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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Wapaloosie, also known as Geometrigradus cilioretractus.

Range: The forests of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Physical Description: The body of a wapaloosie is roughly the shape of a hot dog, and varies in size from a breakfast sausage to a kielbasa, depending on its age. The coloration of its soft, velvety pelt ranges from dark brown to off-white, and can be solid, spotted or striped. Its head, ears, feet and tail resemble that of a mouse, except that the claws and tip of the tail are very sharp, with small hooks that allow it to maneuver easily in the trees.

Characteristics: The wapaloosie lives high above the forest floor, almost never descending to earth, and is almost ceaselessly in motion. It subsists entirely on the wide variety of tree fungi that grow in the forest canopy. Its legs are very short, and positioned at the two ends of its long body, so it moves by inching itself along, much as an inchworm does. While the wapaloosie has an engaging nature, with a personality similar to a gerbil, attempts to domesticate it have failed, as it does not thrive for long at ground level. A popular belief about them is that mittens made from their fur have been known to run away and climb up trees (see photo), although whether this is a characteristic of wapaloosie pelts or of mittens in general is unclear.

Co-endangered species: Red tree vole.

Recent sightings: Wapaloosies live in the upper canopy of forests and are rarely seen, although occasionally one is found in a felled tree. However, in February of this year, two young wapaloosies were discovered in the possession of a Murk. In spite of their unsuitability as pets, the Murk was attempting to smuggle them from Oregon to Japan, where a healthy wapaloosie commands up to a million yen (about $11,000 US) as a gift for the child who has everything. We believe that more wapaloosies may be in the smuggling pipeline, and are on the lookout for suspicious activity.

What to do: If you see a wapaloosie, resist the temptation to pick it up and cuddle it. If someone offers you a wapaloosie as a pet, alert us here at Iranigami immediately, and we will send our specialists to pursue.


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.