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..."

Monday, July 23, 2012

OR & Company

The beautiful Angus heifer I wrote about in the post "A Bit of Dad's Legacy," has been named OR, which are Dad's initials.  After OR was weaned from her mother, she was joined by five other heifers, and the six of them soon bonded like sisters...thus OR & Company.

Waiting for an ear tag

OR has led a sheltered life, having been given daily almost all the hay and grain she could want, but there are things that she has seen very little of...rain and green grass.  By the time, she was brought to live on our farm, we were already in the midst of one of the worst droughts ever.  Day after day the temperatures have soared above 100 degrees and very little rain has fallen.  For OR & Company it has been the same daily ration...dry hay and grain.

Ear Tag No. 22

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Out you go

But, today was a big day for this half-dozen young heifers, a day of going out into the big world to be on their own, where each day there won't always be a buffet of sweet feed and hay.  Each heifer was given an identifying ear tag before being loaded onto the stock trailer for a mile-long ride to their new home pasture.   A trough inside the pasture was filled with grain before OR & Co. were unloaded from the trailer.  Five heifers stopped at the trough to eat the grain, but one walked past and dropped her head to eat, what else, but green grass...that heifer was Ear Tag #22...OR.


Good luck, OR & Company!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Breaking Away...

Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.  Wash your spirit clean.  ~ John Muir

Saturday, July 7, 2012


It wasn't much, and it didn't last long, but it was wonderful to see rain falling, once again, onto this dry, parched land.  We were thankful for every drop.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Pond at Sunset...

When I saw the firey glow of the sun shining through the woods behind our house, I knew I would have to hurry to make it to the pond before sunset.  The temperature was still above one hundred degrees, even at this hour, so it was a hot, uphill climb.  Nell was with me but didn't seem to mind the heat, for a late evening walk is her greatest delight.

This path through the woods is one I often walk, my favorite one, but I have chosen an easier one as of late because of the heat.  

 Water...what a blessing!  I love this view of the pond, just a glimpse through the woods.

I am amazed that the water appears so blue, the color of pure water, during this time of drought.  It is at this time of day, on warm evenings, that Dan and I sometimes float out upon the pond, he at one end of the boat, and I at the other, with our fishing poles.  Only at this time of day is it so quiet and the warm breeze so gentle, a time when not many words pass between us, a time when we each have our own thoughts and let worries and cares drift away.

"That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."  Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grasshoppers and Drought...

Grasshoppers and drought...guess they go together like hand and glove.  Surely grasshoppers have a reason for being; something about the food chain, I think.  But where is the thing in that chain that should be eating these critters...bring it on!

When I was a child, our barnyard chickens would chase grasshoppers down and have a feast. Well, come on rooster!

 Before the grasshopper invasion, the fern at my front door was fresh and green and beautiful. Now, I dare not take a picture of it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Land of Little Rain...

When clouds built to our west and northwest last evening, Dan and I sat on the porch to watch.  He said the words that we have all been saying for so long now, not, "I wish it would rain," but, "Why won't it rain?"  Then he said, "We don't even have cactus here (well, maybe a few prickly pear)."   This made me think of Mary Austin's The Land of Little Rain, in which she writes about the desert southwest.  She spent long periods of time there and wrote about the land, the climate, the plants, and the animals of a land that "supports no man." 

"Here are the long heavy winds and breathless calms on the tilted mesas where dust devils dance, whirling up into a wide pale sky.  Here you have no rain when all the earth cries for it.  Void of life it never is, however dry the air and villainous the soil."  Desert plants, the yuccas, the cacti, and the low herbs, are adapted to survive in a bitter land.  The animals are nearly all workers of the night, finding the days too hot and the sands too white. 

But, this land, where we live, is not desert.  This is a land of pine and hardwood forests, of grassy meadows, and bubbling streams...or, at least, it was, before the drought.  Many trees now  look as though they are dead, and those along the high ridges mimic the colors of fall.  The animals that habitat this land are hungry, and perhaps thirsty, too - the cattle and the wild ones, the deer, the squirrels, the raccoon, and many others. 

As Dan and I watched the sky, I noticed last evening that the moon had a halo of sorts around it, and couldn't help recall a bit of folklore..."When there's a ring around the moon, rain or snow will soon follow."