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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Hoop Snake, also known as stinger snake, ourobus, tsuchinoko, bachi hebi.

Range: Several different species of hoop snakes are found in isolated populations all over the world. Known American populations are located in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Utah.

Physical description: American hoop snakes are black and 6-8 feet long. When at rest, they are indistinguishable from any other black snake (see photo). In other countries, hoop snakes have developed their own adaptive coloration so that they blend in with the most common snakes in their range.

Characteristics: Hoop snakes have stingers in their tails, which they use to stun their prey. They hunt animals as large as a buffalo. When in pursuit, the hoop snake takes its tail in its mouth and rolls like a wheel at high speeds, so that the tail is poised to strike on each rotation.

Co-endangered species: The hoop snake needs a large hunting range. Shrinking habitats and the isolation of surviving colonies of hoops snakes from one another threaten their existence.

Recent sightings: Once rather common, no hoop snake has been seen in American in over fifty years.

What to do: It’s said that the only way to escape the sting of a hoop snake is to jump through the inside of the hoop, thereby confusing them, but that’s just a story. The best way to avoid being bitten by a hoop snake is to hide behind a tree.


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.