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 Great Event

The Death and Birth Of A Phoenix: The phoenix that my family has attended for many generations has most recently, most gloriously and yet expectedly, burst into flames, reaching the end of his long life on the very day of the winter solstice. I had the most magnificent blessing and good fortune to witness and attend on this event.

The phoenix, at first molting its tail feathers as is the habit of his kind, then retired to a nest made most beautiful, adorned with wonderful sweet-smelling spices and flowers and other objects of splendor. Those of us in attendance, staying at a respectful distances, did bear witness as the phoenix ended his life in the manner true only to him and his kind. We witnessed the flames as they did lift up, joined by our voices in song praising the phoenix in all his glory. Then, with great care, we placed the ashes of the phoenix on a silver tray, and kept them in a place sheltered from the wind and rain.

Then did we witness emerge from the ashes the small worm-like infant that would grow into the next phoenix. This young creature we protected with our lives, caring for it as a most marvelous creature. I saw with my own eyes that he fed upon the ashes of the cinnamon and other spices that had surrounded him in death, drawing new strength from the funeral pyre.

On the third day, having grown into a most magnificent bird, he raised his wings a few times, shaking away the rest of the ashes. We hurried to open the roof to the sky, and the phoenix flew toward the sun.

My older brother, who was chosen to be the first of the attendants upon the phoenix because he is fleet of foot, ran swiftly to follow the phoenix in its flight toward its first chosen home in the wild. Those of us who remained behind sang praises to the marvel of bearing witness to this event.

Soon it will be my turn to follow the phoenix. There are many of us who attend upon him in my family, so there is always at least one of us to protect him from harm.

Five hundred years ago, my ancestors witnessed the immolation and birth of a phoenix, and five hundred years hence, my descendant will witness the same. It is with great wonder and glory that I am able to witness this event with my own eyes that so many generations of my family, those of us who are sworn to guard the phoenix, yet have never seen. - ANONYMOUS, Apprentice Guardian, Ex Cineribus Resurge


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.