Thursday, July 23, 2009

Whatever happened to Whippoorwills?

That guy in Oregon got me thinking about whippoorwills this morning.

When I'd spend nights at my grandma's farm in north Missouri in summer as a child, the last thing I'd hear before I went to sleep on the feather bed in Grandma's extra bedroom was the sound of whippoorwills, coming from the woods across the road. They created quite a racket.

The last whippoorwill I've heard was back at my cabin three or four years ago, and that was an isolated incident.

And there used to be so many of them; where have they gone? Dr. Google led me to a (noisy) article, complete with the bird's call, that gives some reasons for the bird's demise. It seems too many people and too many cats are the reasons the whippoorwill is disappearing.

On to other things. Just as Cliff and I were really enjoying the stir-fried zucchini, the squash bugs killed the plant. So we stopped at a nearby roadside market where I intended to buy a couple zucchinis. Or four, because my eggplant is coming along, and I'd love to have some ratatouille.

They had some, all right. But they were larger than I like, and obviously had been picked too late, because there was no gloss to the skin. I want my zucchini about the size of a large cucumber, and I want them to be shiny. Those big, misshapen ones are only good for zucchini bread or cake. I'd have better luck in a grocery store than at that roadside market.

9 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's so funny because I was thinking the same thing about those birds. I cannot remember the last one I heard, but I do remember their call. And I do agree about the zuchinni. It's so much better when it's small. Our local Farmers Market has them often and just the way we like them.

Lindie said...

That's the way I like zuchinni too. I haven't heard a whippoorwill in about 10 years, since I sold my log house south of Bates City.

madcobug said...

I am thinking the birds of prey may have something to do with it also. I haven't heard one in years. Helen

Flat Creek Farm said...

Hi.. my first visit to your blog. I'm enjoying it! We did hear whippoorwills calling regularly early this summer (we're in central MO). They were close to the house every night. Relentless little birds, but I love to hear them. I wonder if they move deeper into the woods as the summer moves on? Hmmm, something for me to research. Also, 'sook cow' is what my 87 y/o father in law calls our cattle in with. Thanks for making me appreciate some everyday, important things I don't often pause to think about. -Tammy

Celeste said...

Funny you should mention them. I heard some last night when we went to feed a dog. It has been a long time since I have heard any myself.

Marlene said...

I don't know about Whipoorwills, but we have a bird all summer who says very clearly, "Pretty,pretty." He is black and sits high up in the tree.

Robbyn said...

I have the same memory of the whippoorwills and always associate them with summers spent at my grandparents out in the country. The bedsheets were cotton line dried and ironed and the blankets had that wonderful smell from being stored in cedar chests...and at twilight and beyond, the sounds of tree leaves rustling and the beautiful echoes of the whippoorwill calls....ahhh! We actually have them around here sometimes, and I always always love it :) Thanks for bringing back that memory!

Robbyn

Bruce Ashley said...

I live in a very rural southern Ohio county where in years past you could hear both the Whippoorwill and it's southern cousin the Chuck Wills Widow. The last I heard of them was about 5 years ago. By the way the LGB (little grey bird) that whistles "pretty, pretty, pretty", is the tufted Titmouse...often heard but not as often seen!

BOB wipperil what has happened to them said...

I remember the wipperwills also. I remember hearing them where there along the edges of the cedar swamps and adjacent cowpasture The cedars are still there but the land is no longer pastures which is not done in our area any more. Has any one else noticed a change like this or any other changes in the area habitat?