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, September 8, 2015

Give Us Our Porch Back...




Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes.  ~Author Unknown


 It has been a big year here for butterflies and hummingbirds.  And, what a joy they have been!

 But, in the opinion of the Mr. here at Chip Butter White Oak, the year has been way too big as far as hummingbirds go.  He has even gone so far as to say that he will be glad when they are gone, so we can have our porch back. Well, it is true that these little red and green jewels have pretty much taken over the porch where the feeders are hanging.  At times the air seems to be filled with buzzing clouds of hummingbirds.

It is a bewilderment how a little creature so small, with an average weight of only 0.12 to 0.13 ounce can consume so much.  Since late March, almost six 25-pound bags of pure cane sugar have gone into the making of  the sweet syrup used in the feeders.  Now, at around $12 per bag, we do have somewhat of an investment in these little critters.   It sometimes makes me rethink my decision to start feeding them during the drought of 2012. But, they were so hungry!

In addition to the feeders, they have also feasted on the almost endless supply of nectar from the flower gardens.  Bat Faced Cuphea (Cuphea llavea) in the photos below was new to the gardens this year, and was a hummingbird favorite.  It is an annual, so I hope I will be able to find it again next year.

With cooler weather bearing down upon us this evening, these little darlings will surely know that the time is drawing near for their long trip south.  In 2014, the last little hummer was spotted here on October 3, with most having left the previous couple of weeks.  To be sure, the porch will soon be eerily quiet and we will have our porch back.  In the mean time, we will be bidding these little ruby-throated critters farewell, and wishing them safe travels. See you next year, little fellows!



Look at that long tongue...


Bat-Faced Cuphea







25 comments:

  1. The news this morning said first chance of frost in the next 10 days! It is definitely cooling down around here. Love all the pictures of the hummingbirds. They are so tiny; but so spectacular at the same time. I did not see any here this year. I have so enjoyed seeing your photo's. The butterfly is quite beautiful as well.

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    1. Frost in the northern plains! That will start the migration south, for sure.

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  2. My husband loves feeding and watching the hummers. We have noticed this year that they are leaving early. We have only had a few in the last week and have reduced the feeders to only a couple hanging on the upper deck. It is very dry here and the flowers have been drying up so that and maybe an early fall is making them leave.

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    1. They are fun to watch. I think my husband likes them more than he will admit. Hopefully, you will get rain soon.

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  3. Wonderful pictures, you have captured a lot of them in their splendor. I have always wondered why the color red is so attractive to them. We have seen a lot fewer of them up here in Vermont this year so we get excited when they do appear.

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    1. With your beautiful gardens and so so many blooms, I am sure you have more of these little hummers than you see.

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  4. How delightful to see an entire grouping of hummers, I've never! We see many lone hummers on the roses and bee balm all season, but never in a bunch. I know how your husband feels about the porch though, we always have at least 3 families of barn swallows that build a mud nest in each corner of the eaves on our porch. I love watching them grow and learn to fly, but the mess they leave !

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    1. They do love bee balm. We haven't had barn swallows on the porch this year...probably chased away by the hummingbirds! Really!

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  5. I'd sure enjoy sittin' on your porch and watching the little hummers! They are so entertaining. We have seen an abundance of them this year and they've been daily visitors to the Rose of Sharon (still blooming) and my tiny flower garden. You must have a dozen feeders!

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    1. :-) Only five feeders! Two are "Big Gulp" 40 fl. oz. feeders, like the one in the picture. There's a lot of buzzing going on this morning, so come on down!

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  6. Oh wow I've never seen so many hummingbirds on one feeder. We're fortunate to have two this year. These little critters were sure blessed you invested in that pure cane sugar!

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    1. Yes, lucky, but that pure cane sugar is cutting into my budget for dressing the dolls! :-)

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  7. SO beautiful!! both flowers and birds. I don't feed them but have seen one now and then trying to find something. I've had a squirrel in a flower pot, which has no flowers, on the front porch. Apparently it likes something on the edge of the pot. Twelve bags?? I feed about one 16 lb. bag of cat food a week; could be buying fabric!

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    1. Actually it is six bags. 6 X $12 = lots of fabric. Ha! There are so many here today; getting ready to go, perhaps.

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  8. Mary, beautiful images. I also have had an abundance of the little birds and still do.
    Have not been reading or post for a number of months
    I have missed your sharing....

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    1. Ernestine, you and I share a love for the little hummers...and so much more. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. We are the unfortunate ones, in that we only have 1-3 hummers. But still enjoy them immensely. My step son is like you, he usually goes thru MANY bags of sugar in a summer, I think he has 3-4 hanging feeders. I enjoy watching them fly, fight each other and would love to see a nest some time. We're seeing a lot of butterflies right now, especially around the fruit trees and have some honey bees sipping on the Live Forever plant. Isn't nature wonderful!

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    1. To find a hummingbird nest is high on my list, too! I have read that they are well camouflaged with lichens and are about the size of a walnut shell. I am thinking my best chance is to thoroughly search fallen limbs.

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  10. Ours are so territorial, there's never more than one on the feeder, even though we can hear them up in the tree making that squeaky grizzling noise. Yours are lucky to have found such a bonanza!

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    1. I do know that noise! It gets on my husband's nerves, but doesn't bother me at all. But, then, I don't have the acute sense of hearing that he has.

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  11. we love to see the little birds too. We have fed them and my step father always fed them. The bees will try to take over the feeder, but the birds are pretty fearless. One flew into a window one time and about the time I got to it, it zoomed up off the ground. I was so relieved it was not hurt, just stunned a little.

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    1. Yes, "fearless" describes them well. I once found a dead one just inside the door of our shop building, and felt so sad. Now we are careful not to leave the doors open in the late afternoon when they will be looking for a dark place to spend the night. These little critters will be heading your way shortly, so if you see a fat one tell it I said, "Hello." ;-)

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  12. Oh joy joy joy to see all of these wonderful images!!
    Oh how I love these little fearless gems!! And butterflies too!!

    So Miss Chip! ( I love to call you Miss Chip) you must come over and visit my latest post ;-)
    Many warm blessings xx oo Linnie

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  13. You are such a talented photographer!!!! In addition to all your other talents :-)

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