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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Jackalope, also known as Lepus cornutus; wolperdinger (Germany); skvader (Sweden).

Range: Originally found in open range throughout the western United States from Canada to Mexico, but now highly endangered. A European cousin to the jackalope, now considered extinct, has been pictured in artwork since the 1500s.

Physical description: With the body of a jackrabbit and the horns of an antelope, the mature jackalope stands 20-24” high, with soft brown pelt fading to cream on the underbelly, and antlers up to 12” across, each bearing 2-3 points. Sometimes cottontail rabbits suffering from the Shope papilloma virus, which causes horny growths on the rabbit’s head, are mis-identified as jackalopes. Lifespan is unknown. Jackalopes appear to breed very rarely, and bear small litters (3-4), which are raised in burrows. Antlers do not appear until the second year of growth, but both males and females have them. Although mainly herbivores, when vegetation is scarce, they will revert to eating meat, and are believed to be very effective pack hunters.

Characteristics: The jackalope is capable of excellent mimicry of bird songs, although it is a myth that it can mimic human voices. If you hear a mockingbird or a magpie while out in the desert, you may be listening to a jackalope’s song.

Co-endangered species: New Mexican ridge-nosed rattlesnake, black-footed ferret.

Recent sightings: Frequent fake sightings reported annually. The last confirmed sighting by an Iranigami tracker was in Wyoming in 2001.

What to do: The jackalope is extremely shy, but will become aggressive if approached. If startled by a jackalope, lie on the ground and hum a soothing song to avoid being attacked.


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.