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Froggie Friday

Last night, coming in from the barn after critter late check, a figure on Julia’s ox-goad caught my eye.

What a long shadow you cast: the creature on Julia’s goad.

We’re blessed with lots of frogs and toads around here but usually, they hang out in the creek, pond or marshy areas. When I leaned in for a closer look, a frog jumped from the goad onto the kitchen window. Julia ran inside to see the frog up close and… Continue reading

From Starved to Star

The transformation of Magneto

A kind soul rescued him from a herd of eighty feral horses, some of which were starved, others of which had broken legs. And yet, he survived. Read the amazing story of Magneto the Magnificent, my wife Julia’s new horse, at her blog Saddle Under the Stars.

Snake Bites Mule

Snake bites mule: Brick tangles with a non-poisonous black snake.

A while back, Julia and I rode spent six weeks traveling with two saddle and one pack mule from our farm in western North Carolina to Virginia and back. We posted a lot of stories on this trip but here’s one I never got around to sharing with you.

Julia was riding a mule named Dusty we’d borrowed from our friend Ronald Hudson. I was riding my mule Brick. As… Continue reading

Snookie: 2008 – 2021

He started life in a ditch, could out-howl a tin coyote and cleaned a skillet better than a scrub pad. Today, his life ended under our chestnut tree. Our dog Snookie is gone. My wife Julia and I are torn up over this. The longer story of his life is coming.

Snookie riding in my wagon at Benson Mule Days 2018

Robbins Farmers Day: Wagons, Faces and Feet

A teamster, a parade and a mule. This weekend mule Polly and I hung out with Ronald Hudson at Farmers Day in Robbins, NC. He and I were in the parade and I made some photos I thought you’d enjoy. They’re loosely in the order they happened.

Hurry up and wait: my dear friend Ronald Hudson. I bought mule Polly from him 15 years ago. This weekend he and I drove her through the Robbins parade.
Heading to the start… Continue reading

Mule Mushroomimg: Hunting “Aeyer Schweumli” from the Saddle

My mom used to point them out to us as kids. We’d be walking through the forest in western North Carolina and she’d point down at an orange mushroom and say, “Lueg. As Aeyer Schweumli”. “Lueg” means “look” in Swiss German, her native language. Aeyer Schweumli is what she used to call chanterelles. *

Aeyer Schweumli: aka chanterelle. It’s also called “Pfifferling” in German. Pfeffer means “pepper” in German. The mushroom has a peppery taste.

My brother Christian recalls a… Continue reading

Pony Sunday: How to Exercise Three Mules at Once

This Sunday morning my wife Julia and I exercised our small herd of three mules and one pony all at once. I thought you might enjoy a few photos of how we did it.

Three for the price of one: here, I’m riding mule Brick and leading Polly (L) and Cracker (R). We’re coming around a turn so everyone’s a little all over the show

Usually, when you think of saddle riding, you think of a person sitting in the… Continue reading

The Hoof Boot Report: 3 Boots After 32 Days on the Trail

Consumer Reports just won’t report on some things. These are the boots we’re reviewing. Here’s how they looked during our month-long mule ramble.

The word “report” brings to mind images of white paper, statistics, lab coats and, yawn, boring facts. This is not that kind of report. Rather, it’s the account of what my wife Julia and I learned after spending 32 days on the road with 3 mules and 3 different kinds of hoof boots. This may be the… Continue reading

Full Mule Moon

Last night’s super flower blood moon was accompanied by an eclipse in some parts of the world. We didn’t get the eclipse but caught the beautiful sight from between two pairs of mules’ ears. Just on dark my wife Julia and I rode our mules Brick and Cracker to the top of the mountain behind our cabin. Here are some photos I though you might enjoy.

Waiting for the moon. Here, Brick is tied to a chestnut oak tree at… Continue reading
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