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 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."


  1. Lovely photos. Will it ever rain? Today doesn't seem as hot....the deer are eating the grass in my front and back yards. I hope your bit of folklore is correct, I shall wait for the rain!

  2. Sherri, don't hold your breath...not looking very promising. I have never seen it as dry as it is now.

  3. Mary, no rain on my woods either. But I probably had some rain weeks ago that you did not have. You will never know how you bless me with your words. I did not see an email address so will write to you this way. I started writing about 4 years ago so my children and grandchildren would know the real me and also some stories of those you have passef on. I went back a few hours ago to read some of my old entries. Sat here crying as I could not believe I wrote them. My life is going by so quickly - too quickly. But I realize I have a good life. Just never thought that I would be alone at this time of life.
    Your words have are special to me - new friend...