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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Gumbaroo, also known as Megalogaster repercussus.

Range: Northwest U.S. and Canadian Pacific Coastal woodlands.

Physical Description: Almost entirely hairless, the gumbaroo is similar in size and shape to a black bear and may be mistaken from one at a distance, as it sleeps in the hollows of burned-out trees and its shiny hide is often covered in black soot. While it spends most of its time slumbering, when it awakes it has a voracious appetite, and consumes anything it finds. Gumbaroos have been known to eat an entire horse at one sitting, and after feeding, it can become so bloated it resembles a balloon.

Characteristics: Although the gumbaroo is slow-moving and not naturally aggressive, it is fearless, as it has no natural enemies. Teeth, claws, rocks and bullets simply bounce off the gumbaroo’s rubbery hide. The only way a gumbaroo can be killed is with fire, to which it is very vulnerable, for if it catches fire, it explodes.

Co-endangered species: Grizzly bear, woodland caribou.

Recent sightings: No gumbaroos have been seen in this century, although several hotshots working fire-lines in gumbaroo country have reported hearing loud explosions that don’t sound like falling trees, followed by a smell like burning rubber.

What to do: Gumbaroos don’t distinguish between friend or enemy. If you appear edible to a gumbaroo, you are in danger. Leave the area as quickly and as quietly as possible.


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.