Friday, May 2, 2008


There are not many negatives associated with working for a not for profit organisation but one of the few is when we have to prepare for a big fund-raising event. Today is the day of our annual Butterfly Ball at the Nature Museum. It is a day when the majority of staff get the day off because the museum is closed but being the Manager of the Living Vertebrate Collections I have to rally the troops for a big clean-up to get all the animals looking their best. Unlike other areas of preparation for this event there is very little that can be done in advance. I can't very well tell the snakes 'OK I am going to clean your cage out today and I don't want you to make a mess until after the ball!' Or tell the birds 'OK now you mustn't spill any of your food after I have cleaned up!' Some how they just don't seem willing to co-operate. So today was spent draining and refilling turtle tanks, syphoning algea out of fish tanks, cleaning up snake poop, and a million and one other fun tasks.
The first picture shows Mike our DNA research intern and Jamie our Aquatic Specialist on algea busting duties 'You scrub and I'll syphon!' The second picture is Brad our Animal Care Volunteer, planting up a tank full of carnivorous plants.
Next we have John our Horticulturist, dangling thirty feet up in the air in the roof of the Butterfly Haven fixing the netting that prevents the butterflies from getting trapped, and Doug our Curator of Biology (otherwise known as Boss!) wearing some very kinky bondage gear......ah no sorry, actually he is on the other end of the rope that John is dangling from. You see as Boss you get all the best jobs!!
Finally we have Vincent our 'bug man' hosing out the waterfall in the butterfly haven. Normally our jobs are pretty well demarkated, Mike - DNA, Jamie - Water and things that live in it, John - plants, Vincent - bugs and moi? Well 'If you have a spine you're mine!' But on this day we all muck in and just get the job done.
So why Cinderela Day? Because after working hard all day scrubbing and cleaning we, of course, do not get to go to the ball!!

Photo Credits - CJT

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