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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

The weather here has turned beautifully warm – if not sunny enough to suit me – and so yesterday I went out to do a few things I’d been putting off. One of those things was to plant our two PawPaw trees in planters.

PawPaws, in case you’ve never heard of them, apparently look something like mangos and taste like bananas. I read about them at Chickens in the Road. I ordered the two trees online, and when they arrived they were, basically, sticks with roots attached. For now we’re going to keep them in pots; when they get bigger, we’ll find a place to plant them. I’d kind of like to plant them in the back forty eventually, but we’ll see about that.

Anyway, my point is that I went out to plant the PawPaw trees, and my intention was to use two empty pots that were sitting near the garage. When I picked them up, though, I realized they were filled with ants (you can’t leave anything on the ground for more than two minutes around here without an ant colony appearing as if by magic; I always forget that). So I found two pots to use instead. Then I decided to pull the ant-filled pots apart and dump the ants onto the ground because I HATE ANTS and anything I can do to make their lives a little more difficult, I’ll do. I’m just that evil.

Only the bottom pot wasn’t just filled with ants. There were also grubs present, and a very special, very angry, very evil-looking friend.

I’ve made the pictures smallish ’cause I know how some of you are, but click on them to see larger versions over at Flickr if you want.

That’s a black widow. She was NOT happy with the likes of me, and she fixed me with an angry gaze(s), and there might have been a little screaming and dancing backward on my part. She was BIG, her body was probably an inch across. And yes – I stomped her flat after I took pictures.

(PS: If you’re on Twitter, you should totally follow Hi! We Are Spiders because they’re really funny. But be warned, there are lots of spider pics posted.)

In cuter and fuzzier news…

The Cuckoo Marans are coming along nicely.

They’re such pretty little birds.

They do not approve of anything. Look at them, judging me.

They do have fabulous eye makeup.

This is a Nuthatch.

The Daffodils – my favorite flower, though I prefer the ones that are all one color – are blooming like crazy. This one had a little visitor on board…

A wee juvenile assassin bug. They’re so adorable when tiny, and so ugly when grown.

By all means, Robin, hang out in the back yard where all the cats are.

Another Daffodil.

I can’t recall what these are called.

The catnip, despite being ignored all winter and despite desperately needing a trim, is looking pretty happy.


Out in the back forty, BOTH female ducks have gotten themselves in the maternity yard (where better to lay ones eggs?), and the boy ducks are beside themselves.

As soon as I set the girls free, they all headed out to the pond.

If I had to guess, I’d say we’ve got a hen on the left and a rooster on the right.

The Cornish crosses have gotten huge.

They don’t do much but sit in the sun and eat.

There’s wee Arnold in the back.

Hen and rooster Brahmas.

Toasty the rooster and his fabulous tail feathers.

I hate it when the hens are inside and it’s warm and sunny outside. I’m like “Go outside! Get some fresh air!” and they’re all “No, we’re good. There’s a Real Househens of Beverly Hills marathon on!”

“You has snack for us?”

“No, srsly. Where snack?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Aslan, needing a smooch.

Charming, looking smug (and portly).

Buttercup has this expression on her face an awful lot.

Buttercup in the sun.

Buttercup and Jareth.

Left to right: Charming, Aslan, Jareth, Buttercup. Just hangin’ out in the sun.

Jareth would like to know just what I think I’m doing.

Charming (with Aslan in the background). I love his upturned whiskers.

Aslan. Such a happy little face.

It’s possible he was having his bottom washed by his mama when I took this picture (as well as the previous one).

Showing Jareth who the boss is.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sugarbutt: A boy on his Ham-mick with his favorite toy (a catnip banana, of course!)


2012: And Razzie’s all β€œHey, I’m tiny TOO! Tell her!”
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: Wild thang!
2008: No entry.
2007: It was, and it squawked and flapped when the light from the flashlight hit it, and again I screamed and levitated across the room, followed by an amazing number of cats.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



4-10-13 — 49 Comments

  1. Wow, the Cornish Crosses have gotten big fast!!! Carming is portly – but quite adorable. Can’t wait to see what Arnold looks like when he finally grows up! All the roosters are quite handsome!

    Ahem….where are pics of my Leia?? Whas this an intentional exclusion??? *sniff*

  2. George and Gracie are looking wonderfully huggable today and I just want to rub my face on Aslan!

    Forwarded the wiki article for the pawpaw tree to my wife and put in the email –

    PAWPAW tree! Tis destiny, WE NEED THIS IN OUR LIFE.

    Yea, we’re just a tad obsessive over anything that sounds cat.

    paw.. paw… so cute

    • Ha – I was distracted by the fact that my father’s grandkids call him “Paw Paw”, I didn’t even think of the cat aspect. πŸ™‚

      • I missed reading yesterday, so I hurriedly went back to yday’s post with my heart in my mouth to be sure Nothing had Happened. Thankfully it hadn’t, but I think this means you’ll have to double the number of kitten pictures from now on, Robyn, just so we can all be sure that our respective favorites are hale and hearty! Or triple. Triple should be good; no chance of anyone getting overlooked with triples… maybe better make it quadruple.

        And if that’s too much editing and cropping and formatting and layouting and uploading and givin’-‘er-all-she’s-got-Cap’n-ing, just send the kittens to me, I’ll see what I can do. (c:

  3. I love the little wings on the Cuckoo Marans. So cute. And the muzzels on G & G makes me want to give them smoothces. Kittens are beyond cute. There is a distinct difference between Charming and everyone else. Are we sure he is from this litter and did not just sneak in?

  4. Yay!!!! Charming pictures! (with labels so I can study him and Buttercup!)

    Holy crow – they ALL look so fat and happy and smug.

    G&G! hi G&G!

    pretty flowers and yard stuffs.

    eeek. black widow!

    done with random, incomplete sentences…

    • I still want to get a picture of the two of them side by side, but they’re resisting my efforts. πŸ™‚

      • Not that you have much control over it I know – but can you try and make sure the front paws are showing? I’m thinking that Charming’s socks are not as long as BC’s, but not positive! πŸ™‚

  5. The little flower with strap-like leaves whose name you forgot is Claytonia virginica, common name spring beauty. Also called fairy spuds as the tiny little bulbs are edible. But you’d need to collect so many it doesn’t seem worthwhile – other than take a few to sample.

  6. ROBYN. SPIDERS HAVE A TWITTER. *flail* now they’re crawling all over meeeeeeeeee.

  7. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! Let me just say first that I was here at 6 am, got freaked out by the spiders, left before commenting to deal with blasting children out of bed, remembered to come back and comment and got freaked out all over again. Need to start brushing up on those memory improvement exercises.

    Yes, Robyn. The chickens do not approve. They read the latest installment of DCEP and are completely aware of what’s NOT currently in your freezer. I’m sending them a typewriter so they can begin some sort of negotiations. We’ll call it “Click, Clack, Cluck” and be millionaires.

  8. Charming with those upturned whiskers looks like one of those guys with the twirly upturned mustaches πŸ™‚

    and I’m sure he was getting his tuckus washed, look at those splayed toes!

    Just curious, why aren’t you putting Arnold in with the younger chicks?

    Black widows hun?? guess that puts the kibosh on my visiting.. not that I was invited or anything.. (but you are so totally invited here next time you come to ME)

  9. EWWWWW-black widow, thanks so much for posting big pics elsewhere! While we have them here there aren’t many, thankfully. Recluses also but not as many. Ugh.
    And then the antidote for spider pics–sites from the Acres, and then best of all: Kittehs, so adorables!! I would get nothing at all done with those in my house, nothing that didn’t involve them that is!!

  10. That momma spider looked a bit evil and creepy. I don’t know if I would’ve squished her but I might’ve been calling the movers to pack up my stuff LOL! But like Ruth said, the antidote is adorable kitten pictures and other sights from the yard. Tell Aslan and Leia that they have been officially added to my cache of screensaver pictures. They are famous just like Newberry, Agata, Polly and a few of Kelly’s fosters. And it’s not that I don’t want to snuggle the black kitties but I kinda have a theme going with my pictures is all.
    P.S. I love being able to go directly back to 2012 after visiting with the 2013 kitties. πŸ™‚

    • Fred always says that the first time we find a black widow in the house will be the last time, because we’ll be moving immediately! πŸ™‚

      • If I recall correctly, black widow bites are painful but not fatal. We had lots of them out in Arizona when I use to live there….

  11. I’ve been wondering: what if you just left the girl ducks in the maternity pen? I mean, unless they’re quacking up a storm or something and being annoying, surely they’d figure out how to exit eventually. Then no more having to play make-believe warden at duck jail!

    • Oh, I mostly don’t mind going out there to let them out – I don’t necessarily rush to let them out, but if I see the boy ducks pacing back and forth and I haven’t been out there yet, I don’t mind making the trip. πŸ™‚

  12. Dear fellow L&H readers, I have a dilemma I was hoping you could help me with.

    About a year ago, we brought in a full-grown stray who was friendly and who we named Buddy. We had him dewormed and fixed and set him up in the back bedroom in the hopes of assimilating him into our gang. We started him on a harness but he would lunge at the nearest cat. We tried this many times and sometimes it went ok, but usually not. In the meantime the other cats were terrified if we even opened his door. The final straw came when I took him out of his bedroom on his leash and he lunged at Rufus, whose leg snapped in two when he leaped to get out of the way. As it turned out, Rufus had/has bone cancer and his leg was successfully amputated and as of now, he’s just fine. It was one of those weird mixed blessings. Anyway, Rufus is the most skittish of all if he thinks Buddy is coming out of his room. Which leads to the problem: Buddy can’t live in a bedroom for the rest of his life, he’s lonely even though we visit him. His tendency to attack randomly any of the other cats means he can’t mingle freely in the house. Do we take him to our local Humane Society, where he may or may not be adopted or do we let him back outside into territory he knows (we’re rural), but risk losing him to a car or coyote? There are so many pros and cons to each and my hubby and I simply can’t stop going around and around. Thoughts?

    • You’ve held onto him for this long. Is there any way you could keep him long enough to facilitate an adoption without going through the shelter? Many rescues will “courtesy post” and advertise the cat for you. Some might be willing to take him on as a foster (although coming into kitten season, spots are in short supply right now).

      I give you kudos for knowing when to find alternate arrangements for the cat when it’s not working at home, but I would recommend finding foster arrangements before shelter or just letting him loose. If you let us know where you are, someone here could probably recommend a place to start for you. I’d even bet that Robyn (and I) would be willing to post photos and info on our blogs about him too.

      • Thanks, Kelly, for your thoughtful reply. I have hit up everyone I know to see if they might want him, but no takers. I like your ideas but a huge stumbling block is my imagination. I worry so much about him ending up in a bad home that I end up doing nothing. How would I know a good owner from a careless one?

        BTW, I’m in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

        • I’d be happy to post a courtesy post about Buddy – but I wonder if someone (or many someones) might have suggestions on how to get Buddy to calm down and become friends with your other cats. Although now that I’ve said that, I’m betting that you guys have tried absolutely everything!

          I don’t have suggestions at this point – though I do think that one way to assuage your concerns about Buddy ending up in a bad home is to ask to visit with Buddy a few times after he’s been adopted. I don’t deal with adoptions directly myself, but I’m sure that there are other L&H readers who would have other suggestions for you.

          Long story short – I’m going to post your question in Friday’s post and we’ll see what suggestions people have, okay?

        • Dawn! I’m not too far away from you up in Macomb! Let me put my thinking cap on and see if I can put together a list of rescues that are closer to you and might be able to help foster your guy. Let the rescues use the audience they already have to help you. That’s their job… to adopt out cats who would otherwise end up in a shelter (and they also have the experience in knowing what to look for in a good home). In the meantime, if you send me a photo of him (teenytinytabbies AT gmail DOT com) I will post it on my blog and Facebook page and start the ball rolling.

        • You need to interview potential adopters. He is a not a lamp so…you can say NO if you feel that these people are not a good match. (I have done that many times.) Ask questions but don’t let on what your preference is as you don’t want them saying what they think you want to hear. Ask questions like 1) Will he be indoors or outdoors? 2) Do you have other cats/dogs/children? etc. Definitely ask for the name of their vet (you can call for a ref from the vet to insure they bring them (current pets) in annually and if the vet would recommend them as a adopter. And as stated before, ask for a home visit (if they live in your area). If they have a dog, does the dog chase squirrels? If so, he will probably chase the cat. Go on the internet and google “dog to cat introduction”. Look them over and find the best one (usually that will be the posting from the Humane Society). Print it out. So, if the adopter has a dog, then you will hand them the print-out and discuss proper introduction for the safety of the cat. πŸ™‚

          Now, do make up a Word doc flier with a cute picture of him, description and why he is the kitty that everyone would want. Do mention that he must be the only kitty in the household. Be sure to include contact information. Email that flier to EVERYONE you know and ask them to forward it on to EVERYONE they know and ask them to do the same. Networking is the key. Post your ad on Facebook. You would be shocked how many dogs from the shelter are seen on FB and have been saved (it is a kill shelter here). The adopters write back to the shelter thanking them for their wonderful new pet. We saved about 20 recently that was going to be EUd in 36 hours. They all got great homes. Post your fliers at vet offices, etc.

    • Oh dear, if you have no luck with adoption, could he be your outside cat? I have 3 outside in temperate, rural CA. They eat outside, have wooden hidey holes crates & heating pads for chilly months. Nope, they’re not safe from coyotes & cougars but they are happy outside. The kill rate at our county shelter is really high. My backyard is safer than the shelter. MI?, snow, lots of snow. But food, water & a cozy hidey hole will go a long way to make the outdoors his home. Assuming you have gone as far as you can go to rehome him, than you might give yourself permission to let him out. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not turning him loose, you’ll feed & hug him, just outside. Come winter, invite him back in & see how it goes.

      • Thanks, everyone! These are all excellent suggestions and hubby and I will be having a discussion about them. We are going out of the country for two weeks on Monday, so that gives us plenty of time to have a think! =^..^=

    • We adopted a challenging cat last year, and he has been having a very difficult time adjusting to our other 3 cats… we eventually took him to our vet who recommended trying prozac. I thought it sounded crazy to put a cat on drugs, but we tried it, and he is a much calmer cat. He does not spray anymore, or attack any of the other kitties. He is less “needy” meaning that he doesn’t wake us up at all hours of the night just because he is lonely/bored. He plays now with the other cats- the ones who will play back with him : )
      FYI, we also tried the feliway difusers, and they helped a little…

  13. Robyn – I noticed the robin and I’m wondering do you have the problem of a lot of dead birds with so many outdoor cats. I have three adorable cats and one is a outside cat (even in -40C he will go outside for a little bit) but he’s constantly bringing me dead birds. You would think the birds would smarten up and avoid our backyard!!

  14. Even the tiny spider pics are too big! Seriously, my heart rate went up and I had to talk myself through it. it’s just a picture, it’s just a picture, it’s just a picture

  15. Eeeeek. Yech. That’s at least three times the size of our Scandinavian eight-legged creatures. Gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘spider’. Makes me ashamed of the times I’ve done the backward dance when finding a harmless 1/4 inch creature somewhere in the garden supplies…

    Thank goodness the rest of the post was so fuzzy and bright. I love the rock star rooster!

    • Black widows are relatively small and “delicate”. Dancing is not necessary! πŸ™‚