Old mule napping beneath a cedar tree.  Franklin County.  May 25, 2002.  6:35 p.m. EDT.  38° 16.22'N, 84° 58.20'W.  The view is northeast.

Photographer's comments:
     I've been waiting to get a good picture of this mule for several months.  She is retired and lives in a field with cows.  I didn't know she was asleep until shortly after I shot this photo.  When I got closer, I accidentally startled her awake and she bolted off to the safety of the field.  I felt bad about waking her up, but she probably settled down and was asleep again a few minutes later.  Mules, like horses, can sleep standing up if they want to.  The fuzz you see on her muzzle is a jute string which is attached to her halter.   
Other photos of this subject:
      1) Here's a closeup of her face, just seconds before she woke up.
Links to more about this subject:
(Will open a new browser window)
      1) This information is from The American Donkey and Mule Society.  It's on the website of the International Museum of the Horse.
More location information:
Dry Ridge Road, KY 12.
     Franklin County is in the central part of the state. 
     Mules are under-appreciated, or at least they are in today's world.  But when they were needed, they were the preferred work animal because of their hybrid vigor (they are a cross between a donkey and a horse).  Mules are strong for their size and are efficient users of feed.  They are reliable workers and are, arguably, smarter than horses.
    Were it not for mules, the settling of the United States from coast to coast, the success of our agriculture economy, and the winning of wars both here and abroad would have been more costly and slower to come.
    Their importance waned in the 1940s and '50s as they were replaced by machines.  Unlike horses, which still have a number of recreational uses and also enjoy a sort of romantic stature, mules have generally slipped into history.  They are not commonly bred today.
Posted May 26, 2002.