Christmas 2020

This might be the coldest Christmas I’ve worked at the Museum. I’ve worked wet ones, warm ones, and lonely ones, but I don’t think I’ve worked one this cold in quite some time, if at all. I also have never worked a Christmas with so many helpers! Three incredible volunteers along with “Keeper Nicole” made for a smooth and easy morning.

Cassie (with Duckiedragon) and Cathy. 
Heather has been volunteering twice weekly– thanks Heather!
Nicole took care of most of the indoors. More importantly, the blue jay, in Nicole’s care, meant no escapee this year!

More changes this year:

  • Because I have the above dream team
    • I didn’t set my alarm until 6:30.
    • I didn’t get soaking wet doing dishes (Cathy took care of dishes today).
    • As already mentioned, I didn’t let the blue jay out (thanks Nicole).
    • I am sitting at my desk quite early writing this blog post.
  • Masks. We’re now masking all the time. It’s a critical part of keeping everyone safe and well in Covid.
    • On the plus side, I did not lose my glasses this year. I have basically stopped wearing them since it is impossible to keep them fog-free while wearing masks.
  • Less wolves. It’s much easier to count two wolves than ten!
  • Accommodations for aging this year are less about using my phone as a magnifying glass and instead using a stool for giving Virginia her meds.
I pulled out the stool I use when doing Virginia’s laser treatments. It seemed like a good idea while preparing her morning meds. 20 “pills” and a syrup mixture.

For the most part, Nicole took care of Carolina Wildlife and other indoor tasks.

Teeth brushing went smoothly for me (and Ollie)
Eevie took her meds while I brushed Ollie’s teeth.


Volunteers Cassie, Cathy, and Heather worked in the Farmyard before helping out indoors. The four of us took care of the Farmyard in record time!

Ray, Retro, Equinox, and Emily had their yard and stalls cleaned by Cassie today.
Heather took care of the Cattle stalls and set up this hay ball for Dallas and Dusty to dine from.
Cathy made sure Gypsy goat, and the rest of the goats (and Lightning) were taken care of today

Things were smooth in Explore the Wild, or at least as expected. The lemurs and wolves were ready for my arrival and their food. The tortoises couldn’t have cared less, and had I not picked them up I am sure they would have slept through my visit.

The bears were split: Virginia was awake, and seated waiting for me. Gus and Mimi were asleep in stalls. Gus got up to eat when I tossed out food, but not Mimi.


So, that leaves us with Yona. Janine said Yona’s not easy to get up these days. Janine found that tossing Yona an apricot would get her moving (maybe). My second apricot landed on Yona. She lifted her head, used her paw to pull the apricot toward her mouth, ate it, and went back to sleep.

No good reason to move out of bed (at least that’s what I think Yona is thinking)

The morning is done. I’ll be back this afternoon to feed and check on everyone. Temperatures tonight are dropping below 20F, so there will be a little extra work at the end of the day (and a lot of extra work tomorrow morning for the team who will be working all morning in below freezing temperatures).

May everyone’s Christmas, no matter how bizarre Christmas 2020 is, be filled with some joy and gratitude. I cannot thank my four teammates this morning enough. Because of them, the animals are well taken care of and I am heading home for an early lunch to spend time with my family before coming back later.

4 responses to Christmas 2020

    • Sherry Samuels says:

      Thank you Val. Numerous layers and gloves for sure today

  1. Debbie May says:

    Such lucky animals! Keep up the good work Sherry and team!

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