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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Dogs, Cats and Imaginaries

Keeping Our Pets Under Control: I like to take my dog out for runs in the woods. He’s pretty good about staying with me, but sometimes he takes off to chase something between the trees. I never thought much about it, because eventually he comes back. But last week, he came back carrying a rabbit he’d caught. As I thought about it, I realized it could have just as easily been a wapaloosie or an ouzelum as a rabbit.

It’s not a good idea to let my dog run anywhere he wants to go when we go outside. But I don’t like making him stay on the leash all the time, either, because I want him to be able to have a gallop if he wants to. I finally decided to teach him how to fetch, because he can get lots of exercise running after the ball without disappearing into the woods. So far, he’s not very good at it. He only knows how to run after the ball, but he hasn’t figured out yet that if he brings it back, I’ll throw it again for him. But I’m sure he’ll catch on soon, and any Imaginaries that live in my woods will be safer for it.

As for my cat, I always knew she was a good hunter because she catches a few mice every year in the house. What I didn’t know is that cats – even well-fed, happy house cats – hunt for fun, and every time I let my cat go outside, she spends a part of her time hunting. A study showed that on the average, housecats kill one animal for every 17 hours they spend outside, which means that housecats are killing as many as 4 billion animals every year in the US.

I thought putting a bell on my cat would warn away any creature she was stalking, but another study shows that cats with bells on them kill as many, or even more, birds than cats without bells on them. So that’s not going to work either.

I’ve asked my brother and dad if we could build a cat-run – an outside enclosure where my cat can go out and be in the sun. My brother thinks that sounds a little nutty, but my dad says he’ll do it. Until then, when I let my cat out, I’ll stay with her. She likes to play with me, so she won’t mind. – BUG, Field Agent, 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.