of amusement have come out of my working every Christmas for the past 18 years. Previous year’s posts are below, and I’ll write more on Sunday.

 

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2007

Join the conversation:

  1. Director Comment :

    You should all know that Katy began slamming me yesterday. If she is correct, the Museum will no longer be standing on Monday.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. Keeper Comment :

    Well you have to admit, 2007 was a rough Christmas for you Sherry. But reading it now makes me think back to when Max was so much smaller! Now that he’s 1,500 pounds you may have a harder time getting him back to his stall (although I still say the boy will always remember what a big white bottle represents, and if he saw one now he may very well bull doze you for that milk formula!) By the way, no pun intended when I said “bull doze”… haha;)

    Posted by Marilyn Johnson
  3. All I said was you would lock your keys somewhere and an animal would get out in the Farmyard…which is fine, but comical when you aren’t intending to let them wander. I might have said something about water overflowing somewhere too.

    Posted by Katy

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Christmas 2010

December 25th, 2010

It’s around 11:00 and Christmas 2010 is very uneventful- nothing to laugh or cry about yet. (Click here to read about past Christmas’ which were much more interesting!) I arrived around 5:30 this morning. There was no rain, no flat tires, no really sick animals, nothing. I checked in with the security guard and then began my day. I let Ladybelle ferret wander around. It did take 10 photos to get this non-blurry photo of her.

Ladybelle

I worked through feeding, cleaning, treating, and checking on the indoor animals. At 8:00, two wonderful volunteers showed up to help: Donald and Megan. Megan was in and out so quickly I did not  get a photo of her. She worked on caring for our education animals, while Donald went to the Farmyard. I set him up and then left to go to Explore the Wild to see the bears, wolves, and lemurs. It was uneventful in Explore the Wild too!. The wolves were fine, as were the lemurs (and I didn’t have any poop issues like I did in 2007).I saw all five bears and the four youngsters came over to eat. Even Yona took her medicine easily and quickly.

Probably the worst thing thus far is my glasses fogging from doing the dishes. So, all in all, pretty boring. I’ll finish up soon and be back in the afternoon for feeding, checking, treating, etc. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Yay for Donald!

Hungry sheep

Max and Chummix (head butting is one of the things that Chummix does best)

Gus and Mimi were asleep in the cave until I whistled to tell them breakfast had arrived.

Virginia started on the cliff but came down and waddled over to eat.

Yona made her way down the cliff after Virginia.

Join the conversation:

  1. Hurray for Sherry, Donald, & Megan. You guys are awesome!! Merry Christmas!

    Looks like we have snow coming our way…

    Posted by Karyn

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