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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Water For Imaginaries

Best Practices: Now that it’s getting warmer, I’m able to set out water for wildlife again. At our house, we set up birdbaths in our yard. Because I don’t want any Imaginaries to have to reveal themselves in order to get a drink or take a bath, I also set up birdbaths in the woods behind my house.

Here are some of the things I do to make good birdbaths, both for the regular birds at our house, and for Imaginaries:

The best birdbaths are shallow and have gently sloping sides, so that any small creatures that fall in can climb out easily. The more puddle-like the birdbath, the less likely it is that a baby Imaginary might drown in it. There should never be more than about 2 inches in the bird bath at the center, and less than an inch at the edges. I find that the most durable birdbaths are made out of hard plastic or tin.

The water in birdbaths stays cooler if it’s in the shade, but should not be near dense underbrush in which predators can hide. I put some birdbaths on tree stumps, so that they’re off the ground, and some lower down for ground-dwelling Imaginaries. They should always be placed so that they’re stable and won’t tip over.

In warmer weather, I have to change out the water 2-3 times a week, so that it doesn’t turn green or get mosquitoes. Each time I empty a birdbath, I wipe down the container and make sure it’s nice and clean again before I add more water.

When it gets really hot, sometimes I have to add water every day, because it evaporates so quickly. Last year, I tried adding ice cubes to the birdbaths, to try and keep the water cooler on the hottest days of the year. The ice melted really quickly, but I like to think it helped.

It takes a long time to attend to the birdbaths in the woods, because I have to carry water in containers from the house, but I imagine that I’m providing a cooling bath and a place to drink for a hot, thirsty Imaginary, and that makes it worth the effort. BUG, Field Agent, Iranigami


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