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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Whirling Whimpus!

It Didn’t Look Like A Gorilla To Me: Last month, I was on a bike trip in the Cumberland Mountains in eastern Tennessee. On an isolated back road, I stopped for a water break.

While I was resting, I thought I saw something in the trees, but the harder I looked at it, the less I could see anything. It only looked like a fuzzy place in the trees, like the shadows were deeper there.

Then I heard a humming that got louder and louder, and sounded like a swarm of bees that seemed to be coming from the trees overhead.

I knew better than to go into the trees after the Imaginary – it could be something vicious - but I did look for other signs closer to the road. Sure enough, I saw something that looked like drops of varnish on the ground.

Now I knew I was in the presence of a whirling whimpus (Turbinoccissus nebuloides), because everybody knows that the whirling whimpus pulverizes its prey into a kind of syrup, which it then slurps up like ice cream.

I am really pleased to report this encounter, as the last sighting of a whirling whimpus in the Cumberlands was in 1983.

The only picture I could find of a whirling whimpus was this drawing, made about a hundred years ago by Coert Du Bois, but I don’t think this looks anything like what I saw.

If anybody else is planning to get out to the Cumberland Mountains this summer, let me know, and I’ll give you the coordinates so you can look out for the whirling whimpus!

- THE NOSE, Field Agent, Iranigami


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