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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Being Ready?

Query: I know it’s unlikely that I’m going to see an Imaginary any time soon, but I want to be ready when I do. What can I do while I wait to see one?

Answer: There are a number of things that you can do to prepare yourself, so that when you encounter your first Imaginary, you will be ready.

One practical thing you can do now is to get comfortable with the natural world. You are far more likely to encounter an Imaginary in the remaining wild places of our planet than in a city. If you become familiar with outdoor safety, get fit, and learn about the flora and fauna of your area, then you will be in a better situation should you happen to encounter an Imaginary.

It’s also helpful to develop the kind of skills that scientists use when working with animals in their natural habitats. Can you make a plaster cast of a footprint, and sketch an animal you’ve seen with identifying characteristics? Can you write a clear log entry about an observed behavior, and use a camera correctly? Can you stay very still for long periods of time, and do you know how to move quietly in nature?

There are many groups that can help you practice your nature skills. The Audubon Society, for example, often has programs for kids, and the skills used to track and observe birds are not all that different from those used to track and observe a wapaloosie or a dragon.

If you practice your practical observational skills now, you will be better prepared when you see your first Imaginary.


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.