A hard-worker with a wagging tail

From mines to “Mule Day” Mules are domesticated hybrid animals, the product of a male donkey and a female horse. Used as pack animals and draft animals, mules are infertile but strong. They are more durable and require less food than a similarly sized horse or donkey. In some respects, a mule is the superior animal for working.
A boon and a bane both Madison County, North Carolina, sits in the northwest corner of the state. Its northern borders trace across the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with Tennessee on the other side. It’s a rural area, for the most part, as Marshall and Mars Hill are its biggest towns. But Madison County is famous for its ginseng.
They came from the Andes to conquer the Appalachians. It’s no surprise that you can find llamas and alpacas in the Appalachians. These are mountain animals, after all, accustomed to cold weather and rugged conditions. Both species originated in the high mountainous plains of South America: in Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Domesticated by the Incas, they have been bred for gentleness.

Whether you plant them yourself or not, the wildflowers of the Appalachians give visitors and natives alike a glorious beckoning of warmer, brighter days to come. Enjoy viewing these buds as they bloom around the mountains in the earliest parts of spring:


When the weather turns cold and icicles form over your front porch, you may recognize the magic of winter. The light reflecting off the glittering natural illusion causes you to smile in wonder as it piques your curiosity. Wrap up warm and take a little trip to a frozen cascade of falling water where you can witness one of the true, often unknown treasures of winter in the mountains — frozen waterfalls.

A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal. (Proverbs 12:10)

Animals have been part of Appalachian households since the very early settlers populated the mountain terrain. Mules helped clear the wooded land and plow the meager fields. Horses carried their owners from place to place. Cattle, goats and sheep clothed and fed generations. And let’s not forget the chickens.

Nevermind the local news weather forecast, his fans proclaim, Dr. Ray Russell and his team have a knack for predicting our crazy Southern Appalachian weather. Learn more about him here!
It’s not uncommon to see bear and wild turkeys in the months leading up to the winter, but the sights that stick with you are the flashes of red against the backdrop of winter woods.
When the pilgrims landed in Massachusetts in late December 1620, one of the first things they saw reminded them of home — the American holly tree.