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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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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Corn of Plenty (Part 3 of 4): A Field Guide by Dr. Midas Welby

Corns of the Land: As with water corns, land corns utilize a single spike to fend off predators. The okapicorn, a relative of the giraffe, dwells in remote regions of Central Africa. It browses under tall trees, knowing that any leopard foolish enough to leap from above gets what it deserves.

The rarely-seen kangacorn from Australia sheds its horn annually. Children often collect these, using them as hornucopias at harvest moon festivals, stuffing them with beefsteak fungus, bunya nuts, bitter quandong, and crocodile jerky.

Quick Math: Volume of a Cone = 1/3 x Area of Base x Height. To calculate how much popping corn a discarded horn can hold, first measure the diameter of the base of the horn, and divide by 2 to find the radius. Multiply r2 x  to find the area. Multiply the area by 1/3, and again by the height of the horn. Or just pour the popping corn into the horn until it is full, and then pour into a measuring cup. That’s what I do.

Long ago, the keracorn boasted a scaly spire between its ears. Over time, the keracorn’s horn grew shorter and migrated southwards to the tip of its snout. This creature became the rhinoceros we know today. Simply put, the keracorn made a group decision that their horns would be better used as shovels than spears. This type of decision is called ‘evolution’.

Throughout history, humans have attempted to domesticate members of the corn family. The catacorn’s thrumming purr is deceptive. This is a dangerous animal, and should never live with other pets. Or humans. Note: catnip only riles the catacorn.

The catacorn should not be confused with cattlecorn. These are also wild animals, resistant to domestication. Only a foolish man seeking academic fame would get close enough to these herds to instigate a stampede. I’m talking to you, Von Dusseldorn. - DR. MIDAS WELBY, Visiting Contributor to Iranigami

NOTE FROM GWYNEACH: Dr. Welby’s series on single-horned Imaginaries is appearing in this space periodically this year.

Corn of Plenty copyright 2014 by Courtney Johnson.


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.