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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Myths about Imaginaries

Legends about Silkies: When Iranigami first started, Peregrine and Ethereal agreed to make up as many misleading stories about Imaginaries as they could, in order to distract and confound anybody who might want to locate and exploit an Imaginary. Over time, people came up with more and more fantastical versions of these early stories, and as the tales passed down through the generations, they became ever wilder and sillier and further away from the truth.

As a result, most of what we popularly hear about Imaginaries today is actually wrong, and that’s as true for silkies as it is for dragons.

Originally, some people believed that silkies were supernatural beings formed from the souls of drowned people. More recently, a commonly-held theory was that popular Celtic stories about silkies originated with the arrival of Finns traveling over the sea and emerging on land from their sealskin kayaks. While these stories are convenient for the protection of the few colonies of real silkies living in our oceans, they are not true. Silkies have lived in the North Atlantic since before recorded time, have never been supernatural, and didn’t come from Finland.

Another myth about female silkies is that they like to marry sailors and fishermen, but make fickle wives. The fact is, silkies are naturally mistrusting of people and would never choose to marry a human unless forced. Silkies are fiercely loyal to one another and to their clan, usually pair-bonding for life with their mate. The sailors and fishermen who claimed to have married and been abandoned by a silkie were married to perfectly normal human wives, who left their husbands for their own reasons.

Silkies are sometimes incorrectly confused with mer-people. Mer-people have fish-like tails and human heads and torsos, but contrary to what they say in popular movies, they do not change their form when drawn up onto land. Silkies are a different species altogether, and while there is no open hostility between mer-people and silkies, they are very different in temperament and generally do not interact with each other unless completely necessary. In any event, silkies in their ocean-going form are much more likely to fraternize with seals and dolphins and whales than with humans or human-like beings. – GWYNEACH, Iranigami Annalist (U.K.)


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.