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..."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reflections of more than one kind...

It is hard for me to walk past the upper pond (I call it Walden Pond just for fun) and not snap a few photos.  Late in the day, when Nell and I take our hike over the big hill behind the house, every leaf and limb seem to be reflected perfectly in the pond's water.  I am not sure why that is since, from my point of view,  I am facing east with the sun at my back, but that's the way it is.  Most of the leaves have now fallen, but even the trees' bare trunks and branches create beautiful pictures whichever way one looks, up or down.

 When I go walking these days, Nell is beside me at every step.  Well, except for when she finds some wild critter to engage her in a game of chase.  It's catch me if you can, but she never does.

Having come so close to losing Nell a few months ago, I am ever so thankful that I have been granted more time with her.  I love her more every day and do everything I can to let her know.  Of course, that's the way we should be with all our friends and loved ones, appreciating the time we are given, knowing the days won't last forever.

On the first day of this year, I began tossing a small stone at the edge of the trail that I walk daily.  Before long, there was a pile of stones almost as long as I am tall.   The idea to do this came from Louis L'Amour's, Last of the Breed, in which he wrote,  "It is an old custom of these people to pick up a stone and toss it on the pile.  Perhaps it is a symbolical lightening of the load they carry, perhaps a small offering to the gods of the trails." 

All last winter, until warmer days brought out the crawling little critters that like to bite a traveler passing through, I tossed a stone on the pile I was building in the woods.  It was a satisfying thing to do, as though the spirits were pleased.

Nell and I are again walking the trail through the woods, and once again, I am tossing a stone onto the pile each time I pass by. I am sure the gods of the trail are not pleased when I do not come, so I only miss when the weather is bad. ( Thinking this way is a good incentive to keep me walking, I think!)



  1. Always a lovely visit to your woods, Mary! Have a beautiful day!

  2. Loved this post. How could you not walk in beauty like that? Enjoy your Nell...good friends are a rare treasure.

  3. I love the meaning of the stone ritual. Very interesting. Glad that Nell is doing so well. As always, your photos are beautiful.

  4. Perfect place for a good walk and the stone ritual is interesting. I'm glad you have such a good friend in Nell.

  5. Such beauty in all your photo's. Beautiful, peaceful.

  6. We are kindered spirits! I do the same thing with rocks that I collect while Sophie and I are walking. So glad that Nell is a great walking companion for you . She is very pretty!

  7. This post
    touched my heart in a special way.
    You gave me an idea
    with the stones.
    Thank you
    and your special words...