Posts Tagged ‘spring’

by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Alpaca Hair 2014

March 18th, 2014

Will it be a re-run of 80s themes, fancy up-dos for everyone or something a little weirder?

 

In roughly 3 weeks, our fluffy foursome will be getting a new hairdo! The exact date’s not set yet –we’ll let you know when that is– but now is the time to get your vote in on what the girls’ hair should look like. So add your ideas to the comment section however funny or serious your idea is, we’ll consider them all!

 

Here’s the wool we’ll be working with this year. The two babies are almost full grown now! From left to right: Equinox (way in back), Emily, Ray, Retro.

 

As a refresher, this is what the girls looked like last year.

And here are the alpacas’ predecessors, the sheep –who have recently been reported as all doing quite well at their “retirement” home, if anyone was wondering– being sheared two years ago in 2012.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. APRIL 7 is now the date (as long as it is not raining and the girls are dry)

    Posted by sherry
  2. How about a comb over for Retro.
    Of course who’s up for a poodle cut?

    Posted by HRvdB
  3. I vote for at least one to be totally bald. I loved the mohawk and Retro’s fade is pretty great.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  4. Ditto on the bald suggestion and the poodle cut on head. legs and end of tail. Glad to hear the sheep are enjoying retirement.

    Posted by djcronce
  5. No further suggestions…but added thanks for the sheep update…my 3 year old was just asking about them today.

    Posted by Libby
  6. What time on the 7th? My 6yo son is a big llama/sheep fan and would love to attend, but doesn’t finish kindergarten until 3:30ish. I really wish the shearing could have taken place on a weekend day, when older children would be able to attend!

    Posted by Norton
  7. Director Comment :

    Hi Norton:
    We’re shooting for 10:30 start on the 7th.
    we’ll try to get some video taken so that those who cannot make it to the shearing can see it on the Blog.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

Silly Times

April 29th, 2013

The beginning of Spring brings all kinds of changes to the Animal Department. The bears are up and playing, the Ring-Tailed Lemurs get to stay outside in the yard, and the Wetlands explode with activity. One of our tasks for Spring includes removing the hay in the bear house. We put a good amount of hay on both sides of the bear house for the winter. It gets changed during supercleans and then removed completely once Spring arrives. There are 3 of us on the Explore the Wild team, Marilyn, Jessi and myself. We always try to work hard and have fun. But sometimes we butt heads. Below will be photo evidence of one of those times.

Marilyn was determined to get all of the bags of old hay to the compost in one load. Jessi and I were totally fine with making more than one trip. So we let her do what she wanted and I took lots of pictures.

 

First she tries to sit on the bags and immediately slides off the Mule

After several minutes she decides to hold one of the bags while riding in the back of the Mule

We drove from bears to lemurs before two bags fell off the vehicle, at this point Jessi and I are cracking up laughing!

We finally arrive at compost and Marilyn was successful at getting all the hay there in one load as well as making Jessi and I laugh for at least 15 minutes straight

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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.

Copperheads in your basement?

April 18th, 2011

Spring is definitely here and it’s a great time to see the native wildlife awaken. It’s a chance to find some unexpected sights! Ranger Greg’s Blog is awesome, and if you want to see amazing photos of flora and fauna check out his blog. He’s been capturing signs of spring numerous times already.

Reptiles we haven’t seen in awhile start to come out. Last week Keepers helped move a copperhead off a path to safety. It reminded me of a call I got last year to help a friend of a friend get a “snake” out from under her dryer. When I arrived, I found two copperheads under her dryer. The photos aren’t great, but take a look. The first photo is of one of the snakes in a container. In the second photo, see if you can find one, or both,¬†of the snakes slithering away to safety.

1 of the two copperheads I removed from under a dryer

Can you find the copperhead in the brush???

Join the conversation:

  1. I do indeed see two copperheads in your photo.
    The first: In the bottom third of the photo crawling away from the bottom right corner towards the left.
    The second: More or less vertical in the center of the photo.
    The head of the first snake is very near the second snake’s body in the bottom center of the photo.
    Had you not warned that there were snakes “in the grass” I would have stepped on one of them for sure, if I had been walking through the brush at the time day/night, which I probably would not have been doing.
    Tough to see!

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  2. thank you

    Posted by Betty Linkenhoker
  3. Were the two snakes friends, or was it a chance meeting under the dryer?

    Posted by Wendy
  4. Wow…I only saw the copperhead’s head until Ranger Greg’s post. Then I started seeing the pattern on the snake’s body in the brush. Thank you esp since my washer and dryer is in the basement!!!

    Posted by DJ
  5. Yikes! Good to keep an eye out for!

    Posted by Libby
  6. Keeper Comment :

    It took me a minute to find them. They are wonderful at camouflaging themselves! I will never forget the time I was standing in a wooded area with a lot of leaf cover, and when I took a step back with my right foot I felt something brush against my heel. When I turned around to see what it was, there was a copperhead turning his head away from me to slither off. What brushed my against me was his head! It just goes to show that snakes will only bite if really necessary. I came an inch away from stepping on that snake, but instead of biting me he decided to move away. It was awesome!

    Posted by Marilyn Johnson
  7. Director Comment :

    Interesting question Wendy. Mikey or Greg can chime in too, but my opinion is that the snakes were “hibernating” together. Many snakes will hibernate together (even differing species). I think they were bed-down together for the winter would have eventually gone separate ways.

    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.

QuikPost: Spring is here

March 22nd, 2011

Spring is here and it’s a great time to see the native wildlife awaken. Reptiles we haven’t seen in awhile start to come out. It’s a chance to find some unexpected sights! Ranger Greg’s Blog is awesome, and if you want to see amazing photos of flora and fauna check out his blog. He’s been capturing signs of spring already.

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

Friend or foe?

April 14th, 2009

Aaah, springtime! There are so many great things that happen in the spring: beautiful flowers come into bloom, the trees are full of bright green buds, temperatures are perfect for outside adventures, baby animals are in abundance, and suddenly every living thing seems rejuvenated!

And those changes in activity and behavior also apply to the museum animals. Wendy the woodchuck has come out of hibernation and is starting to climb around her exhibit and run around the support hall again. Our bears have become more active and are eating, swimming and wrestling more. Some of our snakes are starting to eat more, as well. For some of our farmyard animals such as Max the steer and Chummy the goat, spring has brought about more rambunctious and playful behavior than normal. But for our farmyard birds such as Ozzie the turkey and Scout the duck, spring takes on a different meaning: it’s time to find a mate!

Being that they are both males, this time of year means that they become more aggressive because in the wild they would have to ward off other males from any prospective females. Unfortunately, the animal keepers tend to take the place of the “other males”, so we get the brunt of it (but, hey, it’s just part of the job)! For turkey, it also means that he starts to display his beautiful feathers for anyone that will watch! He will puff his feathers up and make himself look bigger than he actually is, and then lightly drag his wing feathers across the ground as he walks to make lines in the dirt. However, turkey does not have any other male or female turkeys to display to. So, of course, he instead has been displaying to none other than… duck!

The keepers have been amused for the last week or so when we get a chance to watch turkey come out of his enclosure in the morning and walk around the farmyard, and the first thing he does is go over to duck’s fence and start displaying for him. Of course, it’s impossible for us to know if he’s telling duck that he is the “head honcho male”, or if it is a confused effort to woo the water fowl, but either way it’s kind of funny! Below is a video that Kristen took a while back of turkey displaying around the farmyard. Take a look!

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