Monday, July 30, 2012

Mule Fix

I wanted to ride so badly these past few days.  
Too hot, too muggy...and yesterday...we had a nice all day rain.

So this morning, I took a break from chores, after hanging out the laundry and picking up the house.
I went out and grabbed ol' dependable Opal.  I wanted to see how the ridge road to the Valley looked and see if we could still find the overgrown trail back through the woods towards home.
It was quite muggy and so we took it nice and easy.  Opal is probably around 29 years old.  She is calm and a very experienced mule.
My go to mule when I need just a peaceful relaxing ride.  [Siera is good, but right now needs a bit more confidence which we are working on.]

She walked slowly down the gravel driveway towards the ridge on PeeWee's land.  PeeWee is gone, but we'll never call it anything else.
You would have thought she wasn't the high stepping hard walking mule she usually is.  Perhaps she was conserving energy as it was pretty darned muggy and hot.

We headed down the old logging road and into the shaded woods.  I could see that the rain had perked up the undergrowth in the forest.  In the valley the long grass has long since turned brown, but the prickly stuff somehow always survives!

Part of the way down the hill there was a huge burst of noise as turkeys ungracefully dropped from their night roosts and floundered down and across the road in front of us.  I was surprised, but not Opal.
I think she knew they were there.  Mules are so aware of their surroundings.

Once we crossed the creek I pointed her towards the 'home' path.  An almost visible trail through the valley grasses and weeds.  
She perked up quite a bit.  Lucky me.
She ducked the berry briars and let them scrape me up nicely.  Yet she was able to find, step by step the proper trail, even if I could barely see it.

It was a short ride, but I got my 'mule fix' that may last me a few days.  
As a treat I let her graze in the yard for a while before putting her back in her lot.

The old coot even let me rub her ears and run my hands over all the places she normally doesn't let anyone touch.
Good ol' Grouchy Opal.  The mule that really is just misunderstood.  
At least that is what she tells me.


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