About Blog Title...

As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Falling Leaves...







Falling Leaves and Young Son (my latest Little People project...more later)  

"Let's go."  Millie knows these words well, and was excited to hear them when our last Thanksgiving guest had come and gone.  So, " Go", we did!

The whole outdoors had been glorious with brilliant color all week, even this late into November. It had taken some discipline, on my part, to stay focused on cooking and cleaning for most of the week while right outside my back door there was so much to see and do.

As we wandered along our woodland trail, which is now covered in a deep carpet of colorful leaves, I couldn't help but wonder about those who might have trod these same paths on some other long ago Thanksgiving Day. I want to think that they had a fine feast, too!























Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Warm Fire...





It was a chilly morning here in the Ozarks, following the first, at our house, of the extra-blanket nights, for fall has come late this year.  We enjoyed our breakfast beside a toasty warm fire in the wood-burning stove.  I think Ten Bears in the movie, Dances With Wolves, had it about right.  Talking of simple pleasures before a good fire may be better than anything.


With Ten Bears, it was always more than a while.  There was purpose in everything he did, and I knew he wanted me to stay.  But I was sure of myself.  I would be an excuse and that's all the Army would need to find this place.  I pushed him as far as I could to move the camp.  But in the end, he only smiled and talked of simple pleasures.  He reminded me that at his age, a good fire was better than anything.  Ten Bears was an extraordinary man.
                                                                                           (Dances With Wolves ~ John Dunbar)

                                                          
Ten Bears portrayed by a "Bully-Good Indian" from my Skookum collection





Sunday, November 13, 2016

Full Moon Rising...










Supermoon, November 14, 2016  ~  According to NASA scientists, this supermoon is the biggest and brightest in almost 70 years.  We won't see another supermoon like this until 2034, so it surely is worth taking a good look.

A supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day as the perigee, the point in the moon's orbit when it is closest to the earth.  Supermoons generally appear to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons. According to NASA,this month's supermoon "becomes full within about two hours of perigee--arguably making it an extra-super moon."

In America, the November full moon is known as a "Beaver Moon," because it arrives at the time of year when fur trappers would hunt the dam-building animals.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Turning Pages ~ Part 2...







Word must have gotten out that I have a liking for hawks for another paid us a visit a couple of  mornings ago.  I think this is a different one for he is definitely larger than the hawk that was here before.  I was able to get a few shots of him in action through my kitchen window as he hunted for breakfast right out our back door.  I am not sure what kind of hawk he is.  My grandmother would probably just call him a "chicken hawk," and, with concern for her barn yard flock, would summon my grandfather to get his gun.






Swooping down for some small prey...



Nutritious, no doubt...



Summer's last hike on the Chip Butter Trail...



The sweet, sweet fragrance of muscadine fills the air along the trail...



Millie ~ One ear up and one ear down ~ It seems that's the way it's going to be.  I love her either way!



Saturday, September 17, 2016

Turning Pages...








"...Another fall, another turned page:  there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer."
      ~Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Summer seemed very big this year!  I am so ready to turn another page to that "annual autumnal beginning."

 However, there are some things about summer's ending that bring on a bit of melancholy - things like bidding farewell to many of our favorite summer tenants - the little hummers who have delighted us since early spring, and other feathered ones, such as a pair of Broad-Winged Hawks that took up residence just back of our house.  They seemed to have had a liking for the old catalpa tree at the meadow's edge which gave them a bird's eye view of garden, orchard, and meadow as they searched for food.

 I haven't seen one of these hawks for a few days, so their migration must have begun.  My Audubon Field Guide says, "It is best known for its spectacular migrations; often thousands of birds travel together, with single flocks numbering up to several hundred individuals."  It's hard to imagine that there's one hawk among all those thousands that is my special hawk.  I hope he will be back in the spring.


















Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer...




One Among Many...


The Garden Gate...




Summer's Sweetness....


Sharing the Porch...



Summer's Bounty...


The Pond in Summer....


Millie Learns to Swim...





Watching  Millie...

 And, Millie watching the deer...


Summer's Stitches...


Remembering My Sweet Nell...



Monday, March 7, 2016

March...



Waiting for dusk
March is a lean time for these pretty little critters, so Spring can't come soon enough for them.  This little fellow is one of five that comes every evening to pick up tidbits from underneath the cattle troughs.  I also diligently save every scrap from the kitchen and put it out, along with some shelled corn,  for them each evening down by the creek.  They seem to appreciate it, for there's never a morsel left by morning.


The Pond in March
As far as the pond goes, I suppose Thoreau's words sum it up best, even though the winter has been a mild one and there's been no snow.  "They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself."


Millie, undoubtedly, dreaming of spring.  It will be her first.

Millie has been with us, now, for just over a month, and what a party it has been.  I really don't think we could have designed a dog, if that were possible, that would have been a better fit for us.  The lady at the shelter said that we could bring her back if we weren't pleased with her.  Bring her back, indeed!  What a dreadful thought for such a sweet little dog.  Just the mere mention of "bringing her back" made me think of Anne of Green Gables when Marilla was making plans to send Anne back to the orphanage because she wasn't a boy.  "...You would cry, too, if you were an orphan and had come to a place you thought was going to be home and found that they didn't want you because you weren't a boy.  Oh, this is the most tragical thing that ever happened to me!"

 Yes, Millie has passed all the tests in flying colors, so she will be staying.  As I have said before, with her along, the hills aren't so steep and the trail's not so long.


The last of winter's stitches...




Monday, February 8, 2016

Millie...




Each week our local animal shelter publishes three or four "Pet of the Week" photos and descriptions.  The following appeared in last week's paper.

PET OF THE WEEK - Millie is a six month old female Australian shepherd mix that is available for adoption at Needy Paws Animal Shelter.  According to a spokesperson from Needy Paws, "Millie is a super sweet, good-natured dog who would get along great with kids or other pets."  If you can give Millie or any of the other dogs and cats at Needy Paws Animal Shelter a home, go by the shelter....




And, that's how Millie came to live with us.  She's a sweetie and has already stolen my heart.  She loves hiking the trail with me, and I surely do love having her along.  She's good medicine, for sure!




Sunday, January 31, 2016

Who Took My Glove?













Perhaps you could carry it back between your teeth or in your beak and place it on the Chip Butter Trail where you found it. It was one of a pair of favorite winter gloves - warm and soft.  It had to be there on the trail - just slipped out of my pocket where I had put it when I snapped a few pictures.  Once I discovered that it was missing and had retraced my steps back up the trail, across Upper Meadow, down to Little Walden Pond (Upper Pond), and back to Trail's End, you had already found  it.  Naughty you!

I have suspects, for I often see these critters as I walk the trail.  Let's line them all up and look each one in the eye...  Oh, but they all look so sweet and innocent, don't you think?




Suspect #1 - Calf - rambunctious and ornery        

Suspect #2 - Crow - pesky and ever-watchful

Suspect #3 -  Coyote -  wily and cunning 

Suspect #4 - Whitetail Deer - swift and fleet of foot

Suspect #5 - Ferrell hog -  tenacious and destructive 



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