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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

George and Gracie get VERY excited when they see me walking toward the back forty in the morning. They know they’re about to get snacks!

The chickens get kind of excited, too.

“Hand over the scratch and no one gets hurt, lady.”

Molting hens are a sad, sad sight. And when they molt, they don’t lay (all their energy is directed toward growing new feathers), so we’ve been getting one egg every other day. NOT ENOUGH, HENS.

Fabulous feathered legs.

Pretty girl.

Cruella, high-stepping it ’cause she heard there might be some scratch over this way.


“Treat, please. Make it two.”

Ducks on the pond. Remember how hard it was to convince them that they wanted to be out there?

Now they’re out there most of the time.

The Rock Star isn’t ready to come out of the coop yet. It’s cold out there!

Rooster keeps an eye on his wimminfolk.

We have come to the section that some of you hate hate hate – the BUG section! Click here to skip it.

And we’ll put a little space in here.

And more space.

A little more.


Yeah, more.






LET THE BUG PICTURES BEGINNNNNNNNNNNNN. What says “Merry Christmas” more than spider pics, I ask you?

This is apparently a Spiny Orb Weaver spider. I had never seen one before, and then all of a sudden it was in the house, on the floor in the front room. Maybe a cat brought it in? In any case, I took it out onto the porch and set it free. It didn’t seem very friendly.

That’s an Assassin Bug nymph sitting in an egg shell half. We seemed to get a lot of them in the house this fall, for some reason. I put this one outside on the fence (I don’t kill them, because when they grow up, they eat flies and other pests) and it wandered off.

Wasp on the front door, just hanging out.

This was Jean-Ralphio. He was a jumping spider, which is my favorite kind of spider because they are so frickin’ cute. He hung out on the ceiling over my desk for about a week.

And then Fred called him my boyfriend and joked that he might have to challenge him to a duel. Jean-Ralphio moved THAT DAY across the ceiling so that he was hanging right over Fred’s head. I kid you not.

Then he just disappeared without a trace. RUDE.

This praying mantis showed up near the side stoop one day. I could have gotten closer for a better picture, but praying mantises (mantii?) scare me. They’re very scowly. She hung there for several days and I thought she might have died (but didn’t want to get close enough to poke her and find out because NIGHTMARES)(yes, I could have used a stick, but she would have flown right directly at my face, I guarantee it), then one day she was gone. I don’t know if she wandered off or something got her.

Another Assassin Bug nymph, on the counter again. Why do these things find my kitchen so fascinating?

I escorted this one back outside as soon as I snapped pictures, too.

It’s possible you’ve noticed how many close-up bug pictures I’m sharing. Is that because I got a macro lens a few months ago? It is indeed. This spider – possibly an Orb Weaver? – was actually on the outside of the kitchen window, and it was small – maybe the width of a pencil eraser, legs and all – and I was trying to figure out what it was doing. Because there’s that clump of web there, that it kept hiding behind. Was it hiding in wait for prey to come along? I don’t know, and now it’s gone.

The two egg sacs that Dolores left on the side of the garage are still there! I check them out every couple of days, but I know they’ve got a while to go before they hatch.

I think this is one of those fuzzy brown caterpillars that cause a rash if you touch them, but I can’t swear to it. Kinda looks like one of those droopy-eared dogs, doesn’t it? Or a guinea pig!

Stink bug. We saw more of these this year than usual.

Ant, doin’ ant things. Did I mention I have a macro lens now? I love it. I probably use it too much.

I did this the other night, to amuse myself. And I was very, very amused. (It doesn’t take much.)



Need to put space.

For the bug haters.

And spider haters.

Haters gonna hate hate hate.

Or maybe more likely,

spider haters gonna shudder shudder shudder.

Is that how the song goes?

Is that enough space?

Maybe a little more.

A little more.

A liiiiiittle more.

Okay, that should do it.


TC’s all “Come here, bro! Gimme a hug!”

“I SAID, come HERE!”

“UGH, boys. Am I right or am I right?”

Six of the seven (Pat was hanging out in the closet, of course.) I love how Lita is totally using Lizzy as a pillow, and Lizzy couldn’t possibly care less.

With all the soft, comfy places to hang out, why NOT hang out on top of the wooden box, Stevie.

Lita is such a little lover.

Someone pointed out on Facebook yesterday that Stevie always looks very smug. Yes. Yes, she does. VERY smug.

“What? Is comfy!”

Lizzy, havin’ Deep Thoughts.

Stevie is a little fascinated by Lizzy’s half-tail.

“This smells FABULOUS.”

TC thinks Stevie is CRAYZEE.

Jethro likes to make sure, every so often, that everyone understands that the track toy is HIS.


Is that a smug, comfy looking loony Jake, or what?


2013: “What? Am gettin’ snuggles from Uncle Tommy. Am very pleased with myself, too.”
2012: That stripey boy can FLY.
2011: I just got the word – BUSTER WAS ADOPTED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2010: “Santa! I been good! No, really!”
2009: From us and all of ours, to you and all of yours, wishes for a happy, safe, healthy holiday!!!!
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



12-24-14 — 33 Comments

  1. I’m not a fan of spiders, but Jean-Ralphio with his teeny Santa hat is just too much of the cuteness.

  2. I’m declaring this post my favorite Christmas present by far (nothing I’ll get tomorrow could possibly top it, Robyn). Many thanks for each and every photo and caption — and far more to the point, for helping so many kittens and cats find their ideal families. Right, Dennis?

  3. Hahaha! Spider with a Santa hat is too, too much. One thing you might want to play with for your macro work is depth of field — in other words, how much can you get into full focus?

    • I have a really hard time with DoF – it’s like I understand when I’m reading about it, but the information immediately vacates my brain. I need Depth of Field for Dummies!

  4. Yay! Haven’t seen a Crooked Acres Wednesday in a while. I always wondered if Delores hibernated or what. But sadly I figured out after the first freeze here in NC, I found my Delores fallen to the ground. She left two egg sacs hanging under the eave to my garden shed.

    Thanks for all you do for the kittens, and for taking the time and energy to share it with all of us. Merry Christmas to all at Crooked Acres.

    • Yeah, unfortunately they don’t have very long lives. But they’ll live on through their children (I can’t wait for her egg sacs to hatch!)

  5. Love the photos today. Even the yucky spiders, with Santa hats make them much cuter. Merry Christmas!!

  6. Thanks for showing your cards from past years! I have 5 of them and wasn’t sure of the years or faces. I collect those magnetic business cards and glue ’em on the back of the card and stick them on the side of my fridge. Yeah, this year’s is GREAT!

  7. The cats you see in Bruce’s GoFundMe pics adore their Dark Knight. The smaller one Trigger is at the vet being socialized to go home Christmas Eve to his new forever family. As you can see, Bruce took a strong lead in that tasks. So much so that the kitten was in Bruce’s space all day every day and had to be physically removed at night. The larger cat Tater is the vet cat, and he too is fond of Bruce. He slept outside Bruce’s cage door some nights. So as you can guess, Batman is a Lovebug. Don’t hear that much in the comic books.

  8. I was just thinking how good you were getting at taking photos of insects.. and then you go and put hats on them.. I couldn’t stop laughing I had to explain to DH what was going on..

  9. I enjoyed the spider pics very much, and so did one of my 5 cats (she kept waiting for them to move). Just want to wish you, Fred, and all the permanent residents & foster kitties, a very Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday. I can’t help but think of all the kitties you’ve fostered over the years that are enjoying this Christmas in their loving forever homes because of what you do. That’s a pretty awesome gift you give every day of the year. You certainly have to be at the top of Santa’s Nice List.

  10. Merry Christmas to everyone at Crooked Acres! Jean-Ralphio (love the name, LOVE Parks & Rec!)is so cute-then you added the Santa hat, and I almost fell off my chair! Too adorable!

  11. Loved the bug pictures. Did you share your Jean-Ralphio as Santa pic with Hi! We Are Spiders, yet? I’m sure they’d enjoy it. (Actually, it was through this site that I found out about Hi! We Are Spiders and follow them on Twitter. Thanks for that!)

    Merry Christmas!

  12. Loved this post!

    I’ve never seen a Spiny Orb Weaver–very cool.

    And that jumping spider is actually supercute–especially in his tiny Santa hat!

    (I am now imagining a giant spider climbing down the chimney with presents–and what one would leave out on a plate instead of milk and cookies.)

    Merry Christmas, you guys!!

  13. Loved the spider with the Santa hat. May I say adorable picture? Merry Christmas!! Thank you for helping the kitties too! Give them hugs for me and the doggies too! 🙂

  14. There is a twitter account called @hiwearespiders. That picture of Jean-Ralphio with the Santa hat needs to find its way there.

  15. Love all of the Christmas card pictures!!!!

    Love all the bug pictures. Now, Fred was going to duel Jean-Ralphio…and he suddenly disappears…I would be asking Fred where he was…!!!!

  16. Carmela’s photo was epic! looked like she was thinking of suing for kitty abuse! hahaaa

    oh well, I HATE bugs… hate ALL BUGS! but I can look at the photos and santa hats on them were cute!

  17. Catching up on reading after being away for a few days… Merry Christmas, and thanks for the card.

    And thanks for a Crooked Acres post! I’ve been missing them. And I dislike spiders with a passion, but fuzzy little Jean-Ralphio with his Santa hat was adorable!