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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Slide-Rock Bolter, also known as Macrostoma saxiperrumptus

Range: Restricted to the mountains of Colorado, living only in the steepest terrains.

Physical Description: In appearance, it resembles a land-dwelling grey whale in shape and size, with an enormous mouth, small eyes, and a divided tail with hooks on the ends, which it uses to control its descent down a mountain.

Characteristics: Slide-rock bolters are highly dangerous. When it is hunting, it keeps to the tops of mountains, hanging precariously by the hooks on its tail, and appears to the casual observer as part of a rock formation. As its prey passes below, it releases its hold on the rock and comes down the slope like a toboggan, gaining speed rapidly and bringing with it a cascade avalanche of rocks, trees, and debris. Its mouth is wide enough to take in several people at a single gulp, and those who have encountered a slide-rock bolter in search of prey are few.

Co-endangered species: Gray wolf, grizzly bear, lynx.

Recent sightings: One is much more likely to see the evidence that a rock-slide bolter has been in the area than the creature itself, as the destruction left behind by a rock-slide bolter resembles the aftermath of an avalanche. While it is of scientific interest to collect evidence that one of these creatures has been in the area, we hope you never see one in person. By the time you see a rock-slide bolter, it may already be too late.

What to do: If you see a Slide-Rock Bolter, RUN!


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.