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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Xax's blog

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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The Formula For Cheesing A Dragon

March 6, 2013: Nonny asked me to share with you the formula to calculate the right amount of cheese to calm a dragon.

The basic formula for cheese-use is:

(Dragon’s weight in pounds) x (0.007) x (Y) = ounces of cheese

The variable Y is as follows - dragon is breathing smoke = 1.0; dragon is breathing smoke and fire = 1.9; dragon is shooting smoke and fire = 3.2; dragon is spewing so much smoke and fire that dragon is no longer visible = 6.0. At that stage, if you’re still within range, we suggest that you just throw down all the cheese you have and run.

Here’s an example of how to apply this formula. Let’s say you’re facing a 500-pound wyvern that is breathing smoke and fire.

500 pounds x .007 x 1.9 (for breathing smoke and fire) = 6.65 ounces of cheese

The hardest part of the formula is not working out how much cheese to use, but calculating how much a dragon weighs. Nonny measures her dragons during their hibernation and uses the following weight formula (in inches and pounds):

(GxGxL/330) x (T) = weight in pounds

G equals girth at widest point around the dragon’s midsection or chest; L equals length from tip of shoulder to hip; and T equals variable for mass of tail, wings and head. If the dragon has a normal head, wings and tail, then T = 1.0. If the dragon has particularly large head, wings, and/or tail, then T = 1.5. If the dragon has a small head, wings and tail, then T = 0.75. Nonny has specific T figures for each dragon under her care, ranging from 0.78 to 1.26.

But getting the measure of a dragon is risky business, even for trained dragon-keepers. To estimate weights more safely, please refer to the article under You Can Help.

In the meantime, if you should happen to meet a dragon, it’s always good to remember that while you can give the dragon too little cheese, you can’t give him too much. So when in doubt, err on the side of excess cheese, and you should be okay. - XAX, 236th Keeper of Iranigami


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.