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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Sleeping Dragon!

Unusual American Sighting: We thought you would like to see an example of an American sleeping dragon (see photo). It looks just like a rocky outcropping, don’t you think? But that’s what makes this adaptation so effective. People can walk right by it and never know they’re in the presence of a slumbering dragon.

Previous articles at this site discussed the ability to shrink dragons at the preserve by withholding sugar and feeding them cheese. But some dragons are too wild, too long-lived, and too enormous to shrink.

World-dragons – dragons that can grow to thousands of miles long from their nose to the tip of the tail – grow very slowly over lifetimes that span millenia. Fully-grown world-dragons are so large, we don’t even see them any more (see Have You Seen?). But even young world-dragons are huge. As an enormous dragon in the neighborhood could not possibly conceal itself for that long, the juvenile world-dragons alive today inhabit the farthest reaches of the most remote places on earth. A few can still be found in the Himalayas and the Andes, in Antarctica, on the Mongolian steppes, and in parts of the southwestern United States.

Even in these wild places, sooner or later someone might notice a dragon wandering around, if it weren’t that juvenile world-dragons are masters of disguise, for these youngsters look remarkably like the hills, rocks, glaciers, dunes, and escarpments among which they live.

It also helps that young world-dragons spend most of their time sleeping, often for years at a time. When they are at rest, they blend right into the landscape around them, appearing to the casual eye as a grassy hummock, or ice foe, or rocky outcropping.

I was out trekking in a wilderness part of the southwestern United States. I’d hiked into the same area some years before, but it felt different to me somehow. So I took lots of photos, and compared them to photos I’d taken during my previous trek. Sure enough, the rocky outcropping you see in this photo was a new formation.

That’s how I discovered a sleeping juvenile world-dragon, right here in our own wilderness! – MUM, Iranigami Agent Emeritus


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.