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..."


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

From Chip Butter's Journal...



Such a short time ago, it seems, we were celebrating the longest day of the year.  Now, the sun is dipping below the hill behind our house a little earlier each day.  Yesterday, I was a bit late leaving  for my walk over the trail, and I found myself wishing for a flashlight by the time I got back home. 

Celebrating the longest day...


It has been a good summer, thus far.  With ample rains, the crops have been good,








I have been reading Thoreau again, and have scribbled a few of my favorite passages in my little journal notebooks.  I think I should post these somewhere so I could read them often.

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour...

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived...

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...








Our Little "Walden"... 





Friday, July 11, 2014

Weaving...




It was on the ground underneath the big tree - a birds' nest built of dead twigs, shaped into a cup, lined with grasses, rootlets, leaves, and....ribbon.  At first I didn't see the ribbon, for I was intent on admiring the weaving, over and under of twigs and grasses.  Weaving was something I had been thinking a lot about - thinking about it because of Jude Hill's class on "Considering Weave."





The nest was built, with all probability, by the Mockingbirds, which seemed this spring to have taken up residence in the big tree, underneath which the nest was found.  That one silky piece of ribbon woven into the nest among the twigs and grasses was such a surprise and amused me greatly.  What sweet little bird had woven it there?  A mother-to-be, perhaps, who wanted to make the dry, brown nest pretty for her new little ones?  Or, a father-to-be, who wanted to make the twiggy nest a bit sturdier when the strong winds blew?

I tugged on the ribbon, just slightly, thinking it might be used in the piece I was weaving for Jude's class, but soon realized it was woven tightly into the base of the nest.  To have removed it would have destroyed the nest, which I did not want to do. However, I did take inspiration from these little weavers, the birds who work only with beak and claw, and wove into the little piece I was working on a bit of old silky ribbon...






Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's Summer Vacation...




but Chip Butter School is in session...


The children are seated...

The books are open...


Teacher is impressed...

No caps allowed...


Praise for a job well done...