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..."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What's for Dinner?

It is simple fare these days for the wild critters...mostly what can be stolen from farmers' barns and feed troughs.  Living off the land is not going to be easy this winter.  When I was out and about yesterday, I snapped a few shots of these slim pickings.

Pokeweed plants are eaten by deer.  The berries and seeds are eaten by song and game birds.

The fruit and seeds from the Hercules' Club or Devil's Walking Stick (Ginseng Family) is eaten by song and game birds, bear, and other small mammals.  Its foliage is browsed by deer.  There are several of these tall shrubs on the place, but most have no fruit this year.

The unbranched trunk of the Devil's Walking Stick is armed with stout, sharp spines.  Is it any wonder that this shrub was named such?

There are only a few pawpaws this year, most having fallen before maturing.  I was able to find only a few on the trees.  The fruits are normally a bit larger than this one.  They are greenish in color, fleshy somewhat like a banana, and readily consumed by small animals and birds.  This one would have probably suited my taste, but it was too high in the tree for me to reach.  The little wild critters need it more than I do, for sure.

These pawpaws had fallen to the ground...first come, first serve.

Much of the wildlife in the Ozarks is dependent on the acorn as a main food staple.  Acorns seem to be in short supply this year, even though the pin oak in this picture seems to have a good number.

After frost the pale orange persimmon will become sweet to the taste and have high food value.  Furbearers including fox, skunk, also deer, bear, coyote and other mammals and birds feed upon the fruit.  It is a good thing for these animals that we have a fairly good persimmon crop this year.


1 comment:

  1. My oh my, I see the date on this entry. You have been writing, photographing and maintaining your blog for a long time! I am not that faithful am I...I have never eaten a pawpaw. I have eaten my share of persimmons. Tom had a family member in Texas that used to send a box once and a while. So good. These things I usually think of as being frost tender, but I know it gets cold where you are. So maybe the forest cover makes the difference in protection from cold?