11-1-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

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(A very few) Sights from around Crooked Acres.

I didn’t get many pictures of non-cats this week, but I plan to go out and get a zillion this weekend. In this section are the non-scary ones; in the next section are spider pics. I’ll warn you before you get to those, and even provide you with a handy dandy link to click on that will take you to the kitten pics without having to scroll past the spiders!

The pigs would like to know just HOW they’re supposed to subsist on – HORRORS – pig food?!

“Seriously. WHERE THE COOKIES?!”

I’m pretty sure these Meyer Lemons are ready to be picked, but we’re both worried that it’s too soon.

Okay, spiders in the next section – if you want to skip ’em, click on this link (I’m not sure it’ll work for everyone, but it’s worth a try!)

Skip the scary!

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Putting a bit of a space in here so no one who doesn’t want to see the spiders inadvertently catches sight of them.

And a little more space.

Just a liiiiiiittle bit more.

So, out in the back yard we have two plastic storage containers that we use for kitchen compost. This is because our kitchen compost very often includes coffee filters and pieces of paper towel, and if I toss that stuff on the big compost heap, the paper items get strewn around the yard and it looks terrible. (Once the kitchen compost has composted enough, we add it to the big compost heap.)

I have a small bucket under the sink that we toss kitchen compost into, and when it’s full I carry it out to the storage container that we’re using and dump the compost in. I usually have to do it once a week (no, the little compost bucket doesn’t stink at all), and sometimes it can go even longer.

It had probably been close to two weeks since the last time I’d taken the bucket out, and  suddenly the bucket wasn’t going to wait to be emptied – it was threatening to spill over. So I took it out, pulled the top off the storage container, and found out what had been going on in that container since last time I was out there.

There was a whole FAMILY of spiders. And not just spiders. Black Widows.

They just LOOK so evil, with their glossy black bodies and long spindly legs.

If I ever woke up and found one of these on me, I’d die immediately from a heart attack.

One of the smaller ones.

And another of the smaller ones.

I killed all of the ones I could find because (1) the storage containers are in the back yard, and Elwood likes to lay on top of them and watch the goings-on outside the fence. I’d hate him to be bitten, and (2) They’re Black Widows and should be wiped from the face of the earth.

A big spider set up shop in Fred’s workshop recently, and stayed there for several weeks. I kept forgetting to take the camera out to get pictures of her, and finally remembered. She was really pretty.

Good thing I got the pictures when I did, because soon after the weather turned colder, and she packed up her web and R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

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Purslane is concerned. Very concerned.

Just beside herself with worry.

Oh, wait.

That’s not concern. That’s boredom. If you’re not going to snuggle and kiss her, she wants nothing to do with you.

From the front, a cute black kitten. But from the side…

he TOTALLY looks like a bat! BatBoy Magoo!

I think Dandelion needs a pink diamond collar. Doesn’t she look like a total princess?

But Polly would like you to know that SHE is the princess.

And like all princesses, she knows how to have REAL fun. Girlfriend loves herself a plastic bag.

“We would like a treat now, servant. Go get me one! I’ll wait here.”

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Jobey-Joe, the tuxie-doe sure does love the green grass, yo!


2011: I’m thinking I should tell people we have thirty cats, and when they express shock or start dialing the Hoarders people, I’ll laugh and say “Just kidding! Thirty cats would be LUDICROUS! We only have twenty!”
2010: He sure was good about being stuffed into a chicken costume!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo
2006: Gross tapeworm talk.
2005: Craaaazy eyes!



11-1-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday — 46 Comments

  1. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!! I know you told me I could click the link and not look, but somehow I had this ridiculous idea that I was some sort of tough chick who didn’t mind looking at a spider. Um… I mind. 😉

    I could have sworn Purslane was giving you the business for messing with spiders….

  2. Jo Bob bringing out the sexy lol. He is currently one of avi’s. spiders are folks oo, but you are right if they threaten the kitties spray em. Did I mention I love Joe Bob?

  3. Robin, I hate spiders too..but I had to look. My friend is currently in Georgia looking for a home. She is also from CT so I have to let her know what kind of creepy, poisonous spiders & bugs she will have to contend with..we don’t have those black widows here or those other brown recluse spiders..So fill me in..

    Yes, Dandelion definitely needs some diamonds around her neck!!

    • Black Widows aren’t so bad. Their bite is like a wasp sting. Now, Brown Recluses, on the other hand, have necrotizing venom. That means their bite can kill tissue and even cause gangrene. People who have been bitten in the right spot have lost muscles, fingers and even feet to those little brown bastards.

      I’m one of the lucky ones because I stepped on the Brown Recluse who bit my foot as it was biting my foot. That meant it died before it could inject much venom. Even so I had a wound the size of a quarter and a dead bit of tissue about half the size of a penny. It was easy enough for the doctor to excise the dead bit, but it took weeks for the whole thing to heal. What a pain!!

      So, I don’t mind bugs in general and Black Widows in particular, but those Brown Recluses give me the heebies and the jeebies!

      • Black Widows aren’t so bad UNLESS they have an egg sac they’re protecting. Then they’re downright vicious. One ran at Fred like she was going to pluck his eyes out of his head and made him scream like a little girl.

        You SO don’t want to be in our garage. I went out there to get some canning jars the other day, and lifted up a box to find 6 Brown Recluses sitting there. Luckily it was cold and they were moving very slowly, so I was able to take care of them before they could go skittering off. Hate those things!

        • Hey, I don’t even want to go into my OWN garage. For living in a metro area and not particularly close to a body of water, we have a surprising number of frogs taking up residence. My husband moved the snow blower (ugh) yesterday to give it a tune up for winter and found 3 dead frogs underneath it. And then he wanted to save them in a Ziploc to send in to school for the 9th grade Biology class.

          All things considered, I’d rather have frogs than spiders though.

  4. Living in the south, you have to give up your bug hating spirit. I’ve lived in Stone Mountain GA and Jacksonville FL and the critters They got? Lol! I visited Miami and they find and squash baby lizards like bugs! Florida has roaches that are bigger than your hands, and they FLY!! My floor of my Dorm evacuated, EVACUATED, cause of two hand sized flying roaches. And they KNEW it! Lol

  5. Thank you very much for the warning and evasion tactic for the icky, scary, too-many-legged things. (2 or 4 legs good, 8 legs very bad…)

  6. Hey – I am living with the belief that US black widows are pure black. In Australia we call those Red Back Spiders and they are meant to be endemic to Australia. They are part of the “widow” family – just surprised to see the stripe! we have these things EVERYWHERE. I have been bitten – but only about 10 – 20% of Aussies are allergic to Red Backs and will have a reaction. Otherwise it is just like a welt with a burning sensation for about 24 hours.
    Anyway cute kittens can cure small scares from Halloween spidery things!

  7. Oh interesting. I’ve seen pics of black widows before, but never up that close. They aren’t common this far north – the closest we get is the brown recluse, and that’s nasty enough. I’d hate to see Elwood get bitten too. That’d be bad.

    By the way, the other stripey spider? Is a garden spider. They’re non-poisonous web spinners and we see them all the time here. They’re friendly enough and do not bite. Don’t sweat those.

    As for the lemons – they look as if they are, but really the easiest way to tell is by weight. They should be heavy for their size in your hand. My grandmother had a lemon bush when I was growing up and I have good memories 🙂

    • The day I walked into Fred’s workshop and saw that spider taking care of a wasp, I told her she was welcome to stay as long as she wanted! 🙂

      • I love ’em. See ’em all the time. When I was living in my previous apartment, I had one that set up camp on my balcony every summer like Charlotte’s Web. Welcome to stay 🙂

  8. Lucy is very beautiful. I hope she gets scooped up soon.
    The piggies are SOOO cute. Please don’t tell us about the BIG DAY. Or at least give us a warning, spiders from afar I can handle but that….shudder!
    and thanks for the Princess Polly pics-lovely!

    BTW: Found this widow spider info from Wikipedia interesting–
    Not all adult black widows exhibit the red hourglass on the ventrum underside or top of the abdomen — some may have a pair of red spots or have no marking at all. Female black widows often exhibit various red markings on the dorsal or top side of the abdomen, commonly two red spots. However, black widow young are believed to have at least some sort of marking on their abdomens. Adult male black widows are half the size of the females, and are usually gray or brown rather than black and red; while they may sometimes have an hourglass marking on their ventral abdomen, it is usually yellow or white, not red. Variation in specifics by species and by gender is great; any spider exhibiting a red hourglass or a pair of large red round spots on the ventral abdomen with an otherwise black shiny body is an adult female black widow. The bright red hourglass and spots are never located on the dorsum, which is the more visible aspect; the identifying features are on the underside, anatomically known as ventrum; i.e., the spider must be lying on its back to reveal the markings.
    Spiders of the genus Steatoda (also of the Theridiidae family) are often mistaken for widow spiders, and are known as “false widow spiders”; they are significantly less harmful to humans.

    • Love the ‘skip the scary’ link! But I peeked. Yup, we got those. Easy to recognize with that big, jet-black, marble round body. And their webs are sticky, stiff & stronger than other webs. I sprayed one with bug juice. It actually rose up on its hind legs & charged toward the spray. *Shudder* Most bugs, mice, bats, birds, lizards get a ride to freedom outside… but not those. uhmm… pigs are looking a little scarey too. I think I’ld toss cookies to ’em from the saftey of my car.

  9. Batcat na na nana nana na na…Batcat na na nana nana na na… (You’re wwelcome for the earworm!)

    That’s as close as I want to see a Black Widow. Great pictures, though I hope you were using a long range lense!

    I think Pricess Polly and Princess Dandy need diamond collars AND tiaras!

  10. Lucy looks like an adorable sweetheart. So loving. I hope that someone realizes what a treasure she is.

    Who’s the bigger princess? Dandelion or Polly? Both look like they appreciate a peeled grape.

  11. That photo of Tony “Rocky Horror” Pickle in the right hand line-up cracked me up. He looks like he’s thinking: “I see dead people, and there’s one right behind YOU!” 🙂

    Of course Dandelion thinks she’s a Princess. White cats remind me of the dainty little girls who never want to play and get dirty!

    And yes, Black Widows are indeed EVIL!

  12. Black Widows do tend to get a bit of a bad rap! That’s not to make it sound like I wouldn’t freak out if I saw one (I would), but in general your chances of being bit by a Widow are really small. They’re one of the shyest spiders, and almost never leave their webs. In these days it’s also quite a rare feat for a healthy adult to die from a Widow bite. Kitties on the other hand… I don’t know! I would get rid of them too, just for my cats. Maybe just move them far, far away from my house.

    I’m glad I live far north, where none of these nasties live. I think the scariest thing we have are centipedes. And they’re just scary because they’re yucky.

    • I never knew how BIG black widows get until I moved to the south! Definite creep factor for me!

  13. I don’t remember how long it takes a lemon to be ripe enough to pick, but oranges and grapefruit can take almost 2 months from the time they color until they’re sweet enough to eat and they’ll keep on the tree for several months. Ours turn orange/yellow mid November and if we get enough warm, sunny days, we can start eating them around Christmas or New Year’s. I think lemons might be about the same, but in your neck o’the woods you probably can’t leave them on the tree in winter?

    • The tree’s actually a miniature (dwarf?) in a pot. Fred just moved it from the driveway to the upstairs of the garage, in front of the window, as it’s gotten cold at night here. It overwintered in the same spot last year, and was pretty happy, so hopefully it’ll remain so this Winter!

  14. Lucy is gorgeous! I hope she finds a new home soon.

    Your Meyer lemons aren’t quite ready. For reference take a look at: meyerlemontree.com/lemonharvest.html

    I have to watch for brown recluse in my apartment, but we have an agreement: If I find you in the bedroom you’re dead!

    • Thanks for the link, Terri!

      Yeah, I’m not much for any kind of bug in the bedroom. I’ll usually leave spiders in the downstairs, though, as long as they keep their webs clean. 🙂

  15. Lucy looks like our Mabel…hm, wonder if I could convince DH that he was seeing a lot of Mabel…ha!
    We can’t leave bags around any more, had been out one day and came home to find the daughter that had stayed home, mopping up quite a ‘spill’ in the living room…seems one of the younger 2 cats had gotten nosy in a bag in the further reaches of the house, got it stuck around her neck and came flying out to try and get it off…didn’t get it off, and it terrorized her so much that she lost control of her bladder, either from fear or defense…and still didn’t get the bag off! It would’ve been funny had it not been such a mess. The scent of terror caused the other young’un to flee for the rest of the day, and part of the night (still in the house, just would NOT come out…IT might get her too!). She’d had a bag around her neck before too and tore around till we managed to get it off of her, but she wasn’t as scared as her housemate. (We were laughing so hard that time it was hard to help the poor dear.Something super-hero comical about a cat tearing around with a cape even if it’s a bag!) It also terrorized the daughter (well, all of us of course!) to think if the kitty had gotten hung up somehow, so we’re pretty careful of bags around. Just rattling a bag as if to fold it or get something into it causes concern to this day, but not nearly so much as it used to! Unless it’s a garbage bag, those are EVIL.
    Ewww black widows…rare up this part of the country but we do have recluses, tho I’ve not seen one…we’d ALL hear it if I did! thanks for the warning, altho the temptation was too great and I looked…ewww.

    • My cat is also afraid of plastic bags, but nothing ever happened to her! Unless it was before I got her, when she was still a wee kitten? But she’s 9 now! Get over it already, kitty!!

    • Once the cats stop laying on/ playing in the bags, I pick them up and put them away. One of the permanent residents (I can’t swear to it, but I suspect Sugarbutt) thinks that plastic bags are for peeing on. That’s always a fun surprise!

      • that WOULD be gross! this involved pee, but from fright…been very fortunate in that department…

  16. Polly called you “servant”. Hmm. Is that a step up or step down from “lady”? But servant is exactly what all cats think in their heads when they look at their humans.

  17. That stripey-legged spider is actually a garden orbweaver, not a garden spider. Garden spiders are yellow and black; garden orbweavers come in all kinds of patterns and colors but their legs are always striated.

  18. Seriously appreciated the skip the bugs link… But being as anal retentive as I am, I had to scroll up to see if I didn’t skip over something I wanted to see… I didn’t.. *shudder*

    Batboy Magoo has a tiny little overbite!! Too cute!!
    Dandelion should have her diamond collar ASAP! Seriously! I hope there are plans to get it for her!

    • Next time I go into a pet store, I’ll be buying one for her… of course, with the internet, why wait, right? 🙂

      I LOVE Magoo’s overbite. SO cute!

  19. Ewwww black widows and brown recluses, ewwww! I don’t mind garden spiders one bit though; if they eat the wasps and mosquitos and whatever else and don’t poison humans, they’re good. If I get one setting up web in my apartment, she’s welcome to hang around. 🙂 So very glad we don’t get anything worse than tiny little red bitey spiders up here in WI, no idea what they are but they’re pinky nail sized and ouchie, but otherwise harmless. No offense, but I’m glad I don’t live further south!

    AWWWW, Lucy sounds like an absolute doll. Wish I could keep her. Alas, distance and a no kitties policy in this building. Drat!

    *snuggles Purslane*

  20. My sister had two black widow spiders in her kitchen the day of the hurricane. Her house has been our family since 1969 and that the first anyone has seen one. They crawled out from under the chimney wall-they have a wood burning stove on the other side in the living room. I wonder if it’s temperature changes causing this? A friend’s son had a summer job at a park up the street here and he saw black widows by the trash cans there. Neighbors have seen brown recluses too- THOSE terrify me. As a diabetic I fear dire consequences if I were ever bitten!