Around the Homestead

In Praise of Salamander Water: Part 1: The Dry Tap

“There’s no water in the kitchen sink,” my wife Julia told me recently and I knew it was one of two things. Our water comes from a spring behind our cabin. Either a salamander or a crayfish had gotten stuck in the plumbing or the cistern that gathered the spring water was empty.

A crayfish we found walking up the driveway one recent frosty morning. They sometimes get stuck in our water supply.
Julia in the kitchen the day we… Continue reading

Off With Her Shoes (Part 1 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

A while back my wife Julia and I pulled the steel horseshoes on her pony Pie’s front feet. I thought you’d be interested how we’re transitioning her (Pie, not Julia) to bare feet. From here on out, she’ll go barefoot. For extra protection Pie might need on rocky trails or abrasive surfaces like asphalt, we’ll slap on a pair of hoof boots.

Julia removing the nails from one of the horse shoes she’s taking off Pie. Pie looks pretty chill… Continue reading

Happy New Year 2022

Happy 2022. Here are a few photos from ’21 that made me smile. I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Bernie

Mule Polly checking out the new bed I built for my brother Christian when he came to visit. It’s built of red cedar and two-by-fours. In case you haven’t seen it already, Polly was the mule that pulled my wagon 14 months across America for the Lost Sea Expedition documentary which you can stream here on… Continue reading

Hill Top Sunday Morning

Pony Pie on a hill (Caldwell County, NC / western NC)

Sunday greetings from high above the Shoe Box Canyon. Yesterday, my wife Julia and I rode to the top of the mountain behind our cabin. I thought you’d enjoy some photos of the ride.

Julia rode her pony Pie. I rode my mule Cracker. From the clearing high above the cabin, we just looked out over the Brushy Mountains to our South. We listened to the “chimp pang” call… Continue reading

Springing Toward Summer

Saddles on our porch: I rode the one on the left from Atlantic to Pacific oceans and the one on the right from here in western North Carolina to Idaho

Happy Easter Sunday to you. The leaves are darkening up, the mules are getting shiny and Snookie is panting in the dirt under the back porch. My wife Julia just posted a beautiful essay on spring moving ahead toward summer here up the Shoebox Canyon. Read the full story, with… Continue reading

Weekend Plans

Want to attend a Dog Hair Cutting Festival with my wife Julia and me this weekend? How about a Mule Ride. You might get a good one. You may not. Fun like Russian roulette!

Hey, how about a ride on a humpbacked mule. Nice! (Skye Pincock Evans photo)

You can tell Julia and I have a little too much time on our hands this weekend. She wrote an invitation to our neighbor P to join us for any or none… Continue reading

Adjusting Pie’s Hoof Boots (Part 3 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

How do you adjust a pair of new hoof boots?

Nice new hoof boots. But how do you get them to fit?

In today’s post, I’ll show you how I’m adjusting a pair of hoof boots to fit my wife’s pony Pie. To get you up to speed, here are the first two parts in this three part series.

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Measuring Pie for Hoof Boots (Part 2 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

We clipped her nails and pulled her shoes. In my recent post “Off With Her Shoes” I wrote about how my wife Julia and I are transitioning her pony Pie from steel shoes to bare feet. In this update, I’ll show you how we trimmed and measured Pie’s feet for hoof boots. But first, to recap, a few pics of Pie having her shoes removed.

Julia pulling Pie’s shoes. Lots of pics and descriptions on how this went… Continue reading

Christmas Greetings

Snookie ponders his reason for the season

Merry Christmas from the homestead up the holler. “I’ll be Home For Christmas” is playing (the Bing Crosby version), the wood stove is glowing and Snookie is pondering another cookie. “I’ll be Home for Christmas” rings true this year, just not in original way it was meant (it was written from the point of view of a WWII soldier stationed abroad). With Covid numbers spiking, my wife Julia and I are hunkering down… Continue reading

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