Tuesday January 6, 2015

allan crawford kiwi stockman horse
Allan Crawford: Kiwi stockman, drover and, for a spell, my boss in the land of the Long White Cloud. The photo is a slide I shot with my ancient Nikon.

January 5 was my birthday and it got me looking back through my old slides. Funny how life changes. Thirteen years ago I was living on an island in the South Pacific chasing cows with Allan Crawford. Ah, the life of slide film and a Kiwi stockman.


Sunday July 27, 2014

bernie locust mail box
Finally a mail box. The locust post that holds the black metal box was harvested by mule

Over the years, I’ve lived in hammocks, boats, tipis and mule wagons. That’s made getting mail a challenge. Finally, I have a mailbox at my home. In the spirit of things, the materials were hauled out with a mule.


Saturday May 3, 2014

Maggie and Woody in the American Sahara. They crossed the giant sand dunes on their walk across America.

I’ve written and read a lot of obituaries lately. In the span of eighteen months, my mother, dad, mule, pack pony and family dog have died. None of this comes as a surprise. The young are supposed to scatter the ashes of the old. Then they go on living. Potatoes are banked. Winesaps are pruned. Commutes are commuted. May be some ash slips in to the orchard.

Here are my thoughts on my faithful mule Woody and pony Maggie who recently died. ................

Thursday March 6, 2014

Farewell Bouquet: maple leaves grace one of my dad’s favorite views – the hayfield that runs to the Brushy Mountain hills that ring the family farm.

Sad news. My father, Arthur Stanley Harberts, died this week. He was 87. More on the incredible voyage of best friend, Dust Bowler, husband and dad is here.


Thursday October 3, 2013

A scene from “Mule Rider” which recently aired on UNC-TV. You can watch it here. In this photo, Polly takes a break from munching clover to admire the view. Moment’s later, landowner Sid Cayton roared up in his truck – and gave us a grain bin tour. (Aurora, NC)

Kudos to UNC-TV and director/producer Morgan Potts for capturing the essence of mule wagon travel in “Mule Rider”. The segment aired October 3 on UNC-TV’s Our State program. Last winter, Morgan and a five-man film crew spent most of a wintry week on the road with mule Polly and me. The footage they put together is remarkable.

You can watch some thoughts and challenges that went in to making Mule Rider here.

The entire segment can be viewed here (this will re-direct you to UNC-TV’s site).

Mule Polly? She’s been pulling wagons, tobacco sleds and buckboards aplenty: a week-long Uwharrie pack trip, Robbins Farmers Day parade, Benson Mule Days, Duke Homestead. Up next is the South Carolina State Fair. Which is to say, she’ll be plenty fit for winter wagon tripping. See you out there.


Sunday August 18, 2013

Mule Polly grazes in front of Wayne Hussey’s corn crib. Polly and I visited Wayne and his gospel-listening mules recently.

If Wayne Hussey’s mules don’t go to heaven, I’ll be shocked. He’s piped enough gospel music in to their barn that their chances of becoming buddy-buddy with Saint Peter are pretty good.


Saturday August 10, 2013

Day 4: rain falls as Buddy, Polly and I cross Low Water Bridge in the Uwharrie Forest. That night I noticed the bilious odor coming from my sleeping bag.
Hours after Tuesday’s post, Polly, Buddy and I made good on our runaway notions. Four days after walking out of friend Ronald Hudson’s driveway, we hauled up in Eldorado, North Carolina.

I fed and water my mules, pitched my hammock and, sniff, sniff, noticed my sleeping bag smelled, shall we say, vomitous. Ronald had warned me this might happen.


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