Walking Rocks?

Query: When I was in Death Valley earlier this year, I saw some enormous 750-pound rocks that appear to travel across the desert on their own. I remembered your article about rock tortoises, and wondered if that’s what these rocks could be?

Corn of Plenty (Part 4 of 4): A Field Guide by Dr. Midas Welby

Corns of the Air: Air-corns utilize their horns for jousting, playing tic-tac-toe, and spearing food in mid-flight. Air-corns often lurk undetected in trees, wood piles, and rain gutters. When bored, they use their horns to ring the doorbells of unsuspecting humans. When the door begins to open, the air-corn flies away.


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Going On Hiatus

December 6, 2014: I am loving college, but I have to admit, I’m overwhelmed.

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Pine Cone Feeders

A Present For Imaginaries: When winter comes, I get concerned about providing extra shelter from the elements for Imaginaries. Recently, I read about people who build wildlife brush shelters out of branches and plants in their yards, and thought this was a great idea.

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Black Dog, also known as Perro Negro

Range: Although various breeds of black dogs - ce siths, saidhthes, youdic dogs, etc. - are found the world over, the American black dog of which we speak, although very rare throughout its range, is found as far south as Guatemala and as far north as Colorado.

Physical Description: Varies. Size ranges from wolf to pony, with either short or long hair, sometimes described as having glowing eyes (red or yellow), with a long tail that sometimes curls up over the back.

Characteristics: A largely nocturnal creature most active between midnight and dawn, black dog likes to seek out drunks, derelicts, and lost souls, and lead them safely home. Like his counterparts the world over, the American black dog is nomadic and solitary in its habits. Normally peace-loving, black dog can become aggressive if he perceives a threat to his territory or to any creature he is protecting. A commonly-held myth that the bark of black dog is a harbinger of death is only true for those who are ignorant enough to attempt to approach black dog when they are not welcome.

Co-endangered species: Mexican wolf

Recent sightings: The frequent sightings of black dog outside of cantinas in rural Mexico may not be reliable, as they are often also accompanied by reports of sightings of the mythical "la llorona." One black dog - named "Black Dog," pictured here - regularly visits the Double Helix Ranch (the Iranigami Preserve) in rural New Mexico when he is not out roaming.

What to do: Although black dog is not naturally hostile, he should be handled with the same caution one would use with a wolf or any other wild creature. If you see black dog, do not approach without his permission. Address him in a normal tone of voice and a friendly but respectful manner, praising him for his good work. If he barks, leave the area as quickly as possible. Do NOT scream, shout, or throw things at him, and these kinds of behaviors agitate him and may cause him to attack.


Copyright © 2012, 2013, 2014 by Penelope Stowell. All rights reserved. This website is a work of fiction and does not depict any actual persons, creatures, places or events.