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Locust Fence Part 3: Running Out of Posts

Today’s post was going to be about setting the first locust posts in the pasture I’m building for our mules and horse. Then I ran out of posts. So, back up the mountain I went in pursuit of locust. I found such a beauty, and was taken by how much life it contained, that I wanted to show you some photos of how a log becomes posts.

This log showed me how many plants and animals rely on these old… Continue reading

Pineapples or Pine Apples?

Seemingly non-stop rain these past 2 weeks. The sort that dumps 12 inches of rain on you in almost as many days. The type that holes you up inside so long you want to escape. The type that reminds you western North Carolina flirts with being a temperate rain forest.

This afternoon Julia and I sloshed down the driveway to escape the cabin. Lying in the driveway…..tiny pineapples?

Tiny pineapples?

Turns out they were pollen cones dropped from the white… Continue reading

Locust Fence Part 3: Running out of Posts

Today’s post was going to be about setting the first locust posts in the pasture I’m building for our mules and horse….until I ran out of posts. So, back up the mountain I went in pursuit of locust. I found such a beauty, and was taken by how much life it contained, that I wanted to show you some photos of how a log become posts.

Queen of the Wind Fall Locust Jungle: she showed me how many plants and… Continue reading

Three Little Birds

Bird One

Julia said, “I think something’s wrapped around its leg,” and opened her fingers for me to see. In her hand a phoebe with a piece of string wrapped around its foot.

I clipped of the thread with the scissors on my multi-tool. It flew away. Can’t say it was happy. We were, though.

The phoebe, also known as the eastern flycatcher. Voracious insect eaters, they love building nests in the tractor shed, right above my Tacoma pickup.

Bird… Continue reading

Locust Fence Part I

I’m currently writing my new book about my recent mule ramble from North Carolina to Idaho. Every day, the process goes like this. First I write my thoughts in longhand on sheets of printer paper. Then I scoot over to my computer and transfer that to my manuscript. Sitting in my saddle of course.

Nothing makes writing about a saddle journey as authentic as sitting in a saddle while you’re writing. To raise my keyboard and mouse, I employ a… Continue reading

The Hoof Boot Report: 3 Boots Reviewed 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.

NOTE: This article ran a while back but in response to lots of questions I’m getting about hoof boots, I’m re-posting it. Enjoy! Bernie Harberts

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… Continue reading

Writing New Book

Mules Cracker and Brick, stars of my upcoming book, relaxing at home.

Sorry I haven’t written lately. I’ve been busy chasing mules, admiring an 8-legged lamb and having lunch with Robert, a 1000 pound, dead man.

Yes, I’m writing a new book.

Draft One of the new book: All the field notes have been transcribed. Now comes the fleshing out.

Mule Ramble Book

My new book is about my recent mule ramble from North Carolina to Idaho with mules Brick… Continue reading

Hawk Hucks, Woman Watches Movie

When the mules sull up and my pen doesn’t want to scribble I think of comments like Patty’s. They keep me going. Seems Patty was up late with her sick dog Hawk watching the Lost Sea Expedition.

Hawk hucks (Julia Carpenter sketch. Plenty more of Julia’s art and essays at ConsideringAnimals.com)



Patty writes: Wow! Thank you for sharing your amazing lives with others. Love this blog and your show which I stumbled upon late at night when my… Continue reading

Paul Compton: 1926 – 2019

He will blow his harmonica no more. Today I received word from Gerry Compton that his dad, Paul Compton, died December 5. I met Paul traveling through the outskirts of Shelbyville, Illinois during this summer’s Mules West ramble. Even in his nineties, he could still blow that harp!

Paul Compton: mail carrier, harmonica and poet. (Shelbyville, IL)
I snapped the photo above of Paul as he played me a tune on his harmonica. Click on the player for a listen.… Continue reading
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