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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Tips For Exploring Outdoors

Looking for Imaginaries: If you're going to look for Imaginaries, sooner or later you're going to find yourself outside - in the woods, in the desert, in the hill or plains. Here are a few basic safety tips about hunting for Imaginaries.

(1) Check your external conditions. Is it hunting season? Breeding season? Is it likely to get cold quickly when the sun goes down, or is a storm coming? Be prepared!

(2) Go with a buddy. It's always better to go exploring with two than with one.

(3) Tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back, and bring a topo map and compass, or if you like, a GPS.

(4) Dress appropriately, such as hiking boots, layered clothing, a Day-Glo article, and a bandanna. Remember to wear your hat and sun screen, and bring plenty of drinking water!

Once you're out there, remember always to respect the territory of the Imaginaries. You are in their house. Behave as if you're their guest. Be alert to signs that an Imaginary may be near - scat, tracks, disturbances in the pattern of the vegetation - to help you in your search.

The ability to move quietly in tracking the smaller, shyer Imaginaries is an advantage. However, if you get the feeling that a larger and possibly dangerous creature may be about, make noise as you proceed. Sing, bang sticks together, stomp around. This gives any Imaginary that prefers to avoid you plenty of time to get away.

Avoid hiking with food that might attract animals. We recommend carrying your trail snacks in a tin, so that the scent of food doesn't attract attention. And of course, always carry your food scraps and trash out with you.

Good luck, and happy tracking!


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.