Sunday, May 16, 2021


Boring Saturday. 

The little mule in the middle is Fred. He has always been the boss mule. He rules the roost at 35 years old. Yes, that is totally old for any equine.

Fred could use dentures as his old teeth have pretty much worn out. However, after a life time of service to my hubby, attending our wedding, and teaching numerous people how to ride, we have decided that Fred has earned a retirement with grain and special feed.
He prefers the pasture and chasing girls though. 

Here Mica joins the group. She is often pushed out. I wonder if it is her color?
The reds hang together as well as the bays.

Fred had decided that he would try and convince everyone that they were in heat. Yes, mules do come in heat. He kept nuzzling all the gals until everyone decided to take a morning nap.

Fred is a gelding and has always been this way.

Lil' Richard is our small stud who had a job telling us when the mares we bred to our Jack were ready to be serviced. We'd put the little stud pony next to a mare when we expected her to be in heat and Lil' Richard would work with her until she'd stand for him. Poor little guy could never do the job, but he was accurate.

Now he is simply a mower and fertilizer. 
He and Sven keep the hillside mowed and trimmed among other places like the tractor in the weeds and other piles of 'junk'.

I took a walk in the rain yesterday just to get out of the house. Endless loops of Alias on TV was driving me nuts. Binge watching is not my idea of a day well spent.

I found more Pheasant Back fungi and made a discovery. These trees that used to produce Morels are now dead enough to produce this fungi. This tree produced 3 or 4 bags of Morels about 4 years ago. Now? Just these fungi. I noted it on other old Morel trees too. 

The Honey Suckle is blooming. Yes, it is invasive but it sure smells nice!
This was on my neighbor's land. They don't manage it, don't keep up the fences, or do anything with it. 

Higher on the ridge I found Jacob's Ladder. At the top of the ridge I found wild geraniums.
Different levels of the hillside had different temperatures and that creates mini climates.
A bee was hiding inside the blossom. I imagine it was stuck there because it was cold.

My second woods walk landed me at the far back of our acreage. I found Oyster Mushrooms...I think.

Since I don't have enough knowledge about edible fungi, I just admired them and moved on with Charlie.

We found so many trees that had antler rubs on them that I figured that Big Buck was still hanging around in the prickly ash woods. Smart Big Buck. He knows how to hide well.

I had to laugh when I saw the Spider on the Tree. I'd put that up a long time ago when decorating the Spooky part of the Woods for my neighbor's kids Treasure Hunt.

I was looking just above our creek for signs of any sort of fungi or if the light rain had brought out any interesting new plants when I spotted something pinkish under a geranium.

Showy Orchid aka Galearis spectabilis. 
Yep, I prefer the name: Showy Orchid 

I have found these once or twice before in our woods just about 20 feet above the creek. They are really hard to spot and like hiding.

If I can spot these, why can I NOT spot a morel?
Probably because it has been too cool, too dry, and just a crappy year for them.

I wandered through the Buckthorn Forest and decided I'd turn the mules out there after I roached their manes and wormed everyone. 

The grass simply looks abundant and delicious.


  1. Beautiful Orchid! Your pasture looks so lush and green. I wonder how the other Mules see Mica...maybe like your IR camera:)

    1. I've noticed over the years that a radically different color does get a different reaction from others. When I had donkeys mixed with mules, they accepted Mica and rejected my gelding mule Badger! Animals are funny...or did Mica say something nasty to them? Doubt it as she is a very sweet mule.

  2. Yep! Oysters. Looks like they are just "pinning", so they have a ways to go. we found some when we went out after Morels. No pheasant back anywhere. ( usually I harvest them too!) The Oysters are early! Or at least, this is the earliest we have ever found any. (They were pinning too, so we did not harvest any. I will be on the look out on our favorite trees after this wave of rainy days passes by.
    Oysters are great Mushrooms. Deep fry them and you will not be able to tell them apart from deep fried clams! Also taste great in soups and omelettes. Slightly chewy if you get too much stem.

    1. What is pin")ning? I'll have to look it up. :)

  3. Your herd is so chill, love it. Cool finds, and all on your property!! Well, the good stuff anyways. Who finds wild orchids on their! Why am I not surprised. You must not hike that area much? I don't think I could eat wild oyster mushrooms (even tho they sound delicious). Sorry that it's not a morel kinda year. This would be an exciting Saturday to me regardless!!

    1. I do walk that area a lot in the spring as I've found those orchids before and didn't know what I'd found. I still find new things to be in awe of no matter where I go!
      Late summer I don't hike that often as there are generally a lot of prickly ash and burrs there.
      I may try those Oyster 'rooms and dry a pheasant back for powder to add to soups and stews.