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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Hidebehind, also known as Cryptopsthenis nondescripts

Range: Found primarily in Minnesota northward to Manitoba and the Northwest Territories of Canada, but may be thinly scattered throughout North American forests. (See photo of a recent near-encounter with a hidebehind – note the shadows.)

Physical description: Unknown, as nobody has ever seen one, but they are believed to be very large, very agile, and very carnivorous. Sometimes confused with a whirling whimpus (Turbinoccissus nebuloides). However, the whirling whimpus makes a droning sound, whereas the hidebehind is silent. Also, the range of the whirling whimpus is further south, in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee, where no substantiated contact with a hidebehind has ever been reported.

Characteristics: The hidebehind tracks its prey in deep woods. When its presence is sensed, it quickly hides behind the nearest large tree or pile of logs, thus eluding detection. It cannot be tempted into clearings, but lives only in deep shade. The hidebehind is believed to be nocturnal, as most attacks have taken place at night.

Co-endangered species: Canada lynx, gray wolf

Recent sightings: The last documented face-to-face encounter between a hidebehind and a human was in 1947. As the human did not survive, no further details are available.

What to do: If you feel a presence behind you on a dark forest path, a hidebehind may be tracking you. Turn around frequently, make loud noises, and get to open country as quickly as possible, as hidebehinds have voracious appetites.


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.