5-24-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

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Maxi in the garden. She knows that we walk around in the garden every evening after we visit the chickens and dogs and ducks and fish in the back forty, so she meets us in the garden and keeps us company.

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Mama hens and their babies. We have something like three hens who have two chicks each, and another five or six hens sitting on eggs that will hatch in about two weeks (maybe sooner).

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The chicks can go through the fence around the maternity yard with no problems. They come back when their mamas call.

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Boy duck, standing on one leg and rubbing his face on his oily feathers. It took me a long time to realize that he was standing there on one foot.

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“Psst! You ask her, you’re the polite one. She likes you!”
(They got their cookies.)

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This here is a Little Green Heron (according to Fred’s parents). He was hanging out in the pond (George and Gracie didn’t see him, or they would have run him off) and flew up to the top of this tree. I wanted to get a shot of him in flight, but I happened to glance away, and when I looked back, he was GONE.

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This is the tree he was sitting in. I keep expecting it to fall over (it’s very dead), but it keeps on hanging in there. Maybe all the vines are holding it up.

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The pond is getting so shallow. Just a couple of good rains, is that too much to ask for?

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George and Gracie, waking up from a long morning nap. To be followed by a late-morning nap and then an afternoon-long nap.

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The lettuce and spinach growing in my raised bed. It’s about time to pull up the spinach, I think, it doesn’t do so well when it gets really hot out.

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Pole beans, growing up the fence.

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Time to eat some turnip greens!

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Volunteer tomato plant amongst the pole beans. There are volunteer tomato plants all over the garden this year. We’ve left some of them, pulled up the ones that are in the way. We’ll see how they do.

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Volunteer plants that popped up in what’s left of last year’s compost heap. My rule is that I won’t go out of my way to water volunteer tomato plants, but if they produce tomatoes I’ll happily pick them!

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Cilantro on the left, Dill on the right. I’m not sure how they’re going to do – they get an awful lot of direct sunlight.

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Catnip’s going wild!

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Volunteer tomato plant popped up in the raised bed with the lettuce. I’ll probably let that stay there; it will provide a little shade for the lettuce, and maybe it won’t turn bitter (in taste, that is. Lettuce has a naturally bitter attitude. Also, it’s kind of rude and will bolt with no notice whatsoever. Stupid lettuce.)

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We actually ate all the corn we grew last year by early this year. So what did Fred do? Planted twice as much this year. I love love love corn.

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I believe these are the Campari tomatoes. They’re bigger than cherry tomatoes, smaller than plum. Last week, I pruned the tomato plants. When I say I “pruned” them, do not be under the mistaken impression that I ever have any idea what I’m doing when I prune them. I mostly get out there and hack at them, and then I say “Oops. I think I went overboard”, but then the plants reward me by being incredibly happy, so I can’t have messed it up too badly, right?

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San Marzano (plum) tomatoes.

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More Camparis, I think.

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Squash flower.

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Wee baby scalloped squash.

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Wee zucchini. I took this picture yesterday morning. The zucchini’s probably the size of a Volkswagen by now.

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Wee baby grapes!

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And blueberries! (I’ve eaten about a handful of blueberries so far.)

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When we moved into this house, there was a cedar tree in the back yard. There was something wrong with it (I don’t remember what), so Fred cut it down. That small tree that started growing next to the trunk is, I think, a sweet gum tree (I could be wrong). We have PLENTY of sweet gum trees, so I think that eventually we’re going to cut down the little tree and plant something else in that general area.

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Happy, happy Hydrangea.

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And pretty!

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I’m not absolutely sure what kind of bug that is – I’m thinking it’s an Assassin Bug. Anyone know for sure?

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The other day, a fly made its way into the foster room, and it’s the first and only time I’ve seen Emmy look SO engaged and interested. She tracked it as it flew around the room.

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Then my camera battery died, and in the time it took me to come downstairs and switch it out and go back upstairs, she chased the fly down. As I walked back into the room, she climbed back into her cat tree, and she swallowed the fly. Apparently it was quite tasty.

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(She wasn’t up for a congratulatory pet, though.)

So, today we bid adieu to Emmy. I’m leaving here with her in a little bit, and she’s off to become a barn cat. She’ll have some other kitties to keep her company, and I believe there are horses there as well. And I’m pretty sure that there will be plenty of tasty flies for her chase down and eat. She won’t have to sit and look longingly out the window at the outdoors, she’ll get to be out there as much as she wants. And she’ll be cared and provided for, and I think she’s going to be happy.

Last night I sat down several feet away from her, and I thanked her for trusting me with her kittens. I told her she was going to have a happy life where no one will subject her to being petted unless she wants it, and she can be outside if she wants, or she can snuggle up in a comfy barn if she wants. I told her that she’ll have other kitties to keep her company, and she will never bring another litter of kittens into this world. She looked at me as I talked, and she eventually gave me the slow blink.

So I tried to pet her. And she nipped at me. I prefer to think she was saying “That’ll do, human. That’ll do.”

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2012-05-24 (42)
Jobey-Joe the tuxie-do SWEARS he’s not going to pee on that melon plant, no. (But look at those mischievous eyes! I’m not sure I believe him.)


2011: β€œDorfy sweepy too. I can haz a snuggle?”
2010: (Hint: SHE is the boss.)
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Aren’t I nice, taking toys away from our cats for the foster kitties to play with?



5-24-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday — 42 Comments

  1. Godspeed, Emmy — and thanks for helping her find the ideal home, Robyn! I hope you’ll get the odd update from her guardian. Fingers crossed for her as well as for some serious rain for Crooked Acres.

  2. Good job finding a home for Emmy that meets her needs!

    And how in the HECK do Georgie and Gracie look so clean in all of the pictures? Today was the first day I saw some dirt on their coat, from their wonderful nap. But whenever I see them, I wonder how those long, white coats do not become matted and dirty??

  3. My eyes are a bit misty this morning. Shut up… I have allergies. Have a happy life, sweet Emmy. That will more than do, human. ((Although a photo or four of Emmy at her new barn today would make ME very happy too))

    • yes, yes, allergies. Or the paper stacks on my desk are all dusty and I stirred it all up. Yup.

      • That’s funny, I have tears of happiness in my eyes! I’m so glad Emmy is going to a place where she can be happy!! The best part is that she will have kitty company if she wants it. Hooray!!

        Also, I love Robyn’s writing about their little ‘chat’! Emmy will be Emmy right down to the end!

        • Dammit, got me, too. I hope you are happy Emmy! It would have been nice if she came around but I guess some aren’t meant to.

  4. Oh sweet Emmy. You are off on a new adventure. We hope to see pictures of your new home and may you have many mice and bugs to chase.

  5. Aw, bye bye Momma Emmy. You were a great Mom, and now you’re going to have a happy life living it up your way!

    Man, your garden is awesome! So, maybe this has been asked before, or mentioned, but do the outdoor cats ever stalk/catch any of the baby chicks?

    • Mama chickens are incredibly protective and a riled up chicken could actually do quite a bit of damage to a cat. Plus, the roosters are protective of their offspring. All that adds up to the cats learning very quickly to leave the chicks alone!

      My grandmother used to keep guinea fowl and they are protective to insane levels. Those little buggers would go after people, dogs, coyotes, cats, pigs, mules… anything, really, that they thought was a threat, no matter what the size. But even regular chickens can be pretty intimidating!

  6. I’m so glad you’ve found a home for Emmy, I hope she’ll be as happy as she can be.

  7. Thank you for the garden pics! Makes me excited to get to work on mine (mostly just barely planted!)

    What are you going to do with your muscadine grapes? I had muscadine wine from TN for the first time this spring, and it was excellent. It is not made in Colorado, or anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, from what I can tell. (Not that I know where that is, I mean, sounds like it is mostly made in The South). : )

  8. It’s a hard-knock life for George and Gracie, to be sure. And I, too, wonder how they stay so clean!

    So glad that Emmy has found a home.

    • Exactly what I was thinking. My dog is brown and spends a huge chunk of his time indoors and he still looks dirtier than George and Gracie. ((He likes it that way, too))

  9. I’m not sure who wouldn’t want to be a pampered house pet but Emmy knows what’s best for Emmy. I wish her the best.

    I keep looking at those squash blossoms and imagining them lightly fried with mascapone or cream cheese and herbs stuffed inside.

  10. So glad you were able to find a home for Emmy, I was wondering what you were going to do with her. I LOVE your garden and I wish I had even half a green thumb and a little motivation to have even a small one of my own.

  11. Any news on finding Aristophanes a new home?

    I swear, if I were on that continent, I’d drive (well, get my husband to drive, I can’t) to pick him up and spoil him for the rest of his life. >.<

  12. Aw, best wishes to dear Mama Emmy, may she settle in and be happy there on the farm.
    Thanks for all the pics, both flora and fauna, and here’s hoping we both get some rain soon!

  13. Looks like the insect in question may be a seed bug in the family Lygaeidae – perhaps the Large Milkweed Bug Oncopeltus fasciatus?


    Definitely not an assassin bug! Assassin bugs (family Reduviidae)have a groove between the eyes and the beak they use to feed with fits into a nice groove on the underside of their bodies!

    • I think she has the right bug here! The other one (sorry Holly) has longer legs, skinnier body and the black patch on the head area is different.

      • You are right buggirl-well done! But did you notice the other one I found was a Milkweed Assassin Bug? Robyn must have lots of yummy milkweed around.

    • Dang! You beat me to it. Yup, it’s a milkweed bug. I had to raise a few for my final in my entomology in history class…five years ago. Dang, it’s been a while. Only one out of six made it to be released (the first three died; the fourth croaked right after replacing the first three; and the last two made it to maturity before the one with a wonky back died). Although, even the entomology department said that they were REALLY inbred. They were kind of stupid easy to take care of; give them a couple plain, shelled sunflower seeds once a week or so, clean out their poo every once in a while, and make sure their tiny cotton ball waterer stays moist.

      Anyway, Ima go back to lurking now. Byes!

      • Janna, you kind of sound like you miss your milkweed bugs. You want me to catch you one? πŸ™‚ Thanks for the bug identification, guys! I didn’t think it was shaped right to be an assassin bug, but I just couldn’t decide (I’m also not used to seeing adult assassins, I’m more familiar when they’re tiny – and I hate to say it, but they are really freakin’ cute when they’re tiny!)

  14. Please ask Emmy’s new home to take photos of her, one of my favorite pictures of my greatly missed Maude is stretching on a bale of hay in the sunshine. Some kitties are just not happy indoors, Maude tried to get out and play with HER doggie the last day of her life, when not sleeping on a nice hot water bottle (she lived to a ripe old age).

  15. Have a wonderful life, Emmy. If you make friends with the horses they might let you nap on their backs in the stall. Watch where you step…

  16. <3<3<3<3 "That'll do, Human. That'll do." <3<3<3<3 A long happy barn cat life for Emmy is my wish!

  17. Robyn, I know you do all that you can for every cat that comes your way, but not all cats need the same things, and for Emmy, you gave her safety, warmth, food, and shelter, and a good place to raise her babies without worry. AND you found her a home where she can do her thing. I’d say you did well!

  18. Darn these allergies!!! I am so happy that you were able to find Emmy the perfect fur-ever home. Your tomatoes and zucchini are making me hungry and I already had my lunch!

  19. Happy life Emmy! I carried Tabitha to the rescue for FeLV kitties today…scary how this is another parallel with her and Emmy. No allergies here, just tears for hard goodbyes.

    • Hi Amy,

      I hope you can take some comfort from the fact that you did the best thing possible for Tabitha! I admire you immensely for being able to let go! I don’t think I could do it.

    • It sucks, doesn’t it? I have no doubt that you did what was best for Tabitha, though. She is so lucky to have found you!

  20. Hi Robyn, I think it’s probable that Emmy learned to be a hunter of all things edible when she was starving with all those other cats. It’s good to know she enjoys doing it still even when she has enough to eat. As you write, with horses around in her new home, she’ll have plenty of flies to hunt!!

    Also, I agree 100% with what you wrote about lettuce, the little green b*stards! It’s too bad home-grown lettuce is so tasty and so nutritious!

    Finally, if the Little Green Heron comes back, try to get a close-up shot. The colors on those birds are simply amazing, especially in the sunlight!!

    Thanks yet again for your wonderful blog. I’ve badly injured a shoulder and your entries make me laugh through the pain while I’m waiting to get my MRI and probably surgery!

    • I was so kicking myself for heading out to the pond and NOT having the long lens with me. I’m hoping to see him again!

      I’m sorry you’ve injured your shoulder, I hope you’re not in too much pain! πŸ™ (Also, surgery – ugh!)

  21. Goodbye, Emmy — you were a good mama and got your babies off to a good start. I wish you could become someone’s pretty, pampered house cat, but I think the barn is more what you want.

  22. Allergies here too, I think.

    Goodbye, sweet Emmy – You were a terrific Mom to some fabulous kittens, now it is YOUR time. Enjoy!

    And yes, Robyn – if possible, a picture or two of Emmy in her new digs would be welcome. Bless you, and Fred, for caring for her!

  23. Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A new Anderson Kitty medley to sing around the house! My cats must think I’ve lost it.

  24. You did well with Emmy and i am sure she understood every word you said. I told my Zorro’s mum that i would look after him as best i could always when i first trapped him and she stood to one side watching me take him away. i thanked for making him strong and healthy and beautiful and she blinked at me and let me take her boy. i believe they know when we mean well and Emmy would never have doubted that about you. Be happy momma cat. πŸ™‚