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..."

Friday, June 22, 2012

In Search of Orange...

When I want color, I want Orange.  It is a strong color, one that stands up and shouts like no other.  Without the greens, the blues, and the browns, against which it likes to abide, it might be something less, for being alone it could not be king. 

The hummingbirds and I...what do we have in common...a love for Orange.  Outside my window, where the firecracker blossoms glow like tiny embers, the hummingbirds come and go.

The Orange blossoms of the trumpet vine, which grows along fence rows and wherever it can find something to climb, is a hummingbird's favorite.

Mother Nature must be fond of Orange too.  

Inside my house, old books with tattered book jackets line a shelf.  Would I have chosen these if they had been any other color?

A tiny ribbon...just a touch of orange against nature's brown twigs and bark... gives this miniature basket a bit of pizazz.

And, what would Till Goodan's painting of "Superstition Mountain" be without Orange?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bears and Bluffs...

I am learning to grab my camera when I leave home, just in case...On a recent trip to check on our mountain meadows, I came home with these pictures.  We were sitting in our jeep when we saw this bear ambling along toward us.  He seemed unaware that we were there.  When I snapped this picture, he was gone in a flash.  He may have heard the  sound of the camera shutter, or he may have spotted us.  In the picture, he is somewhat swallowed up by the tall grasses and cane, but with a really good zoom lens, I could have had him!

The bluff which overlooks the meadow has several caves that might be perfect for a bear's den.  With a fish from the creek for main course and delicious ripe raspberries for dessert (we had a few), what else could a nice fat bear want?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Only a Trickle...

The path I walk is really nothing, these days, other than a dusty cow trail.  Dust and grasshoppers fly upward with my every step.  There are no cows on the path now for they stay most of the day and night along the little streams where there still remains some green grass.

The streams of water have become nothing more than shallow pools.  The watery homes of small fish become smaller each day and will only be replenished when the rains come again.

  The bridge culverts are now almost empty and hollow; only a trickle flows through them.  But that small trickle fills my spirit and gives me hope.  There will be rain, then more rain.  The streams will fill and the culverts will become bubbling torrents once again.  Feeling assured of this blessing to come, I walk back up the cow path, kicking up dust, but dreaming of rain.