11-29-12- Crooked Acres Thursday

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(A few) Sights from around Crooked Acres.

We’ve reached the part of the year where I tend to sit inside by my space heater and snap pictures of the wildlife out the window. Mr. Squirrel is not impressed.

Mr. Bluejay has no opinion on the matter (he sure is pretty, isn’t he?)

As long as I keep the bird seed coming, Mr. (Ms.?) Nuthatch doesn’t care WHERE I spend my time.

Tufted Titmouse – I think they’re so purty.

It’s kind of amazing, how many squirrels we have around here. You’d think Maxi and Newt would keep the squirrel population down, but not so much.

I know they’re rodents and obnoxious and all that, but I sure would like to have a pet squirrel (not seriously – but wouldn’t it be cool?)

I’ve been meaning to put together a drawn map/ layout of Crooked Acres, because I know it’s kind of hard to tell what’s where. And then Fred showed me the house on Google Earth, and I grabbed a screenshot and labelled everything, and… here you go!

That blacked-out spot on the lower right corner is our next door neighbor’s house and property. That was part of the property that went with our house originally, back when the house was first built. But the people who owned the house before us carved out a half-acre spot and put a house on it for her father. When they put that house (and the half acre) up for sale, we talked about buying it, but it was really too much money to spend. (Not that I have any complaints about the neighbors – we got lucky and got good neighbors, but it would have been nice to have a little more room near the house.

The tree lines pretty much mark our property line on all three sides (and the road in front of the house marks the fourth side, of course.) Our whole property is about four and a half acres.

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The Weeds girls like to sit outside the upstairs foster room door (where the ‘Maters and Kohle are staying) and stick their paws underneath the door. They especially like to do this when I’m in the room. One day Thistle was especially pesky, sticking her paws under the door repeatedly and chirping, and I decided to let her in.

She wasn’t sure what was going on in there, but she didn’t expect THIS. She glared at Kohle.

She glared at Sungold.

Sungold followed her to the top of the small cat tree, and she said “::HISS::”

She and Sungold regarded each other for a moment.

Thistle said, “Did I not make myself clear?”

“I SAID ::HISS:: to you, good Sir!”

Thistle settled down on the big cat tree. Sungold sniffed her paws, and she sniffed his forehead.

And Thistle said “I didn’t know you were hiding big stinky BOYs in here.”

“I thought you were hiding something FUN.”

And then she asked to leave the room, and I let her.

(She was back, sticking her paws under the door, less than five minutes later.)

I’ve let Purslane and Dandelion into the room at different times, and pretty much the only thing that happens is that the boys follow the Weed around and tries to sniff her behind. Whichever girl it is gets annoyed and wants to leave the room pretty quickly.

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Sweet Jobey-Joe (the tuxie-do. Sure does love his Daddy, yo.)


2011: The Many Faces of Chuckles.
2010: It was horrifying, yet so fascinating that I couldn’t look away.
2009: Sometimes I call him “Brick Brickman” – that’s the name he’ll use when he grows up to be a news anchor.
2008: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



11-29-12- Crooked Acres Thursday — 52 Comments

  1. When I was in 9th grade, a baby squirrel wound up in one of the girl’s bathrooms, and they brought it to the art teacher, who did some wildlife rescue (she had a blind raccoon that she was allowed to keep as a pet because it was blind –she had found it injured by the side of the road years earlier). I still remember helping to bottle feed it with kitten formula that afternoon. The teacher wound up adopting it permanently, because it was so young that it grew up being way too trusting of humans (and probably cats, too) to be let back into the wild. It was the cutest, cuddliest thing I ever held in my hands, next to kittens (of course!) –even cuddlier than baby rabbits, and that’s going some.

  2. So how cold does it get in Alabama before you resort to sitting inside with a space heater? Just wondering if this Michigan girl might be driving around town with the windows down at that temperature 😉

    Willie Rae kept begging to be let back into the foster room, so I let her yesterday when I went in to sweep. She didn’t have as dramatic reaction as Thistle, but she did make a circle around the room to gently hiss at each of the boys before she ran out again.

    And the map nerd in me? Loves having that frame of reference for Crooked Acres. Thanks!

    • Google Maps is the coolest thing. I’ve used it to show each of my military kids where we were living when they were born. Really gave an understanding to our kids who were living in Germany with us, but didn’t remember the barn directly behind our backyard with crowing roosters and mooing cows. I still kind of miss the chickens….

      • Google Maps is super neat – and it’s kind of like a time capsule – that picture had to be from the middle of the Summer, since it’s been a few months since the pool died!

        I’ll just say that the morning temperatures are in the high 20s, low 30s lately, and the daytime temps have been in the high 50s. It’s 57 right now and I don’t have the space heater going, but I definitely did this morning. We leave the thermostat on 67 during the day, and even with a sweatshirt over my t-shirt, I’m usually a bit chilly. 16 years of living in the South has turned me into a total wimp when it comes to the cold. 🙂

        • Now if we could only have a map like in Harry Potter, with moveable dots that showed where all the kittehs were everytime we looked at it! (George and Gracie, too!)

          • Oh dear Lord, yes! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve launched into a full scale search for Willie Rae since we let her into the general population.

  3. I would have totally bought the neighbor’s property.
    You could have rented it out by the week to all your wonderful readers who want to come to visit and spend a fun-filled week snuggling kittens, feeding cookies to pigs, helping you pick beans and make jelly and bothering Fred to pieces.

    • I absolutely love this idea too! (But I have to admit the first thing I thought of was “There goes all your disclaimers about not being like Pioneer Woman! HA!”)

    • GREAT IDEA!!!!!

      Also, it could have been rented out like a working ranch….feed the pigs and chickens, bathe and brush the dogs, tend to the garden, help dehydrate and can veggies, scoop kitty boxes and snuggle kittens!!! 🙂

  4. That snarling Thistle photo is incredible! (I’m also now daydreaming about spending an entire vacation week snorgling kittens…)

  5. I have an awesome squirrel story. When I was a freshman in college, my well-meaning, animal-loving friend decided that she would feed the squirrels near the dorm by placing nuts on the ledge outside her window. Well, a few days later, the squirrels had chewed a hole in the screen, chewed a hole in the can of nuts, and helped themselves. Not only that, but they started chewing holes in the screens of windows throughout the entire building. Soon there were signs all over the dorm warning people to not feed the squirrels. And my friend ended up having to pay to replace her screen. Luckily, she didn’t have to pay to replace ALL the screens. 🙂

  6. Squirrels: For a while, my sister had a team of about 5 ‘pet’ squirrels that my BIL had tamed with peanuts. My two favourites were Abby (black) & Zilla (grey). They were pretty awesome but very demanding and while skwerls may SEEM spazzy & dumb, they are actually quite smart… unfortunately, it also makes them all kinds of trouble!

    Crooked Acres: Holy doodle! I didn’t realize it was so big! and that everything was so far away! You must need to pack a lunch to get to the pond!

    Thistle: Vicious puma girl in that one fangy photo! So pretty, but so deadly! MRRRROWR-HISS!!

  7. nice map of the homestead….very cool

    Yep – never fails that something (or someone) behind the door has to be amazing – and yet isn’t so much once you get in there MOL

  8. “I SAID ::HISS:: to you, good Sir!”

    Epic… I love the dialogues you write. You should seriously consider doing some cat influenced short stories or something.

  9. That homestead is hugs! Thanks for the reference Robyn. Thistle ought to get into acting btw.

  10. One day someone brought an orphan baby squirrel to my parents. He knew they were retired and had time to care for the little one. My parents named the squirrel “Chipper” and raised him inside until he was too hard to handle. He then went into an outdoor cage my father built. He was eventually released but didn’t go far. Unfortunately, he was not afraid of dogs and was killed by one across the street. I now tell people to take orphan baby animals to a wildlife rehabilitator–a lot less heartbreak.

    • One thing I’ve learned from following Wild Heart Ranch on Facebook is that squirrels are cute and cuddly when they’re little, but the adults are really hard to handle! I know I really don’t want a pet squirrel – I just want to pet a baby, I guess. 🙂

      • My ex-sister-in-law rescued a baby that one of her cats had gotten a hold of. The interesting thing is that if she took a shower her squirrel would attack her. She had to wait to smell like her again (after showering) before she could handle him again.

  11. Oh my goodness, Sungold in that first picture looks like he sure didn’t expect a such a feisty little black kitten with the ears of annoyance and paw o’ doom up there! I really love the photo of Thistle having a cute, fangy, hissy fit. She’s channeling her inner panther!

  12. When Greg was a teen, a baby squirrel fell out of a tree, since it was close to winter, his family took it in. Greg says their fur is course, but their tummy fur is the softest thing ever. It would chatter and bang on it’s cage when he’d try to do homework, begging to be let out. So he’d let her out, and she’d curl up in his coat pocket. He’d wrestle with her with one hand and she never used her claws or bit. When spring came, they started showing her outside. She came back to her cage at night for a while, then disappeared completely. They think if she’d been a boy, she’d have contined to come back, but she probably set up a nest and got herself a family. So yeah, baby squirrels are awesome! But when they grow up, they are seriously distructive! They do not know their own strength and their teeth can get through anything given enough time. They sure are cute. From a distance, lol

    Hello Joe, whatcha know? I love your grey tuxedo!

  13. I like to watch the squirrels from a safe distance. I had one I fed nuts to years ago when we moved in before dog ownership. Now I just watch them jump from the many trees and run along the top of the fence, etc. Last week there were two of the brazen ones on my large robo trash can. I thought they were fighting there and it turned into squirrel sex or a simulation of it. When the mounting began I decided it was time to stop looking out the kitchen window. They are cute but disease carriers. I like my animals of the tamer variety. I love the chipmunks even more and they are much less common. The mourning doves make me happy too.

    Thanks for the google earth map. It does make Crooked Acres much easier to visualize. Very nice spread!

  14. Robyn, last week one of your readers, Russell, posted about two cats he and his wife had met at Petsmart in Alexandria, VA. I was finally able to get there this afternoon. Neither one was there, and no Petsmart employee there at the time could give me any info. I do so hope both were adopted into great homes! Russell, if you are still wondering, maybe you could contact the rescue? Or, if you do know, perhaps you could share? Thanks!

    And yes, the cages were full of kittens and young cats, but I lost my heart to a three year old Tortie who had just arrived. Folks had put in one of those plush tent shelters and she was hiding in there. There was a note asking that it stay in her cage as it helped her relax. If only I could adopt another cat, she’d be home with me now!

  15. I went to college at Texas Woman’s University, and the squirrels there are completely unafraid of humans. They’re not especially aggressive, but they will come up to you and give you their best beady-eyed “feed me” look.

  16. My dad rescued a baby squirrel once and it became a long-time pet. He built a huge cage (indoors) for him and the squirrel got a little dish of Blue Bell ice cream every night. If he heard the freezer opening he got all excited – snackin’ time – squirrel-style!