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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History of Iranigami

The European Bestiaries: The task of piecing together the history of Iranigami is not just a matter of trying to decipher the almost-illegible manuscripts, letters, notes and fragments previous Annalists have collected over the centuries. To understand what all the bits and pieces I’m looking at mean, I also study other source materials about Imaginaries written by non-Iranigami authors.

Some of the most valuable sources of information are the Bestiaries, which are manuscripts written at various times in history to catalog the flora and fauna known at that time. An early Bestiary, the Physiologus, appeared in the second century as a part of an anonymous longer Greek work. This manuscript collected observations about animals from earlier authors such as Herodotus, Pliny, and Aristotle. Although it featured numerous allegories about the creatures it described, the manuscript was intended as a scientific work. It included observations about unicorns and phoenixes alongside articles about pelicans and elephants, so we learn from this that Imaginaries and non-Imaginaries had not yet been separated into distinct classifications of beings, as they are now.

The Middle Ages produced a flurry of Bestiaries, including Isidore de Seville’s seventh-century Etymologies, and the thirteenth-century volumes produced by Bartholomaeus Anglicus (De proprietatibus rerum) and by Guillaime le Clerc (Bestiare). These authors assigned more extended symbolic meanings to each animal described, and their value as scientific works suffered as a result. But like the Physiologus, unicorns and phoenixes were given the same weight as pelicans, indicating that Imaginaries still held equal status to that of the non-Imaginaries through the late Middle Ages.

In the last few centuries, Bestiaries have evolved almost entirely into works of fiction, leaving it to the world of scientific taxonomy to best describe the non-Imaginary creatures of our world, and the world of Iranigami to account for the Imaginaries. Somewhere in these years, the existence of unicorns and phoenixes was negated by science, and what was accepted as true and factual by our ancestors is now deemed pure fantasy.

While many creatures, both Imaginary and non-Imaginary, appear in multiple Bestiaries, these early works are also full of contradictions. What I find most interesting about these manuscripts is not what they say about any specific creature, but what they show us about the way people thought and believed in those times, compared to the way we think and believe now. - 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.