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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A Flying Jackalope?

Query: Yesterday, I saw a big, short-bodied bird circling overhead. At first I thought it might be a hawk or an eagle, but when I looked at it through my binoculars, I saw that it had antlers on its head! Is this some kind of flying jackalope?

Answer: Congratulations on your sighting! It sounds as if you may have seen a dingbat, which is a bird, not a mammal, and not related to the jackalope.

Dingbats are highly nomadic and rarely descend to earth, as they are tremendously aerodynamic and can stay aloft for days on air currents. They are also capable of catching and eating bats and small birds mid-air, so they don’t need to come to the ground to feed.

In 1873, a hunter named Willie McVeigle tried to shoot a dingbat, who caught the bullet fired at him in its beak and spat it back to earth.

This is the first time a dingbat has been seen since 1932. We are pleased to learn that this long-lived bird still flies the skies of our country.


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.