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..."

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dog Days of Summer...

It was hardly midmorning when I noticed through the window that the cattle had already "found the shade" as the Cowboy would say.  But, it's that time of year, for the dog days of summer are upon us.

 And, if I should have gone looking for Millie I would have known right where to have found her, for she would have surely been in her shady corner of the little rock garden next to the house. She has dug a nice little hole there, but it is hardly noticeable, actually, for it is behind a fairly large abelia with long arching branches.

For the past couple of days, I have played the role of the good fairy, and poured a bucket of water into her hole before filling it back in with soil.  In this way, she won't have to dig deeply to make for herself a cool damp bed.  I've never scolded her for it.  I used to take Nell inside on hot afternoons, but Millie seems to prefer being outside. 

Actually, the Dog Days of Summer, which are taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, doesn't have anything to do with dogs, or even with the lazy days of summer.  Instead, it turns out, the dog days refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.  To the Greeks and Romans, the "dog days" occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. 

Although July and August are generally known as the hottest months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the hottest period can vary from year to year.  And depending on your latitude, the astronomical dog days can come at different times.

As soon as breakfast is finished, Millie and I head to the garden.  She lies under the shade of a tree and watches me work with my  head bent low beneath the okra and zinnias. 

I made some miscalculations when I planned this year's little garden. (Imagine that!)   There is no room...zero...to get between the rows to cut the okra pods.  And, on the other side of the row, it's no better because of the tomato plants that are reaching out from their cages. I just didn't expect the California Giants to be so...well, gigantic!  But, my how I love them!  Oh well...there's always next year.  I am now thinking the old plow in the center of the garden wasn't such a good idea.  But there will be zinnias again, even Giants!  Let's see, I could always move the old plow over there.....   And, so it goes!

Millie isn't the first dog to lie in the shade of  this tree while I worked in the little garden.  This was Nell's favorite spot too.  Oh, how lonely I was when there was no Nell under that tree, so you must know how happy I am to have found another little doggie friend that loves me as much as Nell did!  I really doubted that I ever would.

Millie and I talk about things.  She's a girl, you know, and girls talk.  She in her way and me in mine, but we each understand the other.  It's a mutual love, for sure!

Also........... A blogger friend, E.C., has gone into the black swallowtail butterfly business. :~)   For the complete story, you'll have to go back a few posts, but it's worth it.  Good job E.C.! 


  1. Oh that is so nice of you.... To fix her hole, so she will not have to work hard, to be cool... :-)

    "Dog Days of Summer" refer to the dog star, Sirius, rising! Never knew that! Thank you.

    Gorgeous photos...

    Sweet words, about your mutual love, with your dear doggie friends...

    Sorry about your SLOW internet service. That's not fair. You certainly pay good money, for it.

    Thank you for reading/commenting on my blog, my Dear. Since so few do, I am losing interest, in trying.....

    Gentle hugs, Luna Crone

  2. We certainly have been in a heat wave here. A bit of rain would be so welcome. I found myself looking for the shade myself outside. It's funny how each dog can have their own "ways". I am happy that the relationship between you and Millie is going so well. I am sure she appreciates your helping her keep cool. Your flowers are so amazing!

  3. The zinnias are gorgeous! I guess we're really blessed to have the overgrowth of green things so far this year. Sandra left me a comment about how dry and hot her area is. I envy your friendship with Millie :) I used to have that with Callie.

  4. Hello, such lovely thoughts and photos. At this end, its been pretty hot so a bit of rain would be welcome. Greetings to you!

  5. Loved your header and the beautiful memories underneath. Such a wonderful friendship with your dog Millie, she is adorable. Thank you for your comments, they are always appreciated. It will be a pleasure to become one of your followers.

  6. great pictures. I am glad you have Millie. No one can stay here forever and we have to be glad for the time we have with them. I know your dog does love and appreciate you. It is super hot here and will be until late in September. I like summer even with the hot weather though.

  7. The 'dog days' have me yearning for the 'cold days' of winter. I try to do all my gardening in the early morn. This morning I went bike riding before the sun was blazing. It is so absolutely amazing how we can carry on 'conversations' with our favorite animal friends and sometimes not a word was spoken. Enjoy.

  8. What a sweet post--I'm glad you found another canine friend to love you. Love all the photos! I planted black-eyed Susans this year instead of the zinnias, and now I'm wishing I'd planted both. Enjoy the okra and 'maters!

  9. Millie is wise girl. She's lucky to have a caring Mom like you to help her cool spot stay cool.
    That's so interesting about the dog star. I never knew that. I thought the dog days of Summer was because it was too hot for folks and dogs to move around much. Thanks for sharing about the dog star, that's a neat bit of trivia to learn.
    Your zinnias are beautiful. The bee picture is amazing. It's so real it's as if he could fly out of it. Zinnias are some of my favorite flowers.
    Planning for the distance between plants and rows is, I believe, an issue that a lot of us older gardners share. We never plan right for squash plants and tomato plants. You'd think we would learn by now to plant the plants further a part. I hope you're able to harvest your crops and enjoy them anyhow.
    Millie is an angel. You're one lucky lady to have her as your friend and confident.

    Aw thanks so much for the mention about my black swallowtails. You're so sweet. You made my day! ~happy dance~
    I hope your week is a magnificent one.

  10. Sweet.....I enjoyed this. Millie is adorable, I love the way her ear falls. Beautiful photos, love that zinnia!

  11. Hello Chip Butter! I always find it realxing to come by for a visit. I love it that you haven't scolded Millie for digging a hole there in one of your flower beds. How thoughtful of you to pour cold water in the hole for her too before putting soil back over the spot. We had a Border Collie, Wilma, for 15 years and when she passed I said I didn't want another dog, but after reading here I may need to reconsider that decision. Your Zinnias are beautiful! I love all of the color that they add to a flower garden! Have a wonderful reaminder to your week, my friend.

  12. What a lovely post! Your photos are just lovely. I am so glad you have such a wonderful dog, such great companions.
    Have a good day!

  13. So good that you help Millie to be cool in her favorite spot! Your garden and flowers are lovely! I planted zinnia.....but the rabbits ate everything down to the ground! My other flowers and my pumpkins are growing. The days here have been very hot......102 to 106......I think I need a spot like Millie!

  14. You do write the most beautiful posts! That is such a pretty spot for Millie to lay. Reminds me of my Weetie. She will not leave my side whenever I am in the garden. She waits and watches. Your zinnias are beautiful!! I never space things right in the garden either. By July, it looks like a jungle! :)